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Getting started with Cloud for Analytics: Part 3 – Creating a Story (Dashboard)

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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  • 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.