Ah, good old Microsoft Excel. We bet you also rely on spreadsheets for operational reporting. Excel is ideal to bring data to life, visualise it and draw insights from it. This approach, however, does have its limitations. You’re using both your ERP system and Excel for analytics and reporting, which leads to inefficiencies, time loss and risk of errors. On top of that, the data you capture from your ERP system is not exactly visualised or analysed in real time, is it?
With today’s need for fast operational decisions, you might want to level up your reporting capabilities. SAP S/4HANA is a smart choice.
Embedded analytics with SAP S/4 HANA: the benefits
In fact, SAP S/4HANA provides three levels of analytics. Embedded analytics is the basic level: the S/4 suite comes with a default set of features to support operational reporting. It addresses all the above mentioned challenges of traditional operational reporting:
- SAP S/4HANA is jam-packed with out-of-the-box analytical tools, which you see in your Fiori launchpad as soon as you log into the system. With just one click, you can then dig deeper to see more details and take action – giving you access to analytical tools as well as transactional data in one, single interface.
- Thanks to the HANA in-memory platform, SAP S/4 HANA supercharges analytics performance. Moreover, it enables direct and real-time analysis with virtual data models that combine live transactional data with business logic.
- SAP S/4HANA makes it easy to customise the content and tools with KPIs and analytics that are relevant for your role or your industry.
From embedded analytics to deeper insights with SAC
If, however, you want deeper strategic insights and more visualisation capabilities, you might want to complement SAP S/4HANA‘s embedded analytics with extra tooling, like SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). SAC provides extensive analytics and dashboarding capabilities for augmented analytics, integrates a planning module and offers predictive features.
Nice little extra: SAC can be fully integrated into the familiar Fiori user interface. Can’t say goodbye to your Excel spreadsheets? You’ll be happy to hear that there’s a SAC add-in that integrates MS Excel versions into SAC – so you can keep using your familiar interface.
Do you still need a data warehouse?
Finally, if you are looking for an extra layer of analytics capabilities, consider completing the SAP S/4HANA analytics suite with data warehousing.
A modern data warehouse helps you build a single version of the truth. In this way, it allows you to enrich your transactional data with more context from a variety of SAP or non-SAP sources. So, you can link data from your CRM or your HR suite with finance, for example, or compare real-time data with results from the past.
What data warehouse should you use? That depends on your needs and how far you are on your journey to SAP S/4HANA. If you’re about to implement SAP’s next-gen suite, it’d be a good idea to consider the new SAP Data Warehouse Cloud: an out-of-the-box data warehouse that’s available as a SaaS- solution.
Fully adopt embedded analytics to gain transactional decision support.
Add SAC for advanced visualisation, self-service BI, planning and predictive features.
Complement with a data warehouse for enterprise-wide data harmonization and business data modelling.
Shifting to SAP S/4HANA analytics – with Flexso
With so many different needs, add-ons and extensions, tools and data warehouses available, where do you start on your analytics journey in S/4HANA? Our experts can help you:
- identify your analytics needs
- understand the standard analytics content (apps, queries and virtual data models)
- identify the gaps and enrich the embedded features with extensibility tools
- raise awareness and train your users
- ensure end-user adoption
- build a solid SAP S/4HANA analytics architecture
New to S/4HANA analytics? 3 useful tips
SAP S/4HANA analytics totally overhauls the traditional way of reporting and analytics. Therefore, make sure to:
- stick to the standard: avoid rebuilding your existing reports but map them to the standard analytics content and tools.
- invest in change management: take your time to train users in how to work with the system.
- use SAP S/4HANA analytics to do what it’s developed for: operational reporting.