SAP Analytics Cloud in SuccessFactors – Some Insights!

Latest information and background about SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and People Analytics in SuccessFactors. This article should inform and prepare you for SAC. Additionally, I will add some comments about Data Warehouse Cloud and WFA on HANA.

Sometimes it is hard to keep up and if you don’t get an abo for new buzzwords from SAP or work daily in the reporting area you may loss track. That’s why I want to start with a little glossary and remind you of some labels…

People Analytics – SAP relabel the branding of their product! People Analytics is simply the new name for Reporting and Analytics in SuccessFactors and can be separated between

  • embedded edition = formerly Reporting (Ad-Hoc, BIRT, Tiles/Dashboard and ORD)
  • advanced edition = formerly Analytics (WFA)
  • planning addition = formerly Planning (WFP)

Unified Reporting (SAP internal project name) – creating a single data layer where all information from different modules come together. This is the base for leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud as a Data Factory to report and manipulate data from SuccessFactors.

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) – is a standalone application based on the SAP Cloud Platform and is the Reporting and Analytics go forward solution for several SAP products. SAP Analytics Cloud is generally available and already includes the following core capabilities: business intelligence (BI), predictive analytics, and planning.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC) – is a newly announced product, which SAP is currently developing. There is just a lot of marketing material available. You can see for yourself here.

SAP HANA – is an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system developed and marketed by SAP SE. Its primary function as a database server is to store and retrieve data as requested by the applications. In addition, it performs advanced analytics (predictive analytics, spatial data processing, text analytics, text search, streaming analytics, graph data processing) and includes extract, transform, load (ETL) capabilities as well as an application server.

People Analytics edition Definition by SAP

SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics, embedded edition will consolidate all legacy SAP SuccessFactors transactional reporting tools into a single tool for reporting, insights, dashboards, etc. and enable customers to perform cross-suite reporting based on live transactional data across the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite. The embedded edition will be delivered as part of the SAP SuccessFactors foundation at no additional cost to the customer, leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud technology for visualisations.

SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics, advanced edition will be the successor to SAP SuccessFactor Workforce Analytics (WFA) and will offer more strategic analytics and HR benchmarks based on data in SAP SuccessFactors as well as visualisations enabled by SAP Analytics Cloud. General availability is targeted for Q4 2019 or Q1 2020.

SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics, planning edition will be the successor of SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Planning (WFP) for people planning based on the advanced edition metrics library and data within SAP SuccessFactors.  General availability is targeted for 1H 2020.

Why it takes so long to provide SF customers with an embedded version of SAC?

Not all customers were on HANA – in 2018 just 77% were ready. That slowed things down and operational took time. Data Centers around the world need to be prepared (installation, updating, testing, etc.). This is not the sort of thing you can do in a couple of weeks and requires a lot of time. In 2019 every SF Instance was moved to HANA, which is the first requirement for using SAC in SuccessFactors. The 2nd is to work on the Data Layer (Unified Reporting). Last but not least, People Analytics editions from with SAP Analytic Cloud requires the feature Report Center, which will be a universal release update in Q3 2019.

Just to explain the technology layers of SAP Analytics Cloud:

  1. SAP HANA Cloud (ideally 2.0 – pure technology)
  2. Data Engine (How you access/manipulate/model/calculate/process data)
  3. SAP Cloud Platform

What is behind People Analytics, embedded edition?

All SuccessFactors Modules (also called Domains) will be available. LMS will still be a bit special and likely not be included in the first version. Good news is that data from the new Onboarding solution will be available. In favour of the new go-forward solution all existing Reporting Tools (Ad-Hoc Reports + BIRT Templates, Dashboards and ORD) in SuccessFactors will be sunset over time.

There will be no new investment or further enhancements on the legacy reporting tools except for specific strategic investments such as those required to help sunset/support tools. It is very likely, that there will be different sunset dates for each tool. Some tools will be deactivated but still supported for a longer period (e.g. PPTC, some specific used Dashboard for Comp Forms or the RCM Bar). I recently wrote an article with SuccessFactors reports, which are still worth to build before SAC is coming.

