What You (Possibly) Didn’t Know about the KPI Catalog
Maybe you already know something about the KPI catalog, SAP’s cloud service offering. If so, you are probably aware the KPI catalog contains comprehensive definitions, descriptions, and technical documentation of KPIs. After all, the catalog already offers useful metrics and key figures that are available to you in multiple SAP applications.
Via blogs about popular applications, the KPI catalog’s benefits also receive honorable mentions:
- The SAP Solution Manager’s Business Process Analytics and Business Process Monitoring two-part blog, by Volker von Glöden, presents the KPI catalog as a repository for BPA and BPM key figures.
- The Dashboard Builder blog, by Thomas Paulus, names the KPI catalog as a definitive source of varied KPIs.
From the point of view of these applications, we understand the KPI catalog functions as a user-friendly repository, providing technical data such as configuration and visualization settings. The catalog shows how a specific KPI can serve your specific business needs.
While you can find a KPI catalog overview on the SAP Help Portal, in this blog, I will highlight two helpful, yet unsung features of the KPI catalog.
1. Determining the application in which a KPI can be displayed
Were you aware that beyond integrated SAP applications, the KPI catalog is cross-application and cross-product oriented? By serving as a central KPI repository for applications also outside SAP Solution Manager, the KPI catalog extends the current range of services offered by SAP.
Here’s how it works. Most applications already display key metrics. With the KPI catalog, descriptions of these metrics are now globally available. Just check out the KPI catalog. Chances are you will find your KPI technical data among the many entries, with more KPI data being added continuously.
The KPI catalog grants you the additional benefits of a global cloud service:
- Search globally for KPIs that meet your business needs.
- Find updated technical details of your selected KPI.
- Determine the application in which your KPI can be displayed (see instructions below).
- Learn the prerequisites for using your KPI.
More than 300 customers per month visit the catalog. Join a community where you can assess and comment on KPIs, and benefit from other customers’ assessments. You can access the KPI catalog as a stand-alone application.
To determine the application in which the selected KPI can be displayed, follow these simple steps:
1. Find your desired KPI from the KPI catalog overview by using the navigation bar or search field.
- With the navigation bar, you can filter the displayed KPIs by selected attributes.
- With the search field, you can use Fuzzy Search to search for any terms in the KPI description.
2. Select your desired KPI and view the Usage and Prerequisites tabs.
- The Usage tab contains, among others, a list of all applications in which values of this KPI can be displayed, along with a description of those applications. (You can also find this list via the navigation bar and the filter KPI Consumer.)
- The Prerequisites tab displays the necessary prerequisites for the values of this KPI to be measured and stored. These may be the release or installed software components of the KPI’s managed systems, or the requisite configuration settings.
2. Usage of KPIs in your system landscape
Did you know that the KPI catalog also provides KPI usage information in your system landscape?
Here’s how it works. When you log in the KPI catalog, your user information is linked to your SAP customer number, which is connected to the system landscape of your company. Within your system landscape, applications that implement the necessary configuration to use KPIs from the KPI catalog report this usage to the KPI catalog.
For example, as of SAP Solution Manager 7.2 SP5, the Dashboard Builder reports to the KPI catalog when you configure a tile with a KPI in the Dashboard Builder.
You can also try this out yourself. To test how a KPI in the Dashboard Builder reports to the KPI catalog, follow these instructions:
- Start the Dashboard Builder and create a Standard Tile in a separate dashboard. (For more information, see Creating Tiles Using the KPI Catalog) This action uses a KPI from the KPI catalog in an integrated application. This usage is reported to the SAP cloud infrastructure hourly via your SAP Solution Manager.
- Start the KPI catalog. In the navigation bar on the left, locate the various filter properties. Expand the last point Used in my Landscape. This is where the various applications that report the use of KPIs to the KPI catalog are tallied. Select the Dashboard Builder application.
- Find the KPI that you used for your Standard Tile in the Dashboard Builder from the list. Display this KPI in a detailed view, and go to the Where-Used tab.
- See the displayed application (Dashboard Builder) and the managed system (in this case, FA7). In the Description column, see all the dashboards where this KPI can be displayed.
Currently, the following applications report the use of KPIs to the KPI catalog:
- Business Process Analytics
- Business Process Monitoring
- Cross Database Comparison
- Dashboard Builder
- Monitoring & Alerting
In the catalog’s Usage and Where-Used tabs, here’s what you’ll find:
- In Usage, find applications that can display the KPI (after appropriate configuration).
- In Where-Used, find applications and systems in your system landscape where the KPI has been implemented.
Other features of the KPI catalog are planned. They will be made available in the cloud service. So keep a look out for more KPI catalog information in the blogs and in the SAP Help Portal.