SAP Cloud for Analytics - FAQ

26 October 2015

Wart van Hoek

Wart van Hoek


SAP recently unveiled Cloud for Analytics (formerly known as Project Orca), giving customers the first peek during TechEd 2015. In this blog post I will address some of the key questions I’ve already been asked by clients.

Source: SAP TechEd 2015 Key note presentation

What is SAP Cloud for Analytics?

SAP Cloud for Analytics is an evolution of SAP Cloud for Planning – see Its finally happened - SAP Cloud for Planning - which has been available since February 2015.

The product, launched as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, is natively built on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, and provides a single user interface for all end-user capabilities. You can watch the TechEd 2015 Demo here.

SAPs vision is to provide all enterprise analytics capabilities - BI, Planning, Predictive, and GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance), in a single product with a single user interface. These four area’s form the key components of SAP Cloud for Analytics.

This allows user to do their jobs in one experience/workflow instead of having to jump between different applications. For example, a financial planning professional can access and analyse data, create a report, collaborate with others, and submit a forecast in one product, as that’s what their job requires.

SAP Cloud for Analytics high level architecture, source: SAP Cloud for Analytics roadmap (version at 16.10.2015)

When will SAP Cloud for Analytics be available?

SAP Cloud for Analytics is planned for general availability in November 2015, so we won’t need to wait much longer. This means the planning component (formerly, SAP Cloud for Planning) and the Business Intelligence component (SAP Cloud for Analytics for Business Intelligence) will be available.

Predictive capabilities are planned for availability in 2016 and the roadmap for GRC capabilities is being finalised. The product roadmap includes connectivity to On-premise SAP HANA, SAP S/4 HANA, and SAP BW, as well as other key Cloud data sources.

What does this mean for SAP Cloud for Planning?

SAP Cloud for Planning is part of SAP Cloud for Analytics (one of the four key components). It will be the first set of capabilities available for SAP Cloud for Analytics. SAP will no longer use the name SAP Cloud for Planning; instead it will be SAP Cloud for Analytics for Planning.

What are the key features of SAP Cloud for Analytics?

SAP Cloud for Analytics exists out of a full-suite of functionalities with specific components related to the four key areas – SAP BI, Planning, Predictive, and GRC. Some key features of the overall suite include:

Collaborative analysis and planning

  • Personalised home screen
  • Prepare and enrich data from the browser
  • Discussion and sharing

Visualization and storytelling

  • Hichert professional charting standards
  • Global story and linked analysis filters
  • Performance trend with value comparisons
  • Advanced report formatting and print to PDF support

Which data source connectivity options does SAP Cloud for Analytics offer?

SAP has announced support of the following data sources:

  • SAP data sources: SAP HANA, SAP BW, S/4HANA.Connect to On-premise S/4HANA, HANA, or BW systems without data replication. (Supporting hierarchy navigation, calculated KPIs
  • Planning data sources: BPC NW, BPC MS
  • Static data sources: CSV, XLS
  • Cloud data sources: such as
  • Data linking. Link together separate data sources into a single visualisation

What are the key features of SAP Cloud for Analytics for Business Intelligence?

The Business Intelligence component will probably feel familiar to many SAP Lumira users. It works with the same process of ‘connecting and preparing data, visualising the data and sharing the visualisations with others’.

Connect and prepare the data

  • Prepare and model cloud and on premise data from your browser
  • Support data connectors from SAP (i.e. S/4HANA, BW, HANA, Universes) and non-SAP sources including hierarchical data
  • Support linking aggregated data

Visualize and build your own views

  • Design, visualise, and create your stories online
  • Personalize your own dashboard views

Share with your team

  • Simply collaborate with your team
  • Take action on your data
  • Receive notifications on any device

What does this mean for my current SAP Business Intelligence tools/platform?

SAP has launched SAP Cloud for Analytics for Business Intelligence as an offering next to the existing SAP BI suite. The emphasis is on the SaaS architecture. So for organisations that are used to On-premise BI/analytics, and are not planning to move to the Cloud, nothing really changes.

SAP has an extensive roadmap for the SAP BI suite (BI4.2, Design Studio 1.6 etc.), so is committed to invest and develop that.

The SAP Lumira Cloud edition will be replaced by SAP Cloud for Analytics.

Can I use Google Documents in SAP Cloud for Analytics?

Yes indeed! SAP and Google are collaborating to build integration between SAP Cloud for Analytics and Google Apps. The goal is to provide the ability to embed SAP Cloud for Analytics visualisations into Google Apps, i.e.  docs, sheets and slides. But also enabling users to access and combine data from Google Sheets with enterprise data sources in SAP Cloud for Analytics.

What is the SAP Digital Boardroom?

During the TechEd 2015 keynote SAP launched SAP Digital Boardroom as the Next Generation Solution for use in enterprise boardrooms. SAP Digital Boardroom is an addition on top of SAP Cloud for Analytics and is focussed on providing insight to the executive board on the most important business drivers, with the ability to analyse the most granular detail as well. The key features of SAP Digital Boardroom include:

  • Executive meeting support - Simplify boardroom processes and reduce preparation time
  • Multi-touchscreen support - Present in a multi-screen environment, leveraging touch technology
  • Value driver tree simulation – Visualize important value drivers, and simulate scenario‘s

How can I experience SAP Cloud for Analytics?

Here is the link to the SAP Cloud for Analytics website where you can register your interest and get trial access to a SAP Cloud for Analytics environment. For access, you’ll need to go through a qualification process.  

View comments


  • Mark Lyne - 14 Feb 2017, 17:51:07
    Great article!

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Wart van Hoek

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