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Part 2 - Uniting SAP Datasphere with SAP Analytics Cloud for Data Harmony - Revolutionize Your Data Strategy


Welcome to the second segment of this three-part series.

In Part 1 of this blog series we discussed

  • Understanding SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC)

  • Exploring the advantages of SAC compared to other reporting tools.

  • Elevating your data connection experience - guidance on setting up the data connection for optimal functionality.

In this blog, I want to provide an overview of the following key aspects for integrating data between SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud:

  • Crafting compelling stories and visual masterpieces

  • Embrace the future with Optimized Design Experience (ODE)

Crafting Compelling Stories and Visual Masterpieces

After we’ve successfully set up our data connection between Datasphere and SAC, it’s time to unleash the creativity and let the fun begin by creating some engaging visuals. Get ready to infuse your data visualization journey as we dive into the wonderful world of SAC data visualization!


Step 1. Create a data model in SAC… or so we thought!

To our surprise, this data modelling step can be skipped! SAC can consume the Datasphere data model directly (provided the connection is live). The user can easily view the spaces they’ve created in Datasphere from SAC.

What does this mean for the user? Well, it simplifies the workflow, as they can directly access and analyse the data without the need to duplicate modelling efforts or create a separate model within SAC. It streamlines the process and allows for more efficient data analysis and visualization within SAC, leveraging the existing data structures and models established in Datasphere.


Step 2. Choosing the right tool -> Deciding between a Story and an Analytic Application

Traditionally, SAP has recommended that we use stories for interactive data visualization and exploration and Analytical Applications should be your choice where your requirements are more complex. However, since Q3 of 2023, SAP released the new ‘Optimised Design Experience (ODE)' which combines stories and analytic applications.

The Optimised Design Experience (ODE) integrates features from both stories and analytic applications. The release of the Optimized Design Experience (ODE) eliminates the need for the business to decide in advance between creating a story or an analytic application.


Our decision to create an analytic application was rooted in our conventional understanding of SAP's recommendations. However, our perspective shifted with SAP's release of the 'Optimized Design Experience (ODE)'. By transitioning to the Optimized Design Experience (ODE), we embrace an approach that integrates features previously distinct to either stories or analytical applications.

These features were not fully accessible within traditional analytical applications. This transition reflects our commitment to staying adaptable and innovative, ensuring that our analytical capabilities grow alongside SAP's latest advancements!!

The Power of Optimization: Embrace the Future with Optimized Design Experience (ODE)

Whilst we began creating our analytic application we faced several challenges:


  • Lack of a responsive design option.

  • Inability to utilize time hierarchies effectively.

  • Difficulty in displaying variance between different years.

  • Less efficient planning features


Considering these hurdles and SAP's new recommendation, we opted to proceed with our project using the Optimized Design Experience (ODE), again, reflecting our commitment to staying adaptable and innovative!

Below, I have outlined several of the obstacles we faced while using the analytic application and how we overcame them by transitioning to an Optimized Design Experience (ODE).

Analytic Application Obstacles

No Responsive Design Option

Analytic Application

While creating an analytic application, you can use a combination of panels and flow layout panels. These are widget containers which allow you to design analytic applications that can adapt to different screen sizes.

Optimised Design Experience (ODE)

While it's feasible to develop a responsive analytic application using a combination of panels and flow layout panels, choosing an Optimized Design Experience (ODE) approach provides distinct advantages. When creating an Optimized Design Experience (ODE), you're presented with various options, including the choice of a responsive layout. Opting for the responsive layout automatically generates a dashboard capable of adapting to diverse screen sizes. Choosing a responsive layout when creating an OOptimized Design Experience (ODE) enhances efficiency, saves time, and contributes to overall improved performance.

Unable to utilize time hierarchies

Analytic Application

You can see here that there is no hierarchy available for the Billing Date. Time hierarchies play a crucial role in dashboards. Having no time hierarchies available within SAC has many negative repercussions. To conduct meaningful comparisons for example in financial data, it's essential to drill down into various hierarchy levels, such as quarters and months, both within charts and filters.

Optimised Design Experience (ODE)

You can see here that there is a hierarchy available for the Billing Date. This is because we switched from Business Builder to Data Builder in Datasphere and from analytic applications to Optimized Design Experience (ODE) in SAC. Drilling down into hierarchy levels, like quarters and months, within charts and filters enables insightful comparisons and fosters deeper understanding of the data, facilitating better decision-making.

Unable to show variances between different years

Analytic Application

Unfortunately, you are unable to use the variance feature while creating charts within SAC. This limitation arises from the absence of the hierarchy feature, a consequence to its integration with business Builder with Datasphere. The lack of variance, potentially, impacts the decision-making process and overall insights derived from the analytic application.

Optimised Design Experience (ODE)

The variance functionality is available in Optimised Design Experience (ODE). This example shows that there has been an increase of 11,086 in 2018 compared to 2017. Variance allows for comparative analysis, enabling users to understand differences and fluctuations within their data.

Less efficient planning features

Analytic Application

There is no version management panel in the Analytic Applications window. To handle version management tasks such as publishing, deleting, and reverting versions, you can utilize version management APIs. This requires scripting which can be time-consuming. Planning activities within an analytic application are feasible but may also consume a lot of time. 

Optimised Design Experience (ODE)

Bid farewell to the complexities of version management with the intuitive panel nestled within the Optimized Design Experience (ODE) creation process. This panel simplifies the task by providing a user-friendly interface, eliminating the need for time-consuming scripting with version management APIs. Planning activities are considerably more efficient within an Optimized Design Experience (ODE) environment.

The move to Optimized Design Experience (ODE) provides us with numerous advantages by combining features from both stories and analytical applications. It offered us a centralized platform with the most potential!

If you or your colleagues have further questions or queries and would like to understand more about Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud, please feel free to contact us at .

Want to witness the magic firsthand? Live Demo Appointments can be arranged upon request allowing you to explore the incredible capabilities of SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud.


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