SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2825781 - Error: "The date column variable was guessed as ( )" in Smart Predict


  • Error: "The date column variable was guessed as ( )" while creating Time Series model in Smart Predict
  • Error: "The date column variable was guessed as ( ). Requesting the number of cases of xxx" in Smart Predict
  • Training Time Series model failed in Smart Predict


  • SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Smart Predict  

Reproducing the Issue

    1. Logon to SAP Analytics Cloud.
    2. Main menu -> Create -> Predictive Scenario.
    3. Click Time Series, put the Scenario name as TS_Scenario.
    4. Click Create Predictive Model, put some description in the popup window.
    5. In Settings, select an Excel file with extension .xlsx, and containing column like YYYYMMDD as Input Dataset.
    6. Select a target object as Signal Variable and a Date object as Date Variable
    7. Set Training Process and Until.
    8. Train the model.
    9. Observe the error message "The date column variable was guessed as ( ). Requesting the number of cases of xxx".


    • Date type field is required in while training a Time Series model. However, in Excel, if the text of filed is YYYYMMDD, for example 20190831, it cannot be used as Date type filed.
      In Excel, right click on the YYYYMMDD object, select Format cell, in Number tab, if select Date, observe the sample given by Excel is displayed as "######". While displaying string / text as a Date, it is OK to store it as text by YYYYMMDD format, however while using the Excel data to data manipulation related actions, it cannot be directly using as a Date type filed.
    • The date type format required in Smart Predict is listed in Dataset Acquisition section of Restrictions.


    • Below is the step to convert Excel text filed to Date field.
      1. Open Excel, choose the column containing YYYYMMDD text. In Data tab, choose Text to columns, open the Convert the Text to Column Wizard
      2. Select Original Data type. Then Next.
      3. Select Delimiters. Then Next.
      4. In Column data format, choose Date and YMD. Then finish.
      5. Insert the column to Excel. Check the convertion result in Excel.
      6. If after converstion, DD/MM/YYYY format is displayed, then right click the column, choose Format cell, in Number tab, choose Date, set the format to YYYY-MM-DD. 

    See Also


    Regression, cannot generate model, forecast model, predictive factory , KBA , LOD-ANA-BI , Business Intelligence Functionality, Analytic Models , LOD-ANA-PR , SAC Predictive , How To


    SAP Analytics Cloud 1.0