BO Explorer - Lenoir-Rhyne University

BO Explorer - Lenoir-Rhyne University

Expert Techniques to Design an Xcelsius Dashboard Dr. Bjarne Berg 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 2 What Well 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 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 Examples for Accelerators: Project Plan, Estimating Design Strategies, Scope Definition Documentation, Issues Db Fill

Fillin inthe theBlank Blank Versus Versus Start from Scratch Start from Scratch Workshop Agenda Questionnaires End-User Procedures Test Plans Technical Procedures Made Easy guidebooks (printout, data transfer, system administration) Source: SAP

The challenge with ASAP is that users dont know what they want until they see it 4 The ASAP Methodology Approach Integration Testing Create Technical specs Create Functional specs No System Testing Complete? No Yes

Unit Testing Complete? Yes Configuration Yes Peer Review No Approved? Peer Review Yes No Complete?

No Yes Approved? Structured walkthrough No Complete? Yes Structured walkthrough 5 Where Do You Start First Alternative

Re a le xa mp le 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

Building a Mockup in Excel Re al e xa mp le If you can make a mockup in Excel, users can see what it may look like in Xcelsius Users can now see what it may look like 7 Prototyping the Dashboard Requirements

Re al e xa mp le Once the brainstorming is completed, you can create data in Excel and prototype the solution in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards It can be very time consuming to get the requirements right 8 A 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

Interactive development Orientation meeting - high-level scope agreement Demo accelerator dashboards in scope Show dashboard in weekly UAT sessions Request enhancements and new features Make enhancements Performance enhancements backend & front/end

Unit test 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. System test Integration test Go-Live What Well 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 10 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. 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 12 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 Formatted Number Based Dashboards Some dashboards may have little navigation and be number or key performance indicator (KPI) based similar to Crystal Reports Static information

Basic graphing of key numbers KPIs 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 A Real-World Example This project is for travel expense analysis The color codes communicate changes, yearover-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 16 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 17 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 Dont cram too much into a single dashboard. Plan on multiple

dashboards for each business area. 18 A Real-World Example (cont.) Changes over time are typically tracked in the dashboards Dont 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. 19 Dynamic Dashboard Option for Power Users 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. 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. 20 The Measures can now be selected to be displayed

Step 4 Select available key figures to display on chart. 21 The Next Step is just to refresh the display Step 6 Update the Key Figures to add more key figures. Step 5 Select available key figures to display on chart. 22 Adding more measures to the display and rearranging them Step 8 Move SNP Forecast (MT) to the top of the list for a

higher priority. Step 7 Add Revenue to selected Key Figures Then click update 23 The Output 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. 24

Controlling Characteristics Step 11 Select Xref, a custom characteristic to describe a material hierarchy. Step 12 Select Mesh and CLICK apply 25 Key Figures are now filtered based on the selection 26 Saving a Personalized View Step 13 Save this view as Mesh and Mas Dashboard Step 14 Enter name and save, and this

become your personal selfservice dashboard view! 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 28 Mobile 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 Apples iPad. 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

The Strategic Dashboard Release Plan The strategic dashboard plan should clearly map out the vision for the next 24-36 months Freight costs dashboard Cost analysis dashboard COPA Profitability dashboard Product profitability dashboard Phase -2 enhancements Billing overview dashboard Billing analysis dashboard Billing Billing errors dashboard Phase -2 enhancements Order dashboard Order Order trend dashboard Phase -2 enhancements AR overview dashboard Past due dashboard AR Aging dashboard

Phase -2 enhancements AP aging dashboard Discounts taken dashboard AP Travel expense dashboard Phase -2 enhancements ... Dec Oct Nov Aug Sept July May

June April March Feb Jan Dec Oct Nov Sept July

2014 Aug June May April Feb March Jan Dec Nov Oct

Sept 2013 Aug July June May April March Dashboard Jan Area

Feb 2012 ! ! ! ! ! Make sure you add the phase-2 timeline for all areas, plan for enhancements, and communicate this early to all users 30 The Dashboard Deployment Diagram The dashboard deployment diagram provides an overview of who

has access to each dashboard You should also provide a similar diagram that shows who can grant access to the dashboards. These are called dashboard owners. 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 32 What Well 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 33 Dashboard Objects That Can Cause Slow Performance

These are dashboard objects that you need to carefully consider before employing 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. 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. Output Area (Sizing Results) Download it: http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/ index?rid=/library/uuid/1055c55 0-ce45-2f10-22ad-a6050fff97f1 Input Areas (items and users)

This tool can help you size your BI 4.0 environments with a few key assumptions and inputs. 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 Expert

Users Users 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. 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. 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. 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 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 42 Example of Dashboard Performance Foundation Re al e

xa mp le 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 43 Dashboard Performance Architecture another example

In this example, the company uses snapshots for performance reasons Dashboards for executive users Re al e xa mp le 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) 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 6. 7. 8. 9. objects, sorts, size of result set, and simplification opportunities In-memory review Look at cache usage, hit rations, and SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator usage Review data sources Examine if snapshots can be leveraged and look for possibilities to create aggregates Examine compatibilities between browsers, Flash, and Microsoft office versions 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) 45 What Well 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 46 BI 4.0 and Deployment Demo 47 What Well 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 48 Additional Resources Creating Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects (2nd Edition)

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook http://scn.sap.com/community/bi-dashboards SAP User Interface Guidelines for Crystal Dashboard Design David Lai and Xavier Hacking, 354 pages, ISBN: 1849681783, Packt Publishing (May 23, 2011) SDN Community for Dashboard design

Ray Li and Evan Delodder, 650 pages, ISBN-10: 1592294103 , SAP Press (April 6, 2012) https://cw.sdn.sap.com/cw/docs/DOC-142813 SAP Crystal Dashboard Design & Presentation Design 2011 Samples http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/index?rid=/library/uuid/40245c5e-767d-2e10-e4b2c779cf05d753 49 7 Key Points to Take Home

Getting the right requirements require prototyping and interactive sessions with end users Plan on many dashboards and dont 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 selfservice for your organization. 50

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