SAP Analytics Cloud Dashboard Overview

Estimated read time – 6 min

Our last guide on BI tools was dedicated to QlikSense and today we will have a look at SAP Analytics Cloud. The dashboard has been prepared for us by the head BI consultant at SAPRUN Alexey Salynin.

In this overview, we will touch the following topics: creating a new data source in SAP, adding filters, making a Tree map,
setting up a preview on mobile devices, working with the Smart Insight assistant, multi language feature.

This dashboard has the same structure as our previous dashboards. At the top, we can see the KPI cards and a date filter. Below there is a heatmap that shows top provinces and a chart that shows profit dynamics on the right. In the second part, we can see the products and customers analysis.

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Creating a new data source in SAP

To add a data source in SAP, we can either work with models or datasets. Models allow us to work with several data sources at the same time and carry out planning in order to solve complex problems. In our case, it’s a simple Excel file, so we used a normal dataset. As we have chosen only the orders sheet. Here is how the dataset looks:

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Some of the columns were created, such as products hierarchy, geo hierarchy and some additional calculations.

Adding a filter

There are a number of ways to add a filter starting from default filtration methods to input fields to a timeline. If you click the edit button, you can see the filter format.

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A tree map shows the top provinces by sales. Each province contains information on variation similarly to the KPI cards. The map allows filtering by provinces.

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On the right of the tree map there is a profit dynamics chart. The chart has a dynamic axis which allows choosing the time period in time series charts. Time series graphs in SAP can show a forecast. The forecast is done automatically using built-in algorithms. In our case, triple exponential smoothing was chosen. When hovering over the forecasted point, we can see upper and lower confidence bounds.

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In the next part of the dashboard we can see the products and customers analysis section.

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Here you can see that products are displayed in a list without any hierarchy. To activate the hierarchy we need to change the dimension properties and set the hierarchy.

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By default, the first level is displayed. We can change the level and see the products by category. Moreover, the bars are filters for the table on the right.

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Smart Insight

One of the interesting features in SAP is smart insight. SAP automatically analyses the value and builds charts to provide more insights. For example, if I want to see what contributed to high level of furniture sales, I can click on smart insights and see the following results:

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The feature is very handy as the insights are not simple graphs, but they are connected to each other and show a story. The insights allow us to interact with the data and explore it deeper. We can later add these insights into our visualization. This feature can also be used on a new dataset and empty dashboard to explore the data without building anything.

The whole dashboard was built in a responsive view mode so it will be automatically adapted to different screens. Some visualizations like tables are not adapted for the mobile screen, so we can hide them for mobile screens.

We can save the dashboard in the catalog and add it to favourites. Unfortunately, the functionality of the system doesn’t allow posting dashboards on public sources. But we hope that with new releases the feature will appear.

Last but not least, the dashboard has been created in Russian and when we needed to translate it into English SAP multi language feature came very handy. We can choose the target language and translate all the text. Then the dashboard will be displayed in a language based on the user’s location.

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We have evaluated the dashboard together with Alexey (his scores in brackets) and received the following results:
Meets the tasks – 9.8 (10)
Learning curve  – 6.5 (7)
Tool functionality – 9.8 (9)
Ease of use – 8.2 (8)
Compliance with the layout – 9.3 (10)
Visual evaluation – 8.6 (9)

Overall: 8.71 out of 10. Have a look at the final results:

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 133   4 mon   BI-tools   SAP
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