SAP Analytics Cloud

Initial Release of SAP Analytics Cloud Just Ask

The initial release of just ask is version 2024 Q1 QRC or 2024.02.

Just ask is available in tenants running in Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services data centers. Just ask is enabled for end-users through a tenant administration toggle. It is turned off by default. When turned on end-user will access just ask instead of search-to-insight.

Access to Just Ask

just ask is accessed directly from the SAP Analytics Cloud home page using the search bar and from light bulb icon in the main toolbar.

The search bar on the home screen is optional and can be enabled from the home screen settings.

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Launching just ask from the home screen and the main toolbar
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Just ask main screen

Before Asking a Question

Selecting Models

Before asking a question, best is to narrow down the query by selecting one or more models. The available models are acquired data models that have been added to just ask and indexed by administrators.

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To query an SAP Datasphere model, end-users need to select a data model by selecting Add Model to Search. Browse SAP Datasphere connections and spaces and pick an SAP Datasphere Analytic Model or Analytical Datasets. Once selected, the SAP Datasphere model will remain available for the duration of the session.

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Using Suggestions

Type ahead suggestions appear in grey while typing and can be used to autocomplete a word by hitting the right arrow key. Other suggestions can also be selected from the drop-down using mouse or keyboard: down & up arrow key and hit enter for selection. Type ahead suggestions appear in grey while typing and can be used to autocomplete a word by hitting the right arrow key. Other suggestions can also be selected from the drop-down using mouse or keyboard: down & up arrow key and hit enter for selection.

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On the right-hand side of the screen suggested questions are based on the previous question.

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Measure & Dimension Picker

By pressing the + icon at the left of the search bar, the user can directly select the measures and the dimensions from the data models.

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Sample Questions

In addition to generated suggestions, administrators can define sample questions. These are available from just ask main screen.

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Exploring the Answer

From the natural language question just ask generates a technical analytical query and returns an answer as a visualization. At the bottom of the visualization the filters inferred from the query are displayed. In this example “How did client visits impact travel expenses last year in Denmark?” Last year generates a filter on year 2023 and in Denmark generates a filter on Country Denmark.

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At the top of screen, buttons enable to switch to table, to open the visualization in Data Analyzer for further analysis and to copy to clipboard that can be pasted in an optimized story, (classic stories are not supported).

The ellipsis menu provides access to filters, sort, rank, csv export and additional options for tables and charts.

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Just ask administrators are accounts that are assigned a role with the just ask Managed permission. Built-in roles such as Admin, BI Admin, BI Content Creator or Modeler include this permission.

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Administrator Tasks

The main task of just ask administrator is to add models so that it can be queries by end users.

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Access to just ask model management via the “Managed models” button
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Just Ask model management area

In addition, for indexed models. Once a model is indexed administrators can define synonyms and rules see details in the rollout section.

In this initial release only acquired models can be indexed.

Indexed versus non-indexed models

Just Ask enables to query indexed models and non-indexed models The table below summarizes the differences

  Indexed model Non Indexed
Administrator not required to query model  
Administrator can define synonyms & rules  
Initial NLQ Scope   ✅  ❌ 
Acquired models   ✅  ✅ 
SAP Dataspheres models   ✅ 
Model selection by users required   ❌  ✅ 
End user can narrow down query to selected models

Turning Just Ask On

Initially just ask is not active, end-users will keep using search-to-insights. This lets administrators prepare just ask before exposing it to end-users. To turn it on just ask for end-users, administrators will turn on the tenant wide Conversational Analytics toggle located in the Default Appearance tab in System Administration page.

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SAP Datasphere

In order for end-users to select SAP Datasphere analytic models and analytical datasets, an SAP Datasphere connection must be created. End-users require an SAP Datasphere user account, this user account must me a member of at least one space and permission to read models

Preparing for Rollout

Data Modeling

Before turning on just ask, administrators need to work with end-users, to identify relevant data and add to just ask the corresponding data models. In some scenarios, existing data models – that have been designed for professional story creators – may not be suited for end-users. Dedicated modeling work for end-user consumptions may be required. For instance, models may expose too many entities, entities with a meaning that require expert knowledge or conversely model may not include measure or calculations that are expected by end-users.


To complement modelling work, to tailor just ask to the terms end-users use and are familiar with, administrator can define synonyms to model entities and to dimension values,

Defining synonyms to a dimension name

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Defining synonyms to dimension values.


Rules may be used to provide relevant answers when end-user questions carry an implicit context not included in the question. For instance, a user may ask about the relationship between client visits and travel expense:” show me client visits and travel expenses” but he or she is looking for:” show me client visits and travel expenses by sales agents”

Rule conditions are based on the terms used in the question, when condition is met and action can be to sort results, add a filter, and or remove an entity.

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A data model together with its synonyms and rules target a specific audience. Such data model may be irrelevant and may confuse other end-users. Great care should be taken to ensure that only the target users have access to a given model. Firstly, by adding to just ask only models that are relevant for Natural Language Query and secondly by ensuring that model access rights are defined appropriately in SAP Analytics Cloud and in SAP Datasphere.


Rollout may occur using a phased approach per audience and data models. In addition to the steps before rollout described above, a good practice to ensure successful adoption is to organize training sessions and material to help users grow their understanding of the data models.