SAP’s Analytics Cloud (SAC) is a go-to tool for organizations wishing to analyze, visualize, and predict data, collaboratively, intuitively, and in the cloud. It’s also a key part of Finext’s toolkit for supplying the office of the CFO with next-generation finance solutions.
SAP Analytics Cloud is a versatile and cost-effective tool enabling real-time data aggregation and analysis, to deliver comprehensive views of business data. But its data visualization and planning features also provide much more flexible solutions, which you can leverage for insights across financial data.
We talked to Laura Fernandez, performance management consultant at Finext, about Analytics Cloud, as well as her role in developing a new tax provisioning model inside of Analytics Cloud.
Laura is part of the SAP team at Finext, implementing Sap Analytics Cloud solutions that enable organizations to use Sap Analytics Cloud for planning.
“When we’re handling an implementation for a client, we take your business requirements and use our financial knowledge and best practices to build a model. The model can be integrated with your SAP systems. Integration is not a must, but has huge benefits. It’s much easier in maintenance and contributes to the quality.”
Taking time to get the requirements clear is a critical and sometimes frustrating part of the process. Everyone is eager to get started and hand over something tangible. But sometimes new requirements are added to the mix impacting prior decisions. Nevertheless, it is very important to take your time for this process and embrace setbacks as this is where the foundation is laid.
“The definition of the model is the most crucial part of implementation. This defines your ultimate reporting capabilities. Your level of insight”
However, those models are just one part of the planning process in SAP Analytics Cloud. Having a data model is a good first step, but it doesn’t allow you to visualize any data or calculate and facilitate any process.
“SAC uses data actions, a user triggered process that manipulates data. It can be used in tons of options such as prefilling user input, running complex cost allocations or calculating revenue streams. Those data actions are available to users via ‘Stories’, Sap Analytics Cloud’s dashboards. Typically, a story follows a chronological order of the planning process. It for instance first allows users to validate and modify the sales prices of products and sales volumes. Thereafter, it displays the result in, for example, “per product” and the accumulated impact on your P&L.”
Finding the best BI & Planning solution for your organization
“SAP Analytics Cloud offers a lot of features for our clients, like visualization, augmented analytics, and planning.” Says Laura, “Mostly it has a really rich feature set. Overall, it simplifies financial planning with rules and automation and facilitates alignments across departments”
There are other reasons to use SAP Analytics Cloud. For example, the system security set-up and reporting capabilities.
“SAP Analytics Cloud is a best-fit for organizations using other SAP databases but offers tons of integration options with other databases as well. Once the data is in, there are plenty of security and access possibilities, boosting data security, accuracy, and reliability. Especially when compared with Excel.”
“Users can only see and modify data and run processes which they are authorized to access. Authorizations are flexible and in most cases role and team or department driven. With role authorizations, the system even allows closing the system to most users and leave it open to their superiors, so they can adjust and sign off.”
“SAP Analytics Cloud also allows reporting according to the IBCS (International Business Communication Standards) for that reason. Especially in larger organizations, it is crucial to develop all reports with a similar look and feel. So, tables and charts can be interpreted within the blink of an eye.”
“With the dynamic reporting capabilities, Sap Analytics Cloud allows you to place filters on all your charts by simply selecting a value in one of the tables. Upon the selection, all corresponding elements on the page filter update, accordingly, giving the user a rapid detailed insight in his or her interest.”
SAP Analytics Cloud is just one tool for business intelligence and planning. However, it’s not always the right solution. At Finext, we work with a suite of tools such as Oracle, Vena, Anaplan, and Board, to ensure our clients find the best fit for their technology and needs.
If you’d like to learn more about SAC, our tax templates, or performance management technology in your organization, get in touch. Finext is happy to help.
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