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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Forecasting with SAP Analytics Cloud

From the early days of SAP Analytics Cloud, it has been possible to create a predictive forecast on table cells. It is worth noting that this feature has a number of restrictions. As of today it does not support the use of local currencies and does not support time granularity other than monthly.

Predictive Planning was delivered in SAP Analytics Cloud to support customers and partners that want to use time series forecasting in context of financial, HR or sales planning

Predictive Planning makes it possible to create predictive forecasts at scale, directly using planning-enabled models as the data foundation for predictive activities.

Thanks to Predictive Planning, SAP Analytics Cloud customers like the pharmaceutical company Roche can better plan the evolution of their expenses, financial revenues, sales or workforce evolution.

What is happening?

Future product investments are focused on SAP Analytics Cloud Predictive Planning, due to rapidly increasing customer adoption and success:

  • Since Q1/2022 it's possible to schedule the refresh of predictive forecasts. More to this here.

  • Planned in Q3/2022 it will be possible to forecast on planning models using weekly or period time granularity. More to this here.

Moving forward, the feature that makes it possible to create a predictive forecast directly on table cells will not receive incremental development.

What does it mean for SAP Analytics Cloud customers and partners?

SAP Analytics Cloud customers and partners can continue to take advantage of the different ways of doing predictive forecasting:

They also need to consider the advantages and the restrictions of the different capabilities to select the feature that has the best fit for their use case, considering the strategic investment that SAP is doing on Predictive Planning.

In time series and line charts From a table cell Using a predictive scenario (Predictive Planning)
Are the predictive forecasts persisted? No Yes Yes
Is it possible to leverage influencers? Yes No Yes
Is it possible to create forecasts at large scale? No No Yes
What’s the typical use case of this feature? Extend charts with predictive forecasts  Create a point forecast from table cells Create predictive forecasts at scale, with great control on the source data.

Please note Smart Predict / Predictive Planning / predictive scenarios are not strongly coupled to stories, charts & tables and therefore can be leveraged in context of the optimized story experience. All predictions coming out of predictive scenarios can be consumed in all story types (optimized or not).

December 2022 update: the forecasting capability from a planning table cell won't be supported in the Optimized Story Experience. Source (SAP Documentation).

September 2023 update: we are planning to bring the forecasting capability in time series and line charts to the optimized story experience.

How can SAP Analytics Cloud customers and partners take advantage of Predictive Planning today?

Customers that are making use of the forecasting capabilities offered in charts and tables are encouraged to explore the extended possibilities provided by Predictive Planning.

The forecasting feature on table cells is effective when planning-enabled models are being used. Similarly Predictive Planning operates on top of planning-enabled models.

Using Predictive Planning is as simple as creating a predictive scenario on top of the same planning-enabled model that’s being used in the table, then writing back the predictive forecasts to the relevant versions.

The following resources might be helpful if you want to learn more on Predictive Planning.

SAP Analytics Cloud help:

Additional Predictive Planning resources: