Following on from Part 1 and Part 2 where we manually created a Model for analytics and loaded it with data, we’ll now take a look at the final step which is to build a dashboard in order to visualise the data.

 

Dashboards within Cloud for Analytics are known as Stories and to get started we’ll navigate to the Stories area in the solution and chose to create a new story.

Pic 1 - Stories.png

 

Next we’ll choose the storage path (public, team or private document) and specify a Title and Description (optional) before clicking on Create.

Pic 2 - Create New Story.png

 

Next up is our starting point. We have the option to Import data (creating a new or using an existing one), add a Canvas (a page within our dashboard in which we can add a number of visualisations component) or a Grid (a page which is a full page spreadsheet to allow us to consume tabular data only). We’ll go for Import Data to begin with.

Pic 3 - Start the Story.png

 

We’ll then chose the Use existing data option to connect to our model which we can then select.

Pic 4 - Use existing data.png

 

We can select the model we have already created and loaded with data.

Pic 5 - Add Data.png

 

We then get taken into the data exploration area where we have a BusinessObjects Explorer style interface to be able to explore the data by selecting the required Measures & Dimensions.

Pic 6 - Exploration.png

 

There’s also the ability to change the chart type and then add it to our story (either to the default created Page 1 or to a new page).

Pic 7 - Change chart.png

 

After changing the chart and adding to Page 1 of the canvas, we’re then taken to Page 1 in Designer mode.

Pic 8 - Canvas.png

 

 

We’re then able to perform a number of different tasks, such as (but not limited to):

  • Position & re-size objects
  • Maintain pages (add, rename etc.)
  • Link data models
  • Create KPIs (conditional formatting)
  • Share
  • Discuss (collaboration)
  • Add new components
  • Configure components (fields used, formatting, linking, scaling etc).
  • Apply rankings

 

Using the designer panel I changed my first chart component to change the two measures to be on separate axis and adjusted the colours (you can use the colour palettes or define colours specifically for each series).

Pic 9 - Chart formatting.png

 

 

In terms of the components that can be added to the story, the list below shows the current options available.

Pic 10 - Components.png

 

After adding some additional components in the page of the story, including a Geo Map (possible through the use of the City dimension which I linked to a longitude and latitude in the modelling stage in Part 1) and changing the name of the page my completed story looked like below:

Pic 11 - Complete Story.png

 

I only used data from my single model in this example but we have the capability to consume multiple models across the pages through the various components as well as the ability to link the models together.

 

 

Thanks for reading this blog series. Some further posts on the other various capabilities of the solution to follow in the very near future.

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7 Comments

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  1. Andries Van Den Berg

    Hi,

    I have been playing around with some of the data entry options and I would be interested in your views from a planning perspective. I find the functionality still to be a little “light” with regards to when you do things like: Copy & Past, trying perform a rolling forecast, populating budget values.

    I really appears like C4A was intended to absorb planning and forecast data from BPC/Excel 1st and then you are encouraged to tweak this data, rather than you can use C4A as a budgeting & forecasting tool exclusively.

    Looking forward to getting your views.

    Regards,
    Andries

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    1. Matt Potts Post author

      Hi Andries,

      My view is that you can use C4A Planning to exclusively build a full end to end planning model and process (with a mix of the input, allocation and input task capabilities) for a relevant scenario.

      It’s fair to say at this stage of the product’s lifecyle that it’s by no means a replacement for BW-IP or BPC funtionality and is therefore a ‘planning lite’ option. I think it sits perfectly as a business led planning tool with the ability to easily create plans and visualise this with actuals. The ability to import and export data to and from BPC also means an alternative interface to BPC planning.

      SAP’s roadmap on planning in C4A is to bring it up to BPC standards/scale so we’re just at the beginning of the journey.

      Best regards,

      Matt

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      1. Andries Van Den Berg

        Hi John,

        It is my experience that when you copy a value and try to paste it to multiple cells, it only pastes the value to the first cell in the range. Do you have a different experience?

        I am using Ctrl + C & Ctrl + V, which seem like the OK thing to do based on your screenshots.

        Regards,
        Andries

        (0) 

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