1 In This Session … In this two-part session we will look at how you can make your dashboards a success Get best practice rules for branding, layout, and dashboard templates Learn how to get the right dashboard requirements and how to use Rapid Application Development (RAD) Explore the best items to deploy on mobile platforms Step through many practical demos of well-designed dashboards for finance, sales, purchasing, what-if analysis, BPC reporting, variance analysis, and more
2 What We’ll Cover … Introduction Use of different templates for different purposes Picking the right dashboard methodology Mobilizing your dashboards Dashboard deployment options Wrap-up
3 Intro and Background In this special 2-part session, we will explore SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, not SAP Design Studio Distinction SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards is intended for business- driven or BI self-service dashboards SAP Design Studio is intended for “professionally authored or power/IT-built dashboards” (Source: Adam Binnie, Global VP SAP, ASUG News 2012) This is Part 1 of a 2-part session. For more information, attend the Special 2-part session: Part 2: SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards best practices: Top 20 factors that affect your dashboard usability, integration, and performance session.
4 What We’ll Cover … Introduction Use of different templates for different purposes Picking the right dashboard methodology Mobilizing your dashboards Dashboard deployment options Wrap-up
5 Creating Dashboard Standards A dashboard template should be developed that standardizes the font, colors, button locations, navigations, and tabs. Spend serious time on this, it should become the global standard for all your dashboards.
6 Divide and Get Performance Drill-down options Link to Details WebI reports Split your dashboards into logical units. This keeps the result set for each query small and also decreases the load time for each dashboard.
7 Build Several Dashboards for Each Functional Area Avoid trying to create a single dashboard for each functional area You will normally need 3-5 dashboards for areas such as accounts receivables, accounts payables, purchasing, sales orders, invoices, shipping, etc. Build 2 to 5 WebI reports for more details and link them to the dashboards so that navigation is easy for end users
8 Formatted Dashboard Example Dashboards can also be highly formatted and static with little user interaction In this dashboard we included some KPIs and only the balance sheet for an organization, instead of using Crystal Reports for this sort of work Not all dashboards have a high degree of navigation and images. For finance dashboards, presenting the numbers in a meaningful way may be more important.
9 Senior Management — Graphical Dashboards Dashboards for the senior management should be very graphically oriented Consider using logos and images instead of text for this purpose Navigation should be very simple For senior managers, the ability to interact with the data (what-if), and see performance numbers relative to plan, budgets, and prior years are critical functionalities
10 Operational Dashboards Dashboards can be operational This dashboard focuses on billing disputes and is used to monitor closing of cases The users of this dashboard are clerks in the billing office, not executives Some dashboards are operational in nature and give a summary of the key metrics and new cases as they occur. Such dashboards works best when data is refreshed often or real-time.
11 A Real-World Example This project is for travel expense analysis The color codes communicate changes, year over year Graphs can be displayed in many ways Navigation can be done and can get new query result sets This dashboard is based only on BW query and BICS connector; the cube is in SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator and the dashboard therefore loads in less than 12 seconds
12 A Real-World Example (cont.) Dashboards are most useful when compared to something This dashboard is relative to a budget Notice that all graphs can be displayed in many ways and that color coding is consistent across the dashboards Make sure layout, buttons, and colors are consistently used
13 A Real-World Example (cont.) This dashboard groups six different categories and over 30 lines into an easily readable table using a few lines and mostly colors Too many lines and incorrect use of “bold” makes dashboards very hard to read Don’t cram too much into a single dashboard. Plan on multiple dashboards for each business area.
14 A Real-World Example (cont.) Changes over time are typically tracked in the dashboards Don’t just present numbers, plan on only showing changes I.e., in amounts and percentages In this dashboard, the graphs are sometimes hard to read, so filter selections were added. Use these carefully, since they are slow and make Flash files large.
15 Sharing Your Work Products — Web Services Dashboards are most useful when shared with others Power users can create great departmental dashboards that can be shared inside smaller organizational units In this dashboard, the data is merged with Google maps and external news feeds. This makes the dashboard much more interactive and interesting.
16 Live Demo: Six Types of Interactive Dashboards
17 BI Self-Service — A Concept Enabled by SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 A new perspective is the idea that users can do much of their own “development” work The Launch Pad is intended to make this easier. Users can: Use multiple tabs to work on several documents at the same time Search for what they are looking for and filter results The idea is to have a single launch item for all reports and analysis. Many call this a “report center.”
