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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert


QRC3 2021 for SAP Analytics Cloud is almost upon us and we have several big changes in this release in particular to our overall user experience. Let's have a first look at the Top 5 items for this quarter.

New Product Navigation for SAP Analytics Cloud

We're introducing navigation improvements to simplify how you interact with SAP Analytics Cloud, increase your productivity, and provide a solid platform that supports you on your data journey. These are covered by 3 main components:

1. Side Navigation: 

  • A new side navigation flattening the hierarchy of menu options for easier access:

    • Replacing the separate browse and create paradigm for a simpler, single-click entry point for viewing and creating content

    • Providing more responsive, adaptable vertical layout as users are given access to additional features

    • Offering flexible collapsed, expanded, and full-screen display options for view time

  • Right click also now supporting a side-navigation option in a new browser tab

2. Shell Bar: 

  • The shell bar, the uppermost horizontal section of all products in our platform:

    • Displays breadcrumb navigation and actions relating to the active screen

    • Contains universal features including search, notifications, discussions, help, user profile settings, the product switch, and a new back button to navigate back to the previous page in the product

    • Includes a single breadcrumb that always shows users where they're working in and easily navigate to any part of the folder path for the current file

    • Also harmonizes across SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud for a consistent experience

  • New unique URLs enable easy bookmarking (now for folders as well) and let users open individual tools or file instances directly

  • A new actions menu next to file names provides shortcuts to create something new based on the currently opened file

3. Application Enhancements: 

  • New single-entry start pages in SAP Analytics Cloud that enable the following:

    • Let you browse your recent files or create new ones

    • Provide a consistent experience across all content creation applications, including stories, analytic applications, digital boardroom, data sets, modeler, data actions, allocations, value driver trees, and smart predict

  • New workflow features adding flexibility to move through the product as you're creating content without breaking flow during tasks

Full details can be found in our IT Handbook - Design Changes for SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

Optimized Story Viewer

Information workers can also experience improved performance and usability when viewing and interacting with stories with an optimized story viewer. This capability update contains several usability and performance improvements including:

  • Enhanced filtering of stories and charts,

  • Enhanced navigation of large deep hierarchies,

  • Undo / Redo when viewing & interacting with stories


Planning Content – Operational Workforce Planning

Whether you’re new to SAP Analytics Cloud or been using it for some time, then you’ll likely want to get up and running quickly. With our Content Library, you can immediately start exploring SAP Analytics Cloud with our Business Content Packages.

A new arrival to our Business Content Center this quarter is Operational Workforce Planning. The current pandemic and economic climate have shown that organizations need to be agile to evaluate decisions. To make these decisions, companies need data and information from all parts of the organization available and accessible in real-time. Additionally, the data and plans need to marry human ingenuity and machine intelligence with analytics so that organizations can adapt to agile planning.

This content package offers a highly customized workforce planning solution powered by SAP Analytics Cloud, optimized for SAP SuccessFactors solutions and SAP S/4HANA but also with the ability to integrate with other extended planning and analysis content packages such as Integrated Financial Planning. Some key features include:

  • Headcount and full-time equivalent (FTE) planning

  • Personnel cost planning

  • Contingent workforce planning

  • Support for top-down or bottom-up planning

  • Headcount and FTE planning – both demand and supply

  • Total personnel costs (average salaries and other pay components)

  • Position level planning

  • Individual personnel costs

Full details can be found here.

Predictive Planning

Predictive Planning was a very important topic in 2020 given the uncertain times we were living in. In 2021 we continue to expand the capabilities to cover more use cases and business scenarios.

Continuous delivery of predictive forecasts during periods of business volatility

I think we can agree the last 18 months have been volatile and uncertain for many businesses. Whether this is growth in sectors such as online shopping or retail or quiet periods for Travel and Hospitality one thing both have in common is unexpected behavior during these times.

As we use historical data to predict the future, we have implemented automated time series techniques that mitigate disruption to business time series analysis caused by unpredictable events such as the Covid-19 crisis. These include:

  • Detection of change points

  • Ability to adapt trend detection based on the detected change points

Support for additional variables in predictive planning

As our planners become more and more comfortable using machine learning in their planning cycles, we are receiving enhancements requests to predictive planning through provision of extra predictors to increase model accuracy.

This enables further refinement of predictive forecasts through the new “influencers” setting that allows the user to select which of the following influencer variables to include before training their predictive planning model:

  • One account alone

  • One measure alone

  • One account plus one measure

  • Limit of 20 extra predictors


Multi Actions – orchestration engine for automated multi-step planning activities

In Q3 2021 we bring you a new orchestration engine for operations related to multistep planning (such as data acquisition, data actions, smart predict, and planning of processes and events):

  • Focus in this initial release will be on chained data actions, including cross-model and cross-version operations.

  • Utilize the planning trigger widget for multi-action, data-action, and planning sequence execution


Above I have outlined a flavor of what is to come in QRC3 2021 but there are many more new features coming your way which you can find in the SAP Roadmap Explorer.

We will be taking a deeper dive in to these items in our up coming webinar and what's new blog series so stay tuned.

Want to experience new and existing features for yourself? Take the leap and start your journey towards making data-driven decisions with confidence by signing up for a free trial, today.