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Why is BW live connection preferred over an acquired connection in SAC?

Sep 1, 2021

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In this cloud BI world, a major chunk of SAP Analytics Cloud users has SAP Business Warehouse (BW) as their underlying data warehouse. SAC aces the market over other BI tools having compact integration with the SAP environment and provides added advantages right out of the box! All your investments in SAP BW will be more fruitful when you consume it in SAC via live connection, which helps developers to take away most of their efforts involved, and here we have listed the 7 best reasons to justify its setup and their usage.

1. Variants & Variables

Variables are parameters of SAP BW query which are created during the query process. It plays an important role in getting the final result set, such as restricting users to see data and allowing users to pass values to see the required set of details, e.g.: selected country details. SAC support all type of BW variables (Characteristic Value, Hierarchy Node, Text, Formula, Hierarchy Variables).

Query variants are like little bookmarks for the prompt ( list of user input variables in the query), which can be created and modified for BW query from BEx Analyzer, which is supported in SAC, End Users of Story or Analytic Application can utilize these query variants to save time and avoid entering invalid combinations of prompt values.

2. Custom Hierarchy and Universal Display Hierarchy

Hierarchy is a data structure to visualize members in a structured way. It allows users to view data on different levels of granularity and perform drill-downs to accomplish data exploration. SAC supports most of the hierarchies enabled dimensions from SAP BW, but there are scenarios where users want to view in the different customized hierarchy, so SAC allows developers to create a custom hierarchy/group on BW dimensions in a live connection, developers can group different dimension memories and can set the hierarchy presentation as per their wish.

Why is BW live connection preferred over an acquired connection in SAC?
Figure 1: Creating Custom Hierarchies in SAC on top of BW Live Connection

Universal Display Hierarchy (UDH) is a unique SAP BW query feature that allows you to display two or more dimensions defined in rows or columns to be displayed hierarchically. SAC has full support for UDH which would be very useful to view large reports in a constrained space. Only table/grid visualizations support the Universal Hierarchy Display concept. This is not supported for chart visualizations within the story, because only table/grid visual gives the initial view defined in query designer.

3. Two Structure Query

The Structure is a group of objects in a query that can be either key figures or characteristics. Two structure query in BW is having structures in both Key figures and characteristics also you can have specific formulas for each cell in the BW query and can set how to handle a formula collision. In SAC, unlike the import method, you can connect to two structures query of BW in live connection where you can have calculations in both rows and columns. All of these are completely supported within SAC.

Why is BW live connection preferred over an acquired connection in SAC?
Figure 2: Two Structure Query consumed from BW Live Query

4. Display of Dynamic Images
In SAP BW, for a characteristic info object, you can assign XXL attributes provided that are defined as an XXL info object. And then, based on the selected MIME type, the system can interpret the XXL attribute to be audio/video/image/text file. SAC tables support XXL attributes defined in the SAP BW queries when consumed in live connection, you can make use of the image attribute. By enabling the XXL property in the characteristics and selecting the ‘optimized table’ table view option, you will be able to dynamically populate the image in the table or the image component. This feature is planned for future release in Q3/2021 and mentioned in the Note.

5. Data Analyzer
Like BEx Web Analyzer, Data Analyzer in SAC provides an ad-hoc query analysis option to users. It can be launched using a URL or through the script from SAC Analytics Designer. On opening the Data Analyzer, you can choose the appropriate connection type and choose any BW query. The major advantage here is that you do not need to create a live data model in SAC. All your BW queries are instantly accessible for all end users without almost no effort.

Why is BW live connection preferred over an acquired connection in SAC?
Figure 3: BW Query consumed in Data Analyzer

6. Time Series

In SAC, you can easily add a Time Series Forecasting on top of your live SAP BW query data. Time Series forecasting can help you predict the business trend in the future based on historical data. In SAC, there is an automatic forecasting algorithm in addition to linear regression and triple exponential smoothening.

7. Search to Insight for Live Query

Search to Insight is the natural language processing capability built within SAC and is one of the most used features of Augmented Analytics. You can ask SAC questions about your data the same way you would ask a colleague. The conversational analytics in Search to Insight helps you get the information you need instantly. Search to Insight is supported for BW Live connections and once enabled, SAC stores the metadata of the query to process the requests. In addition to search, all possible KPI options would be listed when you choose a SAC model, and you can select the one that is perfect for the question.

Why is BW live connection preferred over an acquired connection in SAC?
Figure 4: Search to Insight feature on BW Live query

Click here to talk to our experts about SAP Analytics Cloud. To know more about SAP Analytics Cloud, check out our blog series here.


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