Quick reminder of “legacy” Reporting Tools and Reports in SuccessFactors

  • Ad-Hoc Reports
  • Online Report Designer (ORD)
  • YouCalc Dashboard
    • Tile Builder
    • Recruiting (Requisition Overview) Bar
    • Compensation embedded Metrics in Forms
    • Dashboards in Report Center
    • Additional Dashboard e.g. EC (or standard Dashboards)
  • LMS reports with Plaeteau Report Designer (PRD)
  • BIRT Templates
    • Ad-Hoc Reports with BIRT Templates
    • PPTC
  • RMK Advanced Analytics (Just moved to RCM, will it move to SAC as well or is already part of the Unified Reporting?)
Gender Dashboard
Gender Dashboard

More Information around SAP Analytics Cloud in SucessFactors

SAC will come in Q4 2019. No promises because it was already postponed twice. Some reasons I mentioned above but I am positive that this time we get close.

The embedded edition (live transactional data) will come for free. For the advanced edition (metric packs / ETL) you will need to pay. I have no additional information for exact prices, but if you use Workforce Analytics on HANA you can transform your licence 1 to 1.

The functional scope in the embedded edition is not clear yet (Insider: Also, a reason why SAP postpone twice.). If you want to prepare on a functional and technical level, I recommend these OpenSAP courses:

Note: The closed Beta Feedback was good and was mostly around query design, with got enhancement by SAP. The open Beta just opened up for selective customers. For further information please visit the Early Adoptor Care Program for SAP SF People Analytics, Embedded Edition.

A comment to WFA on HANA, SAP Analytics Cloud and Data Warehouse Cloud

I know, it is a difficult and confusing time around Workforce Analytics. Nobody can show you a clear road map yet. Will SAP Data Warehouse Cloud replace WFA on HANA? Is WFA on HANA useful with the SAC Frontend? How customers will migrate anyway? There are more questions than answers and depending in which corner you ask in SAP you get different ideas and perspectives.

I just quote myself (2nd August 2018):

“When it comes to licensing all current WFA and WFP customers will be given the opportunity to migrate to the new solutions but since each has a unique configuration, deployment status and are subject to unique contracts and commercial agreements, each customer situation will be dealt with accordingly at the time of contract renewal. The contractual and commercial details are still being finalised.

As I mentioned above, the entire WFA on SAP HANA to SAP Analytics Cloud transition is still in a design and architecture stage. Many SAP SuccessFactors customers haven’t even seen SAP Analytics Cloud yet. From my perspective, there is no hard stop to implement Workforce Analytics on SAP HANA because there will be a migration path to SAC.

Since the end-state technology for WFA is not yet finalised, there can be no speculation on what, how or how long migration is likely to be, if a migration path is offered. The migration from WFA on SQL to WFA on HANA that was done for a customer was done in 23 days but this was quite a specific case and should not be taken as standard.  If WFA on HANA proves to not be the go-forward solution for WFA then all customers would need to migrate or re-implement onto the new solution, it is not possible to speculate about migration to the new solution at this stage and details on this will emerge from the dedicated team who is tasked with this process.”

The only thing which is really new is the new announcement for SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. For now, SAC will just provide the frontend for WFA on HANA customers. I am pretty sure that they will try to build WFA on HANA in the new Data Warehouse Cloud. I don’t want to add more, or we all end up spreading rumours. Let’s see how things go – I will let you know!

Subscribe, Share and stay informed – Thank you!

Please watch this blog closely and subscribe to get updates. We will continue working on a new article/interview with SAP to give you a clear understanding what is behind People Analytics, SAP Analytics Cloud in SuccessFactors and much more….

Please share this article to spread knowledge and give other SuccessFactors customers the chance to be fully aware of Reporting and Analytics Capabilities in SuccessFactors.

Never hesitate to comment, give feedback or ask: chris.wilpert@adessa-group.com.

Thanks for your time and interest!

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Adessa Group was founded in 2005 as a specialised, pan-European Human Resources service provider. The company was founded with the vision of supplying sustainable computer solutions through the development of an international network of subsidiaries, close to their customers and with the aim of growing organically. This vision was translated through the values that shaped Adessa’s corporate culture.   You can follow us on LinkedIn by clicking here.