How to Get Started with SAP Analytics Designer

By Mariyah Saifuddin

This highlights the fourth installment in a six-part podcast series on SAC from 2020-2021 and featuring Mustansir Saifuddin and Hau Ngo.

SAP Analytics Designer allows users to create analytic applications that leverage all the existing services provided by SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC).  Included with SAC, Analytics Designer allows for more added functionality than can be found in a story.

Although this podcast series originally aired in 2021, all of the basics of SAC remain the same. There are, however, constant enhancements and updates, and they can be dizzying (check out this YouTube video showing the product enhancements for Q1 2022 alone). We encourage you to focus on the basics, first. Walk before you run! 

Of course, if you are ready to run — go for it. 

What Analytics Designer Can Do

Analytics Designer, once you take off the training wheels, opens a plethora of  opportunities. These include:

1. Defining the data model

2. Flexible screen layouts

3. Configuring widgets

4. Using custom scripts

5. Calling other web services

Analytics Designer brings together business intelligence, planning, and predictive capabilities. Ultimately, it provides the flexibility for you to enhance the user interface and customize it to your business needs. As you can imagine, it goes beyond the normal look and feel of SAC.

What you need to know about Analytics Designer

Understand that there is no perfect answer. Each organization has its own set of priorities and requirements. Using Analytics Designer opens a lot of options and flexibility that can be exciting and challenging at the same time.

Because it is completely customizable you will get to build each interaction yourself, whereas in a regular SAC dashboard an input control panel controls the data on a page. This means that you will need to budget for the coding time involved. 

SAC expert Hao Ngo, who joined us in 2020 to talk about SAC on our Tech-Driven Business Podcast, summed it up best by suggesting that a good way to start is with a regular, simpler dashboard. Let the user test it and see what additional functionality is requested. At that point, look at how the advanced functionality of Analytics Designer will help meet the user’s requirements.

Benefits of an SAC Dashboard

The benefits of starting with an SAC dashboard include:

1. Quicker time to delivery

2. It allows for immediate feedback in a shorter amount of time

3. It confirms that your design assumptions are true

4. It allows for you to see when functionality in your normal canvas is hitting the upper limit


Interested in more Tech-Driven Business podcasts? You can listen here

Other parts in this SAC series, all available on the Tech-Driven Business podcast page:

More resources

Developer Handbook: Download the SAC Analytics Designer developer handbook, which is updated at regular intervals and is full of examples that provide a strong foundation for the programming or scripting custom dashboard applications. Version 12.1 was released in June 2022; this blog provides a list of the updates and a link to download the PDF of the guide.

Complete tutorials are also available to give you a more interactive experience. 

SAC Guide: Business Insights (download)

SAC Utilization Quiz: How much are you using SAC’s features?


What Analytics Designer Unlocks

Analytics Designer allows you to take your dashboards to another level by allowing you to:

Customize actions between different analytical applications

Integrate your analytical application into third-party solutions

Embed third-party web pages into your analytical application

Use custom widgets to create your own visualizations

Deploy your analytical application through a mobile device or via integration with the SAC iOS mobile application

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Mariyah Saifuddin