Getting Started Guide

This guide was developed as an introduction to help you get up and running. Read this page and start exploring your data with SAP Analytics Cloud.


Home Screen

After logging into SAP Analytics Cloud you’ll be greeted by your home screen. The home screen is the front-page news of your organization. It’s a place where you can easily access information that is most important to you.

Your home screen can be customized with data and visuals unique to your business. But first, you’ll have to create a story using your data.


Tip: When accessing SAP Analytics Cloud use Google Chrome as your web browser.


Introduction to Stories

What are stories? A story is a collection of charts, graphs, and other visualizations that give insight into your business, they are the main output of SAP Analytics Cloud. A story can help you quickly understand the nuances of your business to help you make better decisions, faster.


Introduction to Models

In SAP Analytics Cloud models are the backbone of stories. A model is the clean and defined version of your raw data used to create the visualizations contained in your stories. Models must be created before you can start to visualize your data in a story.


There are two ways to create a model:

  1. Story Mode: Importing data directly into a story is the quick and simple way to create a model. When data is imported directly into a story, a private model is created that you can immediately explore. You can also publish a private model to create a new public model.
  2. Modeler: Importing data into the Modeler allows you to add features such as hierarchies, formulas, and to geo-enrich your data. Models created using the Modeler are public and can be used for multiple stories.


Import Data in Story Mode

The quickest way to start using SAP Analytics Cloud is to import a clean data set, which means that there are no missing fields and consistent naming conventions are used, directly into a story. Importing data in story mode creates a private model that you can then use to explore your data and create basic visualizations.


From the navigation menu select: Create > Story

Next, choose how to start your story. You can either:

  1. Start with the design:  Develop your story using a templated layout or choose from a blank canvas, responsive, or a table page.
  2. Start by importing data: Choose to connect to your data by either importing it directly from your PC as a local file (.xls or.csv), or by connecting to Google Drive. Business and Enterprise plan holders are able to connect to other cloud-based and on-premise data sources.

Because the design layout of your story can be selected or changed at any time this guide will start out with how to import your data.


How to import data from your PC

  1. Select > Import a file
  2. Select your source file (excel or .csv)
  3. Select the sheet with the data you want to access
  4. Click > OK


How to import data from Google Drive

  1. Select > Connect to Google Drive
  2. Sign in your our account and select your data file OR paste the file URL directly in the window
  3. Click > OK


Tip: Make sure to save your story so that you can come back and work on it later.

Review and Prepare your Data in Story Mode

SAP Analytics Cloud analyzes your imported data and assigns the columns as either dimensions or measures.


What’s the difference between a dimension and a measure? Simply put, a measure column contains only quantitative numerical information. A dimension column contains qualitative information that can be both numbers or descriptions.


In story mode, you’ll be able to perform simple data preparation like updating a column designation from dimension to a measure and vice-versa. You can do this preparation in the data manipulation view.


Tip: Make sure to review and update the designations of your columns. Since qualitative information can sometimes be numerical, dimensions may be designated as measures automatically.


Once you’ve made updates to your data in data manipulation view, your model is ready to go and you can begin your story.


Import Data with the Modeler

The Modeler has advanced functionality which allows you to add features such as hierarchies, formulas, and to geo-enrich your model. By creating your model using the Modeler more features are available to create robust visualizations.


To import data to the Modeler, select: Create > Model

How to import data from your PC:

  1. Click > Import a file
  2. Select your source file (excel or .csv)
  3. Select the sheet with the data you want to access
  4. Click > OK


How to import data from Google Drive:

  1. Click > Get data from an app
  2. Click > Google Drive
  3. Click > Select Data
  4. Sign in your our account and select your data file OR paste the file URL directly in the window
  5. Name your model and add a description
  6. Click > Import

Tip: On the Free Plan, file sizes are limited to 100MB for .xls and 250MB for .csv files. Business and Enterprise Plans come with 1GB of storage per user.


Review and Prepare Data with the Modeler


SAP Analytics Cloud analyzes your imported data and automatically assigns the columns as either dimensions or measures. Check that your columns types are designated correctly and correct any errors that have been detected.

Tip: If your data set is large, over 2000 records, you are shown a sample of your data. Any changes you make to columns in the sample data is applied to all records.


Set Hierarchies

Hierarchies within your data allow you to explore dimensions at multiple levels using parent-child style relationships between dimensions. A sales hierarchy could look like this: Product > Category > Type.

For example, the hierarchy of beverage sales data at a chain of convenience stores could look like this: Beverages > Beverage categories (alcohol, carbonated drinks, juice and other) > Types (orange, apple, pear) and so on.


Geo-enrich Data

Using the Modeler, you can geo-enrich your model in order to produce geo-mapping visualizations in your story. Use location data to gain additional insights into your business and see local trends faster.


The Modeler has more functions available to customize your data than would be practical to explain in this basic getting started guide. For more help using the Modeler, including how to set hierarchies and geo-enrich your data please access the Help Center.


Create your model

Once you have defined your data and corrected any errors, the next step is to create your model.


Click > Create Model in the modeler to create your model.


Create a story

To start a story you can either select Import a file to begin in story mode with a temporary model or select Use existing data and choose a model that you have previously created in the Modeler.

Stories are simple to create with SAP Analytics Cloud’s drag & drop functionality and easy-to-use design and customization tools.


Create visualizations

Once you’ve selected your model, you are ready to explore your data and create visualizations.

In data exploration view, select the measures and dimensions that you’d like to explore through visualizations. For example, you could visualize the gross margin (measure) based on store locations (dimension). You can filter your dimensions by selecting an entire category or by selecting specific category items.

A visualization is generated in the lower pane after you’ve selected your measures and dimensions.

The visualization is generated in an automatically suggested format, based on the data you’ve selected. You can change the type of visualization at this stage, say from a bar graph to a line chart, or you can add it to a page within your story to refine later on.


Populate a story

Once you’ve created a visualization, the next step is to copy it to a page of your story. You can copy your visualization to an existing page in your story or create a new canvas page.


If you want to move things around later as you’re working on your story, it’s as simple as copy & paste. SAP Analytics Cloud has a clipboard function that allows you to move visualizations easily between the pages in your story.


You can create as many pages as you need and rename them to anything you want. You may want to order your pages with key information, like a snapshot of KPIs, on the first page. On subsequent pages, you can drill-down into more details of your data. You can reorder your pages by dragging dropping them within the toolbar.


Customize Pages

Once you’ve copied your visualizations to your pages you can customize them even further using SAP Analytics Cloud’s templates and tools.


Layout templates

Not a designer? Not to worry. There are layout templates that you can choose from to design the pages of your story. You can access layouts as the first step in creating your story, or you can choose or change your layout later with the Layout Panel.

Design Panel

The design panel houses the builder tool and the styling tool. Use these tools to further customize your visualizations and the overall design of your story.


Builder Tool

Use the builder tool to change the style of your visualization, add measure and dimensions and customize it by colors. You can also add filters to the visualization in order to isolate dimensions within a visualization.


Styling Tool

Customize the design properties of an entire page, like by changing the background color. With the styling tool you can also customize the design and properties of the individual tiles that house your visualizations.