SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud is designed specifically for the cloud with the option of serving hybrid cloud scenarios (e.g., with data on-premises). The product was built as a pure cloud-based BI solution and first released in 2014. It consolidates analytics functionality such as analysis, reporting, dashboarding, planning and predictive analysis for different users into one single product based on the SAP Cloud Platform.

SAP was founded in 1972 as a business applications company but really came into prominence in the 1990s with the ERP boom. Its ERP solution (R/3) was first released in 1992. The vendor employs more than 98,000 people worldwide and has a turnover of € 24.74 billion. Today, SAP is one of the largest business software vendors in the world.

SAC, SAP’s strategic cloud offering and next generation analytics platform, brings together analytics capabilities such as data discovery and visualization, planning and predictive analysis for different users into one product. With a large and growing development team, SAC is becoming richer in features such as application design, planning and predictive functionality. Today, SAP is investing heavily in building SAC. It also continues to provide on-premises solutions such as SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise and SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC). In the cloud analytics segment, SAP offers additional solutions such as SAP Digital Boardroom and SAP Analytics Hub (both built on SAC) and SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting.

SAP’s original strategy was to view BI as an extension of its all-inclusive ERP offerings. Therefore, it launched SAP Business Warehouse (BW) in 1998, a completely packaged, plug-and-play BI solution designed to complement SAP ERP applications. The package contained connectors to SAP ERP modules, a data warehouse for storing source data, subject-oriented data marts and predefined content as well as tools for reporting, analysis (SAP BEx) and planning (SAP BW-Integrated Planning, also known as SAP BW-IP). The goal was to provide a plug-and-play BI solution that would make it fast and easy for SAP customers to benefit from BI.

SAC is designed specifically for the cloud (SaaS) delivered on the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) or Amazon Web Services (AWS) and can be deployed in a public or a private cloud option. In a private cloud infrastructure, the hardware has to be HANA-certified, as the solution runs on HANA as a database.

Reports and dashboards, as well as planning forms, are created with Report Designer, which is part of the solution. Report Designer offers functionality to select data views of a model and drag them to a Report Designer Action Pane to create a new report (same for dashboards). Once created, reports can be saved in a private or public folder, either for personal use or for group use. Since SAC is one integrated product, it is possible to pin charts and reports to public dashboards to make them available. Each report can also be saved as a template, for example, to be compliant with corporate design standards.

User & Use Cases

Customers mainly use SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) for dashboards/scorecards (80 percent), ad hoc query (54 percent), standard/enterprise reporting (49 percent) and analysis (49 percent). 80 percent of respondents plan to use it for advanced analysis and 66 percent for budgeting/planning in the future. SAP targets large corporations and mid-sized companies across all industries. 63 percent of our sample of SAC customers come from large corporations (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 187 users, but the mean of 676 users indicates there are also some significantly larger implementations. SAC is geared to business power users with broad functionality for various BI and CPM tasks. Typical tasks carried out with SAC include viewing, navigating and exploring/analyzing data as well as creating reports, which demonstrates the feature-richness of the product. Customers achieve an average of 12 percent usage penetration among all employees (compared to the survey average of 18 percent). This suggests that the product is focused more on trained power users than the majority of employees.

Current vs. planned use


5 products most often evaluated in competition with SAP Analytics Cloud


Percentage of employees using SAP Analytics Cloud


Number of users using SAP Analytics Cloud


Tasks carried out with SAP Analytics Cloud by business users


Company size (number of employees)


Summary of SAP Analytics Cloud highlights

With 17 top ranks and 29 leading ranks across four different peer groups, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) once again achieves excellent results in this year’s BI Survey, particularly in the ‘Large international BI vendors’ peer group up against competitors such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Qlik and Tableau. Convincing ratings in numerous important KPIs help to consolidate its position as a global market-leading BI vendor. Companies can benefit from using SAC in terms of improved customer satisfaction, reduced costs, increased revenues and saved headcount. Customers rate the product highly in aggregated KPIs such as ‘Business value’, ‘Customer satisfaction’, ‘Innovation’, ‘Competitiveness’ as well as functional categories including ‘Dashboards’, expressing a high level of satisfaction with both the vendor and its product.

Innovation – Top-ranked

Peer Group: Large international BI vendors

Cloud BI – Top-ranked

Peer Group: Large international BI vendors

Mobile BI – Top-ranked

Peer Group: Large international BI vendors

Project length – Top-ranked

Peer Group: Large international BI vendors

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BARC’s Vendor Performance Summary contains an overview of The BI Survey results based on feedback from SAP Analytics Cloud users, accompanied by expert analyst commentary.

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BI Survey 19 Awards

SAP Analytics Cloud

Peer Groups Dashboarding-focused products, Data discovery-focused products, Integrated performance management products, Large international BI vendors
Number of responses35
ProductSAP Analytics Cloud
OfficesOffices in more than 130 countries worldwide
Customers> 437,000 (in total, not only BI customers)
Revenues (2018)€ 24.74 billion

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Quotes from the BI Survey 19

Excellent self-service tool combining planning and reporting capabilities and ready to support AI future.
External consultant, IT, 100-2,500 employees
Very, very good solution. Extremely fast report generation possible. Integration with SAP BW backend system very easy - plus reusability of structures, authorizations and data. Excellent!
Person responsible/Project manager for BI from IT department, services, >2,500 employees
Fabulous. Best software ever from SAP.
Head of BI & Analytics Competence Center, IT, >2,500 employees
Very innovative solution, the combination of BI, predictive and planning is particularly attractive.
Person responsible/Project manager for BI from IT department, manufacturing, >2,500 employees
Very good application, state of the art, implementation of dashboards fast and easy to implement.
IT employee, manufacturing, >2,500 employees