In 2011 the Business Process Operations dashboard was shipped to customers. Since then several new features have been provided and especially we met many customers and learned how they use those dashboards for their respective Business Process Improvement activities. One key element is always to provide meaningful dashboards to the senior management so that everybody in the organisation can check where (further) progress is required or achieved. This blog shares this Best Practice knowledge derived over the years.

  1. Setup analytical key figure instances (AKFIs) where you select which key figures should be displayed and how they should be filtered and which threshold values should be defined (either count based or value based)
  2. Define a panel and assign one or several AKFIs to the panel. The panel defines how the data should be visualized within a dashboard. The clear best practice for Business Process Improvement related panels is the chart type Dynamic Rating Table 2
  3. Define a dashboard and assign one or several panels
  4. In order to limit the information for management on the initial entry of the dashboard, you should create virtual characteristics. This also allows a reporting on region, markets or business units et.al.
  5. After you created the virtual characteristics, you have to assign them either as Characteristic for Category and/or Characteristic for Drilldown in the respective AKFI (see step 1). So it is possible to use one virtual characteristic (e.g. market) as category and at the same time a second virtual characteristic (e.g. business unit) as drilldown. Only when the virtual characteristics are assigned to an AKFI, they will show up as column or row in the dynamic rating table 2 (see step 2).
  6. If you want to provide further drilldown navigation capabilities within the dashboard, then you can make use of so-called parent/child panel relationships.
  7. Ideally copy an existing AKFI. The copy activity will not only take over the correct key figure, but also the corresponding filtering and threshold values from the parent AKFI. In the newly created child AKFI you just change the Characteristic for Category or Characteristic for Drilldown where you want to see some different (more granular) information, e.g. in the parent AKFI you split by region (NA, LATAM, EMEA, APJ) and in the new child AKFI you split the same data by sales organisation. The only other mandatory change in the child AFKI is that you define aone or two so-called runtime filters on the characteristic that you click on in the parent (in our example you would need a runtime filter on the virtual characteristic for region).
  8. Create a new child panel – typically also with chart type Dynamic Rating Table 2. The new child panel gets the child AKFI assigned (see step 7).
  9. Now go back to the parent panel (see step 2) and assign the child panel from step 8 as so-called Detail Panel.
  10. If further drilldowns shall be provided, then repeat steps 7-9 accordingly.

By doing this you created a Management Dashboard for a selected number of key figures that would allow a global overview across region or markets and where the manager could further drilldown on demand and see details according to sales organisations or document types.

Note: If your dashboard shall also display some BEx query data coming from an external SAP BW, then this is also possible. Read here how it is done.

Now if you build the URL like

http://<server>:<port>/sap/bc/webdynpro/sap/ags_ri_dashboard?PIF_DASHBOARD_TECHNAME=<technical name of the dashboard> you can call it from any device and also make use of the created drilldowns.

Here you can see an example picture taken from an iPad where you see different finance key figures split according to markets.

Global market view.JPG

When you click in one of the cells, then the child panel is called which is filtered on the market and key figure combination behind the cell and the new panel shows then details according to company code and trend of the last 3 months.

Drilldown.JPG

For more details regarding the above mentioned Best Practices you can refer to a detailed PDF (~20 pages) which is stored at Business Process Improvement – Solution Manager – SCN Wiki

Further reading

You can find all necessary information about Business Process Analytics in this document. More information onBusiness Process Improvement for SAP solutions can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Business Process Monitoring and Business Process Analytics are answered underhttp://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/SM/FAQ+Business+Process+Monitoring and

http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/SM/FAQ+Business+Process+Analytics respectively.

The following blogs (in chronological order) provide further details about Business Process Analytics and Business Process Monitoring functionalities within the SAP Solution Manager.

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