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Central Document for Analytics

Hello! 🙂

This blog post aims to explain you all Analytical functionalities within your system. Also, I’m going to show you how it works behind the scenes.

Even though SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and SAP Business ByDesign are both designed for running your business operations, they can also provide you with an infinity analytical functions that surely will help you to make assertive decisions, leading to positive benefits for your company.

  • Before you proceed with your reading on this blog post, I highly recommend you to read this one: https://blogs.sap.com/2018/02/02/understanding-data-sources/. This blog post explains the types of data sources and also shows you how to create consistent data sources. There are lots of examples on data sources that may help you to understand them better.

A Transactional Data system supports the daily operations of an enterprise, while an Analytical Data system will help you to make decisions. In order to understand it better, we can think of Transactional model as applications designed to run your business, whereas Analytical model will manage your business.

SAP offers Analytics module within the systems SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, hence we can tell that both systems are Transactional and Analytical as well.

With that said, it is important to understand what happens behind the scenes in the aforementioned systems.

How is stored your Transactional Data?

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and SAP Business ByDesign data sources work with Relational Data Model.

A relational database stores the data in tables, these tables are organized in columns and each of them stores a data type (integer, text, strings, etc).

The rows of this database model are made by the data entered in your system UI (user interface).

Usually, tables have Primary Keys and the PKs are the responsible for identifying a row in the table.

Relationship

The relationships in a relational data model will specify how the association between two or more tables is going to be done.

One to one (1,1): it means that each value of the primary table is associated to no one or only one value of the associated table.

One to many (1,N): the primary table contains only one value related to no one or to many values in of the associated table.

Many to many (N,N): Each value in both tables can be related to no one or to many values.

  • In this case, the relationship between the tables Ticket and Account is determined by N,1. Literally, it means that a Ticket ID is assigned to only one Account, while an Account can be associated to no one, one or many other Ticket IDs.

How to get Analytical Data from your Transactional model system?

Once we understand that the data is composed by data type and data length, we need to think about data consistency at a first place. If you want to create a joined data source, you will need to base your join conditions on fields that both have equal data type.

Before starting to create a new data source or a new report, you need to define business requirements. This step will help you to get a clear view of what you need to do in order to achieve your needs.

  • Characteristics

Choose which characteristics you need to have in your data source/report. It will also help you to have the best performance in your system, as it will avoid the system to retrieve too many unnecessary data.

  • Key Figures

By understanding which results you need to check, you will know which key figures you will have to select for your new report.

  • Information

This one is a very important step. You need to understand the information that is required for your business, so that you will be able to play with the data sources and retrieve exactly what you need. Let’s say that you want to see only Visits with surveys, and you have two data sources, i.e., Visit Surveys and Visit Header. Even though there are more data within the Visit Header data source, you only need to know which of these visits had a Survey as well. Therefore, if you create a Left Outer Data source, the Visit Survey should be your anchor data source.

As I mentioned on the beginning of this blog post, it is important to take a read on the blog post Understanding Data Sources, so that you will understand the types of data sources and will be able to choose between them.

  • Anchor Data Sources

For Left Outer Joiner, the anchor data source will define which data will be retrieved to your new custom data source. After you have defined your business requirements, you will be able to define your anchor data sources as well.

  • Join Conditions

Join conditions are the responsible for matching the data, so that it is important to consider the data type and data length, otherwise it is not going to work as you expect to.

How to Create Data Sources

  1. Go to Business Analytics work center and Design Data Sources view;
  2. Click on New button;
  3. Select the data source type (i.e. Joined Data Source);
  4. Type a Name;
  5. Choose the Join Type (i.e. Left Outer Join);
  6. Add a data source;
  7. Select the fields within the data source as per your business requirements;
  8. Add another data source;
  9. Select the fields within the data source as per your business requirements;
  10. Define the join conditions;
  11. Click on Check button;
  12. If there is no inconsistency, you can save it. Otherwise, review your data source. 🙂

Now that your data source is created, you can create a report based on it.

  1. Go to Business Analytics work center and Design Reports view;
  2. Select a data source;
  3. Click on New button and Report;
  4. Type a Name;
  5. You can select Only for Master Data – This option will create a report without any key figures;
  6. Click on Next button;
  7. Select your Key Figures and click on Next button;
  8. Select your Characteristics and click on Next button;
  9. Define the report properties:

Display in Report: the characteristic will be available on the Available Fields tab.

Value Selection: If it is a Fixed Value Selection, the report will always run with this selection and it cannot be changed through the report selection. For Using Variable, you will be able to choose your variables within the report selection.

Hierarchy: If selected, the data will be shown in hierarchy.

Show Master Data Values: This option will bring every attribute assigned to the data.

10. Click on Next button;

11. Define your variables and Finish it.

  • Report View/Selection

Open your report and you will be able to define new views (fields added to the report) and new selections (the data parameters that will run your report).

  • Conditions/Exceptions

There are few functions that will help you to select the data that you want to see according to your key figure values, and they are Conditions and Exceptions.

Conditions are used to compare values and it uses mathematical functions such as Greater Than, Equal To, Less than, etc…

Exceptions also works with mathematical functions, but it will not remove data from your report, it will indicate it instead. With this function you can apply colors create alert indicators.

Both of them can be found on Rows and Columns tab, under Key Figures arrow.

  • Charts

Charts will help you to get an easier view of your report data. There are lost of available chart types and it should be chosen according to the data present in your report.

  • KPIs

KPIs are Key Performance Indicators, they enable a company to measure and monitor its performance on a strategic and operational level. The KPIs are also known as the “lead indicators” as they help indicate the happenings in advance. Based on the strategic goals of a company, target values for KPIs are set.

More information on KPIs can be found on the blog post: https://blogs.sap.com/2016/06/12/c4c-homepage-reporting-never-miss-a-kpi/

  • Dashboards (only for SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer)

Dashboards are, particularly, my favorite ones! 😀 With dashboards you can create several report/chart views and add them to only one page. 🙂 They will help you to get many information data in a same place, which consequently will be very useful for data comparison.

More information on Dashboards can be found on the blog post: https://blogs.sap.com/2016/06/03/interactive-dashboards/

  • Broadcasts

The broadcast functionality enables customers to send specific reports or certain dashboards on a regular interval to the desired people, which helps to keep managers and senior positions in the system loop!

More information on Broadcasts can be found in https://blogs.sap.com/2015/04/12/report-broadcasting-in-cloud-for-customer/

  • Embedded Reports

You can also add your created report views into your UI screen, this is an act called as Embedded Report. Embedding reporting puts these data visualizations in context of other applications.

More information on Embedded Reports can be found on https://blogs.sap.com/2015/08/12/how-to-create-an-embedded-report-any-data-source-and-pass-values/

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