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Author's profile photo Lalit Mohan Sharma

Build SAP Analytics Cloud’s Dashboard for SAP SuccessFactors KPI

Nowadays, data is primarily used to drive business decisions, which means having the right reporting dashboard is essential for executives to get a quick overview of a company’s performance and to help in business decision-making.  

However, many executives and business owners need to pay more attention to this information in exchange for a business intelligence solution. It might be challenging to decide between a reporting dashboard and a business intelligence solution when they have access to so many different types of data. It’s essential to understand a few important aspects when a company has to choose a reporting dashboard and business intelligence solution. 

A reporting dashboard, which offers a comprehensive business performance assessment, acts as your organization’s control panel. Data analytics and dashboard tools work together to support data-driven action. These tools assist businesses in quickly identifying overall company health based on metrics known as key performance indicators (KPIs). Dashboards improve the ultimate efficiency of corporate analytics by enabling users to quickly visualize and examine data, which leads to better decision-making and, ultimately, more success. 

A reporting dashboard offers the following essential elements that are critical to your business intelligence success: 

  • A snapshot of how your company is performing 
  • An “at a glance” viewing of business performance 
  • Instant access to company information 
  • Easy-to-monitor KPIs 

This is exactly how SAP Analytics Cloud delivers the right reporting dashboard to make decisions without doubt and act with confidence. So, what is SAP Analytics Cloud? It is the analytics and planning solution within the SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP Analytics Cloud supports trusted insights and integrated planning processes enterprise-wide to help you make decisions. (Read the announcement) 

SAP Datasphere, together with SAP Analytics Cloud, can combine your data sources and extract insights from them based on stories. Effective data visualizations make your data appear alive in the story. The arrangement of charts, graphs, tables, and other visual components tells the story of your business or organization. You will begin visualizing the insightful data you obtained and be ready to share those insights with your stakeholders. 

In this blog post, let us take a look at how we can consume SAP SuccessFactors data exposed via an analytic model which we have built using SAP Datasphere in my previous article(Connecting SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Datasphere) for the Talent Analysis Metrics in SAP Analytics Cloud. 

Blog post series for our learning Journey with SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud together to handle complex analytics scenarios. 

  1. Connecting SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Datasphere (click here)
  2. Bring SAP SuccessFactor Data into SAP Datasphere (click here)
  3. Modeling SAP SuccessFactors Data in SAP Datasphere (click here)
  4. Building Analytic Models for SAP SuccessFactors KPI (click here)
  5. Build SAP Analytics Cloud’s Dashboard for SAP SuccessFactors KPI (this blog)


You need to have: 

  1. SAP BTP global account setup and to entitled the SAP Datasphere Cloud Foundry environment please follow the excellent blog How to create SAP Datasphere service instance in the SAP BTP Platform? 
  2.  A SAP SuccessFactors instance. 
  3. Create or have access to an SAP Analytics Cloud live data connection to your SAP Datasphere tenant. For more information, see the official SAP Analytics Cloud documentations 

Let’s proceed Step By Step

Before we start, ensure that you have followed and completed the steps mentioned in the following blog posts: 

  1. The first blog post Connecting SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Datasphere, will help you to connect SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Datasphere. 
  2. The second blog post, Bring SAP SuccessFactors Data into SAP Datasphere, is to imports the SAP SuccessFactors tables and replicate their data in SAP Datasphere. 
  3. The third blog post Modeling SAP SuccessFactors Data in SAP Datasphere, is to create an Analytical Dataset that contains information about a simple KPI or a metric for Talent Analysis. 
  4. The fourth blog post Building Analytic Models for SAP SuccessFactors KPI, is to build an Analytic Model to enhance the business semantic layer and provide advanced multi-dimensional capabilities.

Navigate to SAP Analytics Cloud

You can create live data connections to SAP Datasphere systems, and access any SAP Datasphere Analytical Dataset, Analytic Model or Perspective within SAP Analytics Cloud. 

In the top right of the shell bar, you able to easily navigate to SAP Analytics Cloud.

Data Visualization (Stories)

Stories represent the dashboard and reporting features of SAP Analytics Cloud and provide you a way to bring data and visualizations together to tell the story of your business. 

You can create a story with a template or from scratch. With a template, the theme, branding, layout, and object placeholders are already in the story to help you build your story faster. When building from scratch, you can choose to begin blank with a Responsive page, Canvas page, Grid page, or from a Smart Discovery. 

To create a story, in Stories from the Main Menu/Navigation bar, click Responsive or Canvas Tiles.

The Optimized Design Experience improves performance within SAP Analytics Cloud stories and enables content within an SAP Analytics Cloud story to load faster. This mode has some useful new features but it does not include all the features that are currently supported in the Classic Design mode. 

Select Optimized Design Experience, then