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SAP Analytics Cloud Drives Smart Data-Driven Financial Decisions and Analysis

MDS AP February 10, 2021

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To become an intelligent enterprise in today’s accelerated digital economy, you need rapid access to insights that enable you to make confident decisions in the best interests of your business. While most organisations have access to a plethora of data, without intelligent analysis, context and insight into what that data means for your business, it is of very little value. SAP Analytics Cloud is revolutionising the ways in which intelligent enterprises use their data to better their business. With advances in predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, the answer to your data woes lies in the paragraphs ahead. 

 

What is SAP Analytics Cloud?

 

Augmented analytics helps everyone in your organisation make decisions with a new level of confidence – without IT intervention or data science training. With the augmented analytics capability in the SAP Analytics Cloud solution, you can harness newly accessible artificial intelligence and machine learning mechanisms to develop deeper insights than ever before. And you can deliver them in context, in natural language. Even users with no special data-mining or visualization skills can automatically discover and display patterns and trends previously hidden from view. Analytics takes a quantum leap toward the conversational, automated, and predictive, helping users arrive at smarter decisions faster. 

 

SAP Analytics Cloud Objectives

 

  • Enable all users to take full advantage of analytics;
  • Expedite the process of developing insight to improve business outcomes;
  • Eliminate human bias when uncovering and developing new insights;
  • Anticipate what will happen next.

 

SAP Analytics Cloud Solution

 

  • Conversational queries that elicit best-practice visuals; 
  • Natural-language text generation to explain visualisations;
  • Machine learning algorithms to detect key influencers of performance; 
  • Automated discovery of patterns, trends, and outliers in data sets;
  • User-friendly, push-button functionality to build trusted and actionable predictions.

 

SAP Analytics Cloud Benefits

 

  • Spend less time collecting data and designing displays and more time making confident decisions;
  • Simplify access to critical information with natural-language processing;
  • Surface previously buried insights automatically with machine learning;
  • Empower analysts with convenient and accurate what-if simulation mechanisms;
  • Explore contextual recommendations for next steps.

 

How does SAP Analytics Cloud drive intelligent business decision-making?

 

According to a recent SAP study, the use cases where firms perceive the highest value in using augmented analytics include identifying trends and making forecasts; detecting data anomalies; automating data quality tasks; making predictions; and using natural language to answer questions and explain results. 

Companies that have succeeded in implementing augmented analytics are getting more and better insights without relying on IT and data professionals. According to the study, these changes are leading to positive business outcomes - 51% report greater confidence in business decision making, 50% report greater efficiency of analytics efforts (i.e., doing more with less), and 48% see more effectiveness of analytics efforts (i.e., more insights, better insights, etc.). Below are some of the features that help businesses make better business decisions faster.

 

Discovering useful insights and study potential outcomes

 

SAP Analytics Cloud integrates machine learning and augmented analytics to empower users across the company to use analytics tools on big and small data to generate immediate insights for decision-making. Users can use automated machine learning models to reveal relationships and hidden patterns in a specific dataset, and automatically generate data visualisations and data stories that highlight important insights, including trends, key influencers and outliers, and enable interactive what-if simulations like potential budget outcomes. All of this can be done without the help of a data scientist, and without human bias.  

 

Integrated Financial Planning

 

SAP Analytics Cloud allows you to consolidate your finance, expense and revenue data at a single source across your organisation. This allows you to spend more time on strategy by combining transactions, analytics, and planning using the predictive and augmented analytics capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud.

 

Company-wide advanced analytics

 

A single source of truth offers unprecedented levels of organisation-wide collaboration. When every individual can work simultaneously from one platform, it cuts out inefficiencies and discrepancies, allowing teams to collaborate in real-time, breaking down data silos, unifying plans, and aligning processes.

SAP Analytics Cloud provides several collaborative enterprise planning tools that allow you to align your expense and cost plans across departments such as HR, Sales, Finance, Marketing, IT, and Procurement in real time. Combining financial and production planning in this way helps organisations working with multiple teams and stakeholders to streamline and integrate business processes so that everyone is on the same page and understands the context of every action. It eliminates exhaustive communication efforts and confusing back-and-forth between departments.

SAP Analytics Cloud also allows you to create and assign tasks with the calendar, communicate with your team in real-time with the discussion panel, and collaborate directly on your plans with the data point commenting tool.

 

Predictive Analytics for Prepared Planning

 

With predictive forecasting and machine learning tools, users can automate baseline expense planning forecasts based on previous data, and build accurate expenses and cost plans much faster. Three types of machine learning algorithms can be used to predict outcomes and generate forecasts: classification, regression, and time-series analysis. Accuracy indicators enable users to trust the data-driven predictions before including them into their planning process directly.

 

Make More Strategic Business Decisions

 

The Search to Insight feature lets you “chat” with your data using conversational AI and natural language processing (NLP), just like you would with a search engine or digital personal assistant. Search and analyse your data by asking questions which will generate data visualisations that answer questions immediately. 

The Smart Insights feature lets you dig deeper into your data visualisations without manual effort. you can reveal the top contributors behind values or variances, understand the factors contributing to your KPIs, and more. Sophisticated algorithms run on the fly to suggest additional visualisations you may want to add to your data story, along with text explanations and context generated in natural language.

 

Data Modeling 

 

The data modeling feature allows you to create and modify versions of a planning model for data-driven budgeting, forecasting, and analysis from one cloud interface. Prepare your data for analysis, automate data cleansing to alert errors, establish hierarchies, define rules and conditions, add formulas and categorise measures and dimensions to enhance your data, and automatically generate data stories that provide visual representations of your data through charts and graphs to help you gain even deeper insights.

 

End-to-end industry dashboards 

 

The Analytics Content Network offers tailored content packages containing user-friendly dashboards, stories and data models for individual analytics scenarios, including end-to-end business scenarios. This comprehensive content library contains best-practice templates for leveraging your available data and accelerating your go live.

 

Conclusion

 

An Intelligent solution such as SAP Analytics Cloud brings together planning and analysis, augmented analytics and business intelligence capabilities in one easily accessible application, eliminating the need to gather data from disparate tools and spreadsheets.

By leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, businesses can become intelligent enterprises, supporting the organisation to make smarter decisions based on analytics delivered in real-time. Organisations that seize the opportunity offered by digital transformation and embrace the benefits of cloud analytics will quickly reap the rewards and move towards their goal of becoming an intelligent enterprise.

Topics: Blog

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