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Plans are complex and collaborative. Working with standalone spreadsheets or in disconnected planning systems can slow down the process, introduce errors and uncertainty, and make it difficult to adjust to new insights and the rapidly changing market. 

SAP Analytics Cloud is one simple cloud solution that combines Business Intelligence, planning, and predictive analytics. By bringing together a broad range of features, SAP Analytics Cloud helps you plan simpler and faster.  

But after you’ve signed up and have access to your tenant, it’s natural to ask yourself: “What now?    

In this blog, we we’ll walk you through the first steps of getting started with the planning features in SAP Analytics Cloud. 

Haven’t signed up for your free trial? You can do so right here. 

The complete guide to SAP Analytics Cloud for planning

First things first: have you grabbed your free Trial Guide  yet? This comprehensive guide was created by SAP’s Global Center of Excellence and will help you gain the most out of your free trial, so you’re equipped to make intelligent, data-driven decisions that future-proof your business. 

Our guide was designed to walk you through an end-to-end user experience of SAP Analytics Cloud for planning. You can download the SAP Analytics Cloud for planning Trial Guide and sample datasets, here. 

In this guide, you’ll learn about: 

Building a planning Model: Explore how a planning model is created, including how to build a currency conversion table, import your data, and more. 

Crafting Compelling Stories: Extract and bring valuable insights on the fly with Stories. Leverage charts, grids, text, images, and other visualizations to bring your data to life.  

Creating Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Running Allocations: KPIs demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Explore how to create one and walk through a Profit and Loss planning use case to see how to set up and run allocations.    

Forecasting Future Financial Outcomes: Help your organization simulate and predict future business outcomes and understand how to create a predictive and rolling forecast, so you can create accurate, data-driven plans. 

Data Action Calculations: Enrich your stories and planning scenarios by leveraging the different Calculations features in SAP Analytics Cloud—no coding experience necessary! 

Value Driver Trees: Use helpful “what-if” simulations in your planning models to gain an overall view of how certain scenarios impact specific areas of your business. In this section, we’ll go over how you can create a Value Driver Tree in SAP Analytics Cloud for planning. 

Collaboration: It isn’t a well-kept secret that team collaboration greatly influences your organization’s success. That is why SAP Analytics Cloud contains a variety of useful collaboration tools designed to ensure you and your teammates are always on the same page. 

Now that you know all of what SAP Analytics Cloud has to offer, let’s get you exploring! Here are some simple steps you can take to get started.  

Getting started in SAP Analytics Cloud for planning

The first thing you can do is try creating a planning model from any Excel or flat file. 

SAP Analytics Cloud is intelligent enough to automatically detect the dimensions and offer you a proposal for your planning modelYou can start with a sample csv file and follow the steps to create the model as listed, here. This will guide you in creating a story after you set up a model and input the plan data.  

Once you have familiarity with the way a planning model can be automatically created from a file, you can try it out with your own Excel file instead of the sample file by following the same steps. 

Exploring the planning features of SAP Analytics Cloud

Now you are ready for the next level to go deeper into learning about our planning features! 

Once you've downloaded your free trial guide, you can explore the planning features of SAP Analytics Cloud. This guide will cover how to: 

  • Implement some advanced modelling features 

  • Create your what-if scenarios 

  • Design private versions 

  • Build a Value Driver Tree 

  • Data Actions 

  • Advanced allocation steps Generate rolling forecasts and predictive forecasts 

Once you complete all the steps in the guide, you can revisit some features and venture beyond to explore even further. If you have business scenarios that you would like to try out in the tenant, you are now well equipped to do so.  

You’re also in a good position to take advantage of the sample planning content that your free trial has to offer.  

To do this, simply navigate to Browse-Files and type, SAC Planning in the search window as shown below and that will take you to the SAP Analytics Cloud for planning sample content. When you click on SAP Analytics Cloud planning models, it will show you the two planning models that came with the sample content, as shown below. 

The SAP Analytics Cloud planning-demos folder contains a sample story based on the two sample models. You can either use the sample content as it is (below) to explore even more planning features, or make changes!

If you want to keep the sample content as it is so that you can refer to it at any time, you can copy the models and story to create your own models and stories that you can freely edit to try out planning functionality.  



If you need guidance, help, or guidance to proceed at any time, you can keep this SAP Analytics Cloud for planning handbook ready to refer to. This handbook has very useful links to the Help Guide, demos, webinar recordings, and a wealth of information. 

Are you ready to start your learning journey?

Streamline your end-to-end workflows with a single software solution for Business Intelligence and planning. Start your free trial now to kick start your digital transformation and make faster, more confident decisions for your business.