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SAP Lumira 2.0 – Visualization Tips & Tricks: Adding Context with Reference Lines

This blog is the first in a series to highlight useful features, tips and tricks to assist with good data visualization practice in SAP Lumira 2.0. Discovery.


Lumira Reference Lines

Displaying visualizations with reference or context is one of the key attributes to good and meaningful data presentation. Very often, a chart or other visualization on its own can convey only part of the overall “data story”. One of the easiest ways to bring additional context and meaning to visualizations is by using the Lumira Reference Line feature.

Consider the following sample Lumira chart visualization, which shows the number of units sold for various corporate sales regions:



At first glance, this visualization tells us that unit sales in the South-West and West regions are doing very well – certainly far outperforming the East and Central regions.


However, the addition of a reference line brings some additional context to the visualization and immediately shows us that the sales picture for those regions is not as rosy as previously indicated:



Though the South-West and West regions are out-performing the other sales regions, they are considerably behind the desired regional sales target of 15,000 units. The addition of this simple fixed Reference Line brings this additional insight into acute focus.




To create a Reference Line in Lumira, simply right-click on a visualization and select the Reference Lines option:




From there, you can add a new Reference Line via the pop-up dialog shown below:



Using the available radio buttons, the displayed reference line can either show a Fixed value (such as 15,000 in the earlier example) or a Dynamic value, for example the average measure value, that changes according to the displayed chart measures. The reference line can be adjusted for color, line style and line weight for emphasis. Additionally, an associated custom label can also be displayed with the reference line.



Adding and Manipulating Multiple Reference Lines

Multiple Reference Lines can also be added to a visualization. In the chart below, an additional reference line (with label “Average Sales”) has been added to the previous example. This new dynamic reference line shows the average of the currently displayed regional Units Sold values:




Once added, right-clicking and selecting “Reference Lines” will display the Reference Lines Manager. From this dialog, users can add, update or delete any existing Reference Lines via the controls on the top-right. Alternatively, a reference line can be removed/restored from display by checking/unchecking the appropriate checkbox:




Usage of this simple Reference Lines feature in SAP Lumira can bring so much more value to your visualizations by better showing your data in terms of its relevant context or goals.



Additional References

Additional useful references for good visualization best practices in SAP Lumira can be found here:

Creating High Impact Data Visualizations with SAP Lumira” – a recording of the webinar, presented by SAP’s Jacob Stark (for Lumira 1.x).

The “SAP Lumira Data Storytelling Handbook

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi all,

      Any idea if this type of functionality can be brought to SAP Design Studio? Also if it could be bounded to a measure instead of having it static value.




      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author


      Hello Bogdan,

      I don’t believe this is available “out of the box” in Design Studio, though you can probably script it. There are some SAP partners, who may offer DS chart extensions with reference lines, more info in Oliver Schilling's nice blog here.

      It is being considered for future releases of Lumira 2.0 Designer (successor to DS).



      Author's profile photo Karan Sehjpal
      Karan Sehjpal

      Hi Adrian

      Can we see the text and key while accessing the live connection with bw using lumira 2.0



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Karan,


      This should be possible - more info in this blog: