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New feature SAP Analytics Cloud release: 2020.04

Blog based on SAP Analytics Cloud release: 2020.05


SAP Analytics Cloud Advanced Formulas add huge flexibility and extendibility to the standard SAP Analytics Cloud planning functionalities. I have been asked in the past about the “current date” feature, which was missed by many consultants working on planning scenarios of this fine granularity.

One recent small but very helpful increment to the scripting library is a function which returns the current Coordinated Universal Time in Advanced Formulas.

With this Blitz Unboxing blog, I am trying out this new feature and showing you a simplest example of how this can be integrated in a real-life scenario.

Scenario Overview

I have created a model which works as a diet tracker. On the screenshot below there are several calculated measures which indicated the energy intake of an end user from his reporting of daily meals.

Using the New Feature

As the name of the blog goes, I put in some random meals for the protagonist “der Vater”. Since this data is based on actual meals, the data in the table below is posted on the “Actual” version. The view below is of current date of “2020-02-26”.

The use case becomes more interesting when the energy consumption forecast for the future can be included into the story.

I added this based on a simple copy into the version “My Forecast” from “Actual”. The formula below uses the brand new “Today()” function. By adding 8 to the CONFIG.TIME_ZONE_OFFSET setting vector, I am telling SAP Analytics Cloud to calculate the date based on the time zone of Shanghai, China. Otherwise it will be the UTC date.

By using the new “Today()” function, I am already on the day granularity as my model is and will no longer need to manually change the time horizon I work on.

These simple three lines are all what I needed to generate the result below.

There are two versions and three dates, the last of which is one day into the future. Note that the view below is an aggregated result on the date dimension, whereas the Data Action created above has copied data on the row level.

This simple test demonstrates the usage of the “Today” function in a simple SAP Analytics Cloud Data Action. The calculation logic however can be arbitrarily complex. Only your own creativity is the limit.

In many business scenarios, you will find the feature useful too, for example filtering the time horizon when you are carrying forward account balances using the “CARRYFORWARD” function.

Summary & End Notes

  • The new feature being introduced comes with SAP Analytics Cloud release 2020.04

  • The new function “TODAY” returns Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in the format YYYYMMDD.