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Part Three: On the Road with SAP BusinessObjects Cloud

There is so much going on with SAP BusinessObjects Cloud, that I can’t resist talking about it again. Wave 24 of the product brought again some innovations we haven’t seen before in the analytics market space. This time, I’d like to focus on some specific types of calculations. Furthermore, I’ll talk about two highly valuable and innovative features in the visualization section of SAP BusinessObjects Cloud.

Difference from Calculations

SAP BusinessObject Cloud supports different types of calculations that can be defined from within the calculation editor. One of the newer types here is the Different-From calculation type. This calculation allows you to calculate the difference in value of one attribute compared with the value of the same attribute in a previous period. The Difference-From calculation requires Month as lowest time-grain.

In the following example, I’ll show you how to use this type of calculation to calculate the difference in value for December compared to the previous period, in this case being November.

The nice things about the Difference-From calculation are:

  • The possibility to combine the calculation with input controls so the end user can choose the core attribute that is the “base” for the calculation

  • The ability to specify, within the calculation definition, the number of N periods that need to be used for the comparison periods. If I choose N=1 than December will be compared to November. If I choose 5, than December will be compared to July.

Restricted Calculations

How would you feel if I said that SAP BusinessObjects allows its aggregation on restrictions in dimensions that you can set as a user? That would be great, right? With the restricted calculation, it’s possible. Imagine I have product A, B and C that is sold in many countries during many time periods.

Using the restricted measure, I can define that only product A and C needs to be embedded in the aggregations, and product B needs to be neglected. Also, this time the SAP development team showed their savvy by adding the possibility of an input control as part of the restricted calculation. So the end user can now choose themselves what is included and what isn’t. Smart !! Below you can see how it works.

Data Visualization Features

On the data visualization side,  there are numerous very strong features and two I want to highlight here.

Forced color coding synchronization allows you to ensure that the value of a certain attribute is always in the same color when used in any graph on your storyboard. In the example below, I show how France always has the same purple color and Italy the same green color. This  helps enormously with the consistency of your dashboard. Even better, it helps your end user better understand your dashboard since the same attribute is easily “recognized” in any visualization!

Data point selection using the linked analysis feature is now also possible when using a GEO map. The linked analysis is the very powerful feature allowing cross-chart filtering and selecting. Clicking on a data point in chart A filters the accompanying or linked charts B, C, D …. Now one can do the same by clicking a data point on a GEO map. (Hallelujah, nice !!)

For More Information

This post originally appeared on Iver van de Zand’s blog and has been republished here with permission.

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