18 Step 1 – Provide a self-service option to select a group of any of the many key figures available from a BEx query. Step 3 – Self-service option to select any range of dates or selections. The dashboard is designed to limit 13 characteristic key figures though. Step 2 – Self-service to select any characteristic to filter on. Can select multiple characteristics to filter on, i.e., Month, Plant, Material Group, etc. Dynamic Dashboard Option for Power Users
19 Step 4 – Select available key figures to display on chart The Measures Can Now Be Selected to Be Displayed
20 Step 5 – Select available key figures to display on the chart Step 6 – Update the key figures to add more key figures The Next Step Is Just to Refresh the Display
21 Step 7 – Add “Revenue” to selected key figures Step 8 – Move “SNP Forecast (MT)” to the top of the list for a higher priority Click update Adding More Measures to the Display and Rearranging Them
22 Step 9 – Notice “SNP Forecast (MT)” moved to the top and now has numbers on the chart Step 10 – “Revenue” is now a selectable option The Output
23 Step 11 – Select “Xref,” a custom characteristic to describe a material hierarchy Step 12 – Select “MESH” and click Apply Controlling Characteristics
24 Key Figures Are Now Filtered Based on the Selection
25 Step 14 – Enter name and save, and this become your personal self- service dashboard view! Step 13 – Save this view as “Mesh and Mes Dashboard” Saving a Personalized View
26 What We’ll Cover … Introduction Use of different templates for different purposes Picking the right dashboard methodology Mobilizing your dashboards Dashboard deployment options Wrap-up
27 The “Waterfall Methodologies” Are Not Good for Dashboards The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methodologies, such as ASAP, are known collectively as “waterfall methodologies” They give a false sense of clear-cut stages and do not address substantial functionality changes during development It is hard to fix missing functionality during integration testing The waterfall The challenge with ASAP is that users don’t know what they want until they see it … Source: SAP
28 The ASAP Methodology Overview
29 Get a group of five to seven people for a brainstorming session Draw the solution, knowing that it may look somewhat different once developed Focus on the use of space, graphs, navigation, available data, and the purpose of the dashboards Do not design fixed format “reports” Where Do You Start — First Alternative
30 Building a Mockup in Excel If you can make a “mockup” in Excel, users can see what it may look like in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (formerly Xcelsius) Users can now see what it may look like
31 Prototyping the Dashboard Requirements Once the brainstorming is completed, you can create data in Excel and prototype the solution in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards It may be time consuming to get the requirements right
32 Interactive development Dashboard Accelerator Approach — Agile, JAD, and RAD A Dashboard Accelerator is a group of bought or pre-developed dashboards, to help companies develop their dashboards faster following a Rapid Application Development (RAD), JAD, or Agile methodology No functional specs are written and the development time for a subject area can be as little as 4-10 weeks depending on back-end enhancements required and scope Orientation meeting - High-level scope agreement Demo accelerator dashboards in scope Request enhancements and new features Make enhancements Show dashboard in weekly UAT sessions Performance enhancements backend & frontend Unit test System test Integration testGo-Live
33 Framework for Picking a Dashboard Methodology I.e. Scrum and Agile
34 The Gray Areas of Dashboard Methodologies While presented as clearly delineated areas of selection, there are, in fact, several dimensions when multiple methodologies can be employed I.e., when time to delivery is moderate or when the impact of failure is moderate The framework is intended to illustrate the differences among the appropriateness of each methodology This decision is clearer in the extreme. However, in reality there may be “gray zones” where more than one answer may be correct The framework is intended to illustrate the differences among the appropriateness of each methodology This decision is clearer in the extreme. However, in reality there may be “gray zones” where more than one answer may be correct
35 What We’ll Cover … Introduction Use of different templates for different purposes Picking the right dashboard methodology Mobilizing your dashboards Dashboard deployment options Wrap-up
36 Supported HTML5 Objects for Mobile Dashboards SP05 also uses a new mobile-only preview mode. This shows dashboards as they will appear on the iPad before you deploy them. In Service Pack 5 for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, there is currently some support for a number of mobile dashboard elements. These are the most commonly utilized elements. This means that many of your current dashboards can be converted to mobile with minimal effort.
37 Mobile — Some HTML5 Limitations as of SP05 The trick is to use the features supported today and find workarounds for those currently not available Some items to note about SP05 The exclusion of some mobile elements, such as a prompt selector There are no calendar controls, and HTML text for labels is not supported Connections in the data manager is only available in the pre-query panel, and only the “NOVA” theme is supported on mobile devices There is no support for the prompt selector for hierarchies in SP05, nor are “reset” and “save scenario” available Another major component that is not currently available in SP05 is spreadsheet tables, making tables harder to make However, SAP supports the use of the URL button in mobile dashboards, so we are making progress
38 Conversion of Dashboards to Mobile When converting, the new “Mobile Compatibility” tab displays suggestions and warnings for optimizing dashboard components for mobile deployment Warnings, as shown in this picture, simply mean that there are better ways of doing this. The dashboard still works. Error messages mean that it will not work and needs some redesign.
39 Using the Right Fonts for Mobile Dashboards SAP has communicated that in the long run, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards and SAP Design Studio will start sharing more objects and be on the same framework (source: Eamon Ida, Mobile-specific text fonts are marked with “iOS 5+” to show which fonts will work best on your dashboard
40 What We’ll Cover … Introduction Use of different templates for different purposes Picking the right dashboard methodology Mobilizing your dashboards Dashboard deployment options Wrap-up
41 The Strategic Dashboard Release Plan The strategic dashboard plan should clearly map out the vision for the next months Make sure you add the “phase-2” timeline for all areas, plan for enhancements, and communicate this early to all users
42 Create a Dashboard Deployment Diagram The dashboard deployment diagram provides an overview of who has access to each dashboard. It is not a security role design (yet). You should also provide a similar diagram that shows who can grant access to the dashboards. These are called “dashboard owners.”
43 The Business Readiness Dashboard Checklist The purpose of the business readiness dashboard checklist is to make sure that a project is not merely an afterthought with little visibility, zero real sponsorship, and has a lack of communication, support, training, and organizational commitment There are reasons why many dashboard projects fail
44 Create an Online Help System for Your Dashboards Online help should be available for each dashboard The online help system should explain: How numbers are calculated How to read graphs What functionality is embedded
45 Another Example of Online Help for Dashboards In this example we have a help dashboard with one display for each graph, panel, and major functionality Online help is especially useful for complex dashboards with many panels
46 Accessing My Dashboards in a Meaningful Way
47 BI Workspaces and Modules BI Workspaces allow you to link many SAP BI tools in the same area, without the need to jump between them. In this workspace, we have 3 dashboards, 1 WebI report, 1 Analysis report, and 1 Crystal Report running at the same time.
48 BI Workspaces and Modules (cont.) We can also link the objects (WebI, Crystal Reports) in a workspace together and pass variables and navigation between some of them This alleviates some of the task of opening and running the workspace every day
49 We can use modules to make the objects more interesting and add comments to them You can access modules from the “my application” area There are two types of modules: Text modules Compound modules Modules
50 Using the Text module, we can add our comments and update them whenever we like There are two options: Regular text HTML (this allows you to use HTML tags to format your text The Text Module
51 Using the Compound module we display many modules together, this includes text, dashboards, WebI reports, Crystal Reports, and Analysis for OLAP The development of compound modules are so simple that anyone with MS Word or PowerPoint skills can do learn it in less than five minutes! The Compound Module
52 Demo: BI Workspace and Modules
53 Who Gets to Do What? The major decision for an SAP BI-driven enterprise is to determine who gets access to each tool There is often a temptation for the IT community of wanting to keep the tools under their domain – That is a mistake The IT community should actively work with the power and casual users to improve human capabilities and thereby teach them to become more productive employees Chinese Proverb
54 What Tool to Select All SAP tools have core strengths This is a subjective summary
55 What We’ll Cover … Introduction Use of different templates for different purposes Picking the right dashboard methodology Mobilizing your dashboards Dashboard deployment options Wrap-up
56 Where to Find More Information Ray Li and Evan DeLodder, Creating Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects (2nd Edition) (SAP PRESS, 2012). ISBN-10: David Lai and Xavier Hacking, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook (Packt Publishing, 2011). ISBN: SDN Community for BI Dashboard design Anita Yuen, “SAP User Interface Guidelines for Crystal Dashboard Design” (SAP Collaboration Workspace, 2011). https://cw.sdn.sap.com/cw/docs/DOC Blair Wheadon, “SAP Crystal Dashboard Design 2011 and Presentation Design 2011 Samples” (SCN, 2011). c779cf05d753
57 7 Key Points to Take Home Getting the right requirements requires prototyping and interactive sessions with end users Plan on many dashboards and don’t force too much information into a single design Build different layouts for casual users, executives, and power users Link WebI reports to the dashboards and keep the detailed information in those reports The SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0x platform should be the preferred choice to deploy your dashboards Avoid certain components of the tool and stay with “default” templates for simplified design (i.e., NOVA) Plan your dashboard deployment as a larger initiative of BI self- service for your organization
58 Your Turn! How to contact me: Dr. Bjarne Berg Please remember to complete your session evaluation
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