SAP Analytics Cloud & HANA Geo Spatial Data Visualizations

Beyond “Points on a Map”

In today’s world, it is becoming imperative that we merge our BI analytics with location data to empower our stakeholders with location-based intelligence.

Typically GIS knowledge has been in a silo and could not be easily combined with our day to day analytics and internal organizational information. But now, with help of SAP HANA Internal Geospatial engine and SAP Analytics Cloud capability to render it and provide visual analytics makes it easier to combine these different datasets and create Location intelligence that will not only help companies analyze their metrics by location but also help them reduce operational costs and improve customer services by proper application of these combined analytics.

In this blog, I’m focusing on the high-level advantages of using native HANA Geo-Spatial data processing, including custom hierarchical drill-downs in SAP Analytics Cloud. We will take a Retail customer as an example and showcase how easy it is to visualize the metrics of this Retailer geographically, using each store location (Lat/Long) as driving points. We will also highlight the steps involved in this process at a very high level.

This particular scenario leverages SAP HANA as the data store. If you don’t already own SAP Hana (on-premise or cloud) you can still download or host the free edition of SAP Hana Express (HXE). You can also use geospatial analysis in SAP Analytics Cloud without HANA as the remote data source, but you will not have all of the access to the advanced spatial processing that managing your own HANA instance affords.

SAP HANA includes a multilayered spatial engine and supports multiple geo-spacial features such as:

  1. Spatial columns
  2. Spatial access method
  3. Spatial reference systems.

With these enhanced GIS features, SAP HANA now provides a common database for both your business and spatial data. In this example, we would first want to convert the store locations which exists as Latitude and Longitude points into HANA’s native GeoSpatial data types (ST_Geometry in this case). The pre-requisite here, to showcase the Geo-Spatial data from HANA Views in SAC is that HANA system must be at least on SPS11 on 112.07 or higher or SPS12 on 122.03 or higher and it must be licensed for SAP HANA Spatial.

For us to be able to use the advanced features of the Choropleth Layer in SAC it is necessary for us to download and import the Spatial Data Delivery Unit from SAP Service Marketplace into our HANA system. You can follow the documentation provided by SAP to create Custom Hierarchies by importing custom shape files into HANA. In this example, we have done these steps and imported a custom shape file for US Regions. We are not bound by traditional geographic boundaries, so – for example – if your Sales territories are based on volume/customer density, you can store your own territory shapes.

Once you have your Hana Calculation view showcasing the Retail store sales by each Store and Store Location Calculation view, you connect to them from SAC using HANA Live connection and create a Model. This lets us create Map in SAC that can showcase the Regions on the Map highlighted with colours based on the measures from your dataset aggregated to the Map Drill down levels.

Here, we are only identifying the Counties that contain active stores.

We can drill down multiple custom hierarchies to the individual store level and let HANA dynamically aggregate metrics that fall within whichever shape boundary we have identified in the particular hierarchical layer.


As you can see, in this blog, we have highlighted the capabilities of using powerful HANA Geospatial analytics and embed them in SAC with ease. The business value of this is enormous. Companies who own HANA, can now connect the already existing Views with Location Dimensions and explore their analytics in terms of Geospatial analysis.

In the next blog, I will show how we can further analyse spatial data using some very cool features that go beyond “points on a map”.

Learn more about SAP HANA Spatial with tutorials from the SAP HANA Academy.

If this blog didn’t quite answer your question or you have other Business Intelligence questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Read More about HANA in these recent Blogs

By |2018-12-05T12:50:57+00:00December 3rd, 2018|Business Intelligence, HANA, Kingfisher|0 Comments

About the Author:

Shaheen has more than 13 years of experience with a strong background in BI Analytics, Data Warehousing, and ETL Architecture. She enjoys working with clients finding solutions to their BI reporting problems. She has helped many healthcare clients with data cleansing projects, along with designing data marts and establishing BI reporting infrastructure. When she’s not cooking delicious food or enjoying hikes in the mountains, you can reach her at