I started my Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) journey in April of 2010 with my participation in Jason Cao’s Xcelsius Challenge. Jason and Mico had kindly said some good words for my efforts. Things went kind of quiet after that on this front for me, until early this year when one of our User Groups (Environmental Health and Safety – EHS) wanted a dashboard to drive Incidents’ reporting in various plants of the organization. A few people at our SAP Competency Center had seen my Xcelsius Challenge dashboard. I was roped-in, to work part-time. We went live this month with the dashboard shown above. I have removed the company logos.
My experience may be useful for a SAP-BW professional looking to use Dashboard Design to develop decent-looking dashboards with moderate effort. A Web Developer may be able to produce more exotic dashboards using additional custom code, with the BW professional providing the data connection queries.
EHS reporting was not being done out of BW, but out of ECC6. A full-fledged EHS BW implementation was not immediately on the cards, either. It was decided to build a couple of Infoproviders to bring in Incidents and Safety Measures data separately into BW and have a MultiProvider over it. No issues there.
Our BW system is 7.01 with Dashboard being Xcelsius 2008 Enterprise. This afforded us direct data connectivity with BW BEx queries.
The next step was to build the required BEx Queries over the MultiProvider. The output from these queries were directly embedded (copy+paste) in the Dashboard spreadsheet. The required development was then done with static data. The look and feel was accepted by the Customer after a couple of iterations.
Subsequently, the Data Connections were set up with the above queries and the output mapped to the appropriate cell locations on the spreadsheet. There was some challenge here as the structure of the data delivered through the data connection was a little different from the output of running BEx queries on RRMX. But, that could be readily understood from the Crosstab definition and the Data Preview output. There was again some challenge in getting ‘All’ values in the two filters used.
The dashboard receives Incidents reporting data of the ‘Current Year’ and ‘Previous Year’ and depicts the KPIs for ‘All’ Quarters and ‘All’ Plants on different ‘tabs’. The filters would allow looking at KPIs for a combination of different Quarters and Plants. The ‘Documentation’ link opens up a Web Application Designer page with the definitions of the KPIs. The ‘Detailed Analysis’ link opens up a BEx Query.