As I mentioned in previous articles, SAP built its entire strategy on HANA and the Cloud and made all its investments in this direction. Along with S/4 Hana Cloud, of course, Business Intelligence products had to be migrated to the Cloud. Here is the SAP Analytics Cloud, formerly SAP Business Objects Cloud, as a result of this strategy. In its simplest definition, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is a Business Intelligence product that works with the SaaS (Software as a Service) model and is part of the Hana Cloud Platform. I wanted to evaluate the main advantages and disadvantages of this product, which has become widespread in our country recently.
• SaaS Product: The product is a cloud product, new features are constantly being added and updated. There is no need to wait and upgrade on premise products.
• Ease of Generating New Reports: We prepared the Dashboard, which was prepared in Design Studio in 1 month at my previous company, in SAC in a short period of almost two days. Of course, I would like to point out that the data is ready here, only the visual contents were made during this time.
• Easy to Use: Reporting is so easy that end users can quickly develop the reports they want. This means less ad-hoc reporting demands that upset the capacity and business planning in the IT department.
• Ready Content: SAP offers ready-made content according to industry and business areas. This is a feature that can be useful in speeding up report creation and in guiding business units.
• Easy Integration: There are many popular BI tools such as Power BI, Tableau, of course, the biggest advantage of SAP products is that they are easily integrated and compatible with each other.
To list the disadvantages:
• Being a Developing Product: The fact that the product is constantly developing means that some features are missing. To give an example, there was no android app last year. When it came out, it was touted as a great innovation.
• HANA and Version Dependency: BO products can easily get data from SQL and even prepare reports using Data marts. SAC, on the other hand, is designed to receive data directly from Hana. Of course it can get data from SQL, but not on the terms you get from HANA.
• Data Synchronization: If you can get instant data directly from HANA, it is possible to make instant reports. However, it is not possible to extract data from SQL or Data Mart, which are summarized at certain periods, every minute. In SAC, this integration can be done hourly.
• No Buy Back : You may need to reduce the number of users for BO or similar products while switching to SAC. SAP does not take back the BO licenses you have purchased, you just do not pay annual licence maintenance fee . This is also a situation that should be evaluated in the total cost of ownership.
In my personal opinion, I think that the SAP Analytics Cloud product is a very good product, very fast reports can be made, but it is still not fully ready in terms of data retrieval and basic features. These features will also be much more common once they are developed.