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Expert Techniques to Design an Xcelsius Dashboard Dr. Bjarne Berg.

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Presentation on theme: "Expert Techniques to Design an Xcelsius Dashboard Dr. Bjarne Berg."— Presentation transcript:

1 Expert Techniques to Design an Xcelsius Dashboard Dr. Bjarne Berg

2 1 In This Session … Best practices to design SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards How to get the right requirements for your dashboards How to conduct design for performance and size your system accordingly Take a look at common design challenges See several sample designs and demos of good operational, management and formatted dashboards, as well as dashboards in BI Workspaces and the BI Launchpad

3 2 What We’ll Cover … Overview Getting the right Requirements (ASAP, RAD and Agile) Dashboard Design Considerations Performance Testing and Performance Design The BI 4.0 Environment and Dashboard Deployments Wrap-up

4 3 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

5 4 The ASAP Methodology Approach 4

6 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 Real example

7 6 Building a Mockup in Excel If you can make a “mockup” in Excel, users can see what it may look like in Xcelsius 6 Users can now see what it may look like Real example

8 7 Prototyping the Dashboard Requirements Once the brainstorming is completed, you can create data in Excel and prototype the solution in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 7 It can be very time consuming to get the requirements right Real example

9 Interactive development 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 A Dashboard Accelerator Approach – Agile, JAD and RAD 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 & front/end Unit test System test Integration testGo-Live

10 9 What We’ll Cover … Overview Getting the right Requirements (ASAP, RAD and Agile) Dashboard Design Considerations Performance Testing and Performance Design The BI 4.0 Environment and Dashboard Deployments Wrap-up

11 Creating a Dashboard Standards A Dashboard template should be developed that standardize the font, colors, button locations, navigations and tabs. Spend serious time on this, it should become the global standard for all your dashboards.

12 Divide and Get Performance Drill-down options Link to Details WebI reports Split your dashboards into logical units and get new data when drilldowns are executed. This keeps the result set for each query small and also decreases the load time for each dashboard 11

13 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

14 Formatted Number Based Dashboards Some dashboards may have little navigation and be number or key performance indicator (KPI) based similar to Crystal Reports KPIs Static information Basic graphing of key numbers

15 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), see performance numbers relative to plan, budgets and prior years are critical functionalities

16 15 A Real-World Example This project is for travel expense analysis The color codes communicate changes, year- over-year Graphs can be displayed 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

17 A Real-World Example (cont.) 16 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

18 A Real-World Example (cont.) 17 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.

19 A Real-World Example (cont.) 18 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 we added filter selections. Use these carefully, since they are slow and make Flash files large.

20 19 Step 1 – Provide a self service option to select a group of any of the many key figures available from a SAP BEx Query Step 3 - Self service option to select any range of dates or selections. The dashboard is design 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 also IE: Month, Plant, Material Group, etc. Dynamic Dashboard Option for Power Users

21 20 Step 4 – Select available key figures to display on chart. The Measures can now be selected to be displayed

22 21 Step 5 –Select available key figures to display on chart. Step 6 – Update the Key Figures to add more key figures. The Next Step is just to refresh the display

23 22 Step 7 – Add Revenue to selected Key Figures Step 8 - Move SNP Forecast (MT) to the top of the list for a higher priority. Then click update Adding more measures to the display and rearranging them

24 23 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

25 24 Step 11 – Select Xref, a custom characteristic to describe a material hierarchy. Step 12 – Select Mesh and CLICK ‘apply’ Controlling Characteristics

26 25 Key Figures are now filtered based on the selection

27 26 Step 14 – Enter name and save, and this become your personal self- service dashboard view! Step 13– Save this view as ‘Mesh and Mas Dashboard’ Saving a Personalized View

28 27 Online Help System for Your Dashboards Online help is available for each dashboard The online help system explain  How numbers are calculated  How to read graphs  What functionality is embedded

29 Mobile With Flash version 11 installed, all dashboards may be rendered on a mobile device using the Microsoft or Android based operating systems Further optimization is also possible for older devices with low memory or low network capacity Dashboards are web based and may be rendered on a mobile device. Devices that do not support Flash, can use HTML-5 based dashboards in the future, or you can download software tools such as Xwis to assist with the rendering on tools such as Apple’s iPad.

30 29 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

31 30 The Dashboard Deployment Diagram The dashboard deployment diagram provides an overview of who has access to each dashboard 30 You should also provide a similar diagram that shows who can grant access to the dashboards. These are called “dashboard owners.”

32 31 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

33 32 What We’ll Cover … Overview Getting the right Requirements (ASAP, RAD and Agile) Dashboard Design Considerations Performance Testing and Performance Design The BI 4.0 Environment and Dashboard Deployments Wrap-up

34 These are dashboard objects that you need to carefully consider before employing Dashboard Objects That Can Cause Slow Performance 33

35 34 Excel Performance Considerations — What to Avoid The logic you build into your Excel spreadsheet is also compiled into the Flash file when you export it Since some “daisy-chain” functions are very time consuming, you should be careful not to add too many conditions in the data  Lookup functions and conditioning that should be avoided include:  Lookups  Mid strings (MID)  Right and left strings (RIGHT/LEFT)  Horizontal Lookups (HLOOKUP)  Vertical Lookups (VLOOKUP)  Condition  General conditioning (IF)  Count if a condition is true (COUNTIF)  Sum if a condition is true (SUMIF) Complex logic and nested logic create large SWF files and take a long time to open. Try to keep as much of the calculations and logic in the query instead of the spreadsheet.

36 35 The BO Sizing for Performance Dashboards SAP has provided a sizing tool for the BI environments. It is based on Flash and is actually a dashboard itself. Download it: index?rid=/library/uuid/1055c55 0-ce45-2f10-22ad-a6050fff97f1 This tool can help you size your BI 4.0 environments with a few key assumptions and inputs. Output Area (Sizing Results) Input Areas (items and users)

37 36 The Sizing Tool – Entering Users First, you have to enter the estimated active concurrent users (ACU) for the following user types: Information Consumers Business Users Expert Users

38 37 Dashboard User Classification The tool provides on-line definitions of the user types and guidelines on how to determine Active Concurrent Users (ACU). This is defined as approximate 10% of the active users. Many dashboard users is large organizations may be classified as Information Consumers. They may not wait 5 minutes between clicks, but typically do little drill-down and filtering.

39 38 Dashboard Size Impacts The next step is to make an assumption on the size of dashboards. The sizing tool classifies small dashboards as having 25 rows in the result set, medium having 250, and large dashboards having 2,500 rows. Assumptions: the tool was based on supporting two queries per dashboards, and benchmarked was for accessing two relational data sources. One with 6 dimensions with 77,000 entries and 400,000 line items, and one with 6 dimensions with 7,000 rows and 40,000 line items.

40 39 Dashboard Environment Sizing Output The output of the tool is measured in SAP Application Performance Standard (SAPS). 100 SAPS is defined as 2,000 fully business processed order line items per hour. It is a measure that hardware vendors can use to decide which of their configurations can meet your performance requirements. All hardware vendors are familiar with this measure and this is what you will provide them when requesting a hardware quote.

41 40 Memory Requirements for Dashboards and BI 4.x The sizing tool also provide a sizing estimate for the hardware memory required for each of the tiers. This is measured in Gigabytes

42 41 Saving Your Assumptions and Results Your BI and dashboard sizing effort can be saved or printed from the tool and you can have many scenarios

43 42 Example of Dashboard Performance Foundation Modularize the data and create sub-sets of data for really fast dashboarding Generic “metrics” data tables can be created for summarized KPI and scorecard dashboards The summary, or snapshot data can be accessed much faster than underlying data tables with millions of records Real example

44 43 Dashboard Performance Architecture – another example In this example, the company uses snapshots for performance reasons  Dashboards for executive users  Pre-delivered SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports for casual users  Ad hoc SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports for power users The dashboards are only built on the low-volume daily snapshot cube (this is also placed in SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator for very high performance) Real example

45 44 The Dashboard Performance Checklist 1. The hardware servers — Check sizing 2. The server locations and networks — Check loads 3. Query review — Look at database & calculation time, & design 4. Interface review — Make sure you are using the best for the data source 5. Dashboard review — Look at Excel logic, container usage, number of Flash objects, sorts, size of result set, and simplification opportunities 6. In-memory review — Look at cache usage, hit rations, and SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator usage 7. Review data sources — Examine if snapshots can be leveraged and look for possibilities to create aggregates 8. Examine compatibilities between browsers, Flash, and Microsoft office versions 9. Review PC performance issues — Memory, disk, and processors Performance is complex, look at more than one area (e.g., Web portal bottlenecks and LDAP servers)

46 45 What We’ll Cover … Overview Getting the right Requirements (ASAP, RAD and Agile) Dashboard Design Considerations Performance Testing and Performance Design The BI 4.0 Environment and Dashboard Deployments Wrap-up

47 46 BI 4.0 and Deployment Demo

48 47 What We’ll Cover … Overview Getting the right Requirements (ASAP, RAD and Agile) Dashboard Design Considerations Performance Testing and Performance Design The BI 4.0 Environment and Dashboard Deployments Wrap-up

49 48 Additional Resources Creating Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects (2nd Edition)  Ray Li and Evan Delodder, 650 pages, ISBN-10: , SAP Press (April 6, 2012) SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook  David Lai and Xavier Hacking, 354 pages, ISBN: , Packt Publishing (May 23, 2011) SDN Community for Dashboard design  SAP User Interface Guidelines for Crystal Dashboard Design  https://cw.sdn.sap.com/cw/docs/DOC SAP Crystal Dashboard Design & Presentation Design 2011 Samples  c779cf05d753

50 49 7 Key Points to Take Home Getting the right requirements require 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, executives and power users Link WebI reports to the dashboards and keep the detailed information in those The SAP 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.


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