Not for the first time, a potential customer asked us about the differences between InsightZAP and a BI tool, in this case, SAP Analytics Cloud. At his request, we wrote this article. We should mention that this article will focus on the difference between InsightZAP and SAC’s purposes and main functionalities. For more technical information, please see an older article, Differences between BI and InsightZAP.
SAC Analytics Cloud (SAC) is a BI tool linked to SAP, third-party SQL, Excel, Google Big Query, and other sources, focusing on analytics and forecasting. InsightZAP is an operational tool showing real-time data, sending real-time notifications, and more. Despite sharing some common features, these platforms are very different. Please note that InsightZAP offers many features that make the work of SAP users easier, which are completely unrelated to reporting, including easy-to-implement workflows, advanced security features, efficient IDoc search, SAP log viewer, and automation.
Let’s start with a quick overview of both tools, InsightZAP and SAP Analytics Cloud.
InsightZAP is a user-friendly platform installed directly on SAP that allows users to build operational and automated business processes inside SAP.
InsightZAP’s patented technology allows SAP users to build business processes directly on production, in hours, and without code.
With InsightZAP, SAP users can create and edit any ALV report, including SAP original reports, Z reports, CDS tables, queries, and more, by adding columns, formulas, conditional formatting, comments, pivot tables, and more within SAP. They can also share their reports with colleagues or external partners, import and export data from/to Excel, and do more on SAP and without code. Since they are always on SAP, they always see real-time data. Users can also add graphs and dashboards to see the data more clearly. Do note that by using the Snapshot feature, users can see past data and even generate reports based on this data (changes in pricing, costs, inventory, etc.). It’s important to note, however, that InsightZAP is designed to showcase real-time data rather than historical data.
But that’s not all. Users can also automate business processes, from enhanced automatic clearing using the F.13 transaction to sending invoices automatically, from delivery truck pallet optimization to an automated confirmation process. When it comes to automation, the sky is the limit. Surely, many people in different departments waste their time on tasks that should be automated.
InsightZAP also provides additional features involving IDoc and SAP logs, which are very important to SAP professionals who use them. Some examples for the change logs are SOX regulations monitoring and implementation. The synergy between the different tools of InsightZAP and the common use of ALV tables allows users to build complex business processes by identifying an irregularity through customized reports and flagging the problem using automated alerts.
Lastly, we’ll mention the fact that InsgihtZAP is very safe. Since it’s installed within SAP, users need to be identified using their SAP credentials. Furthermore, InsightZAP offers extra layers of security and authorization.
In short, InsightZAP allows users to create and edit real-time reports on SAP without code and share them. Users can also set automated real-time notifications for any problem that might occur. The platform is operational in terms of reporting, automation, and notifications. It shows in real time what is happening everywhere in the organization.
SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP Analytics Cloud (or SAC) is a SaaS for business intelligence (BI). SAC’s main benefit has to do with future planning and predictive analytics. While it has the main features of any BI tools regarding reports, graphs, and dashboards, it is known for its forecasting capabilities.
So how does it work?
SAC is a Saas, which means it is an external tool to SAP. Users can view data from different platforms using various connectors, including SAP S/4HANA and ECC, MS Excel, and sources. Users can upload from several sources and present the data on the same file.
SAC users have many reports and graphs at their fingertips; they can move from one dashboard to another with a few clicks.
SAC has two main models for updating data – ‘live’ and ‘import’. The import connection allows for extensive modeling; any changes in the source system won’t affect the data within SAC. However, with the ‘live’ connection, users can view real-time (or near real-time) data, which changes when the source changes. However, the modeling options are more limited.
Therefore, users can observe real-time or nearly real-time data within SAC, but their capacity for modeling or manipulating this data is significantly constrained. In simpler terms, users can view the ‘basic’ data but cannot access the formulas and manipulations applied to it.
One of SAC’s main benefits is that it is a predictive tool. It exists to help finance and production analysts and managers to plan better. Like other BI tools, it offers analytical reports and graphs, but SAC truly shines in predictive modeling.
What's the Difference Between SAC and InsightZAP?
Before continuing to our table, we’ll list some important differences between SAC and InsightZAP.
InsightZAP is operational, while SAC is an analytical tool. InsightZAP has all the information SAP has regarding every department in the organization and can give you real-time insights into the organization’s current situation. For example, InsightZAP can tell you of inventory shortages, late deliveries, or late payments that are happening right now. It can also tell you the organization’s total debt and revenues as of right now and the expected debt and revenue based on the data the organization currently has. Conversely, SAC can show you a limited picture of the current state of things. However, it does a better job of predicting trends and needs in the future. InsightZAP can’t “see” things that are not there. SAC, in contrast, can offer insights into the future based on trends.
InsightZAP offers more than mere reporting – business process automation, built-in Fiori App, IDoc searches, and SAP log views, to name a few. SAC is a decent BI tool, but that’s it; it doesn’t offer anything else.
InsightZAP works within SAP, while SAC is an external SaaS to which SAP and other platforms connect.
InsightZAP doesn’t limit the number of users who can view and use the automation, business reports, and other features; this decision is entirely up to the organization. Each of InsightZAP’s customers can decide how many users can have access to the platform. This allows all SAP users in the organization to enjoy the benefits of the tools without additional cost to the organization.
InsightZAP and SAP SAC can enhance each other; InsightZAP can easily export data and SAP reports directly to SAC. Once the SAC analysis is complete, the results can be returned to SAP users, empowering them to take actionable steps based on the insights gained.
In Conclusion, InsightZAP and SAC are two platforms that serve completely different purposes.
While SAC is a BI tool that connects to SAP, InsightZAP is an operational tool that “lives” within SAP. Its goal is to simplify SAP users’ work by allowing them to create, edit, and automate business processes without code.
InsightZAP also has many (many!) features other than reporting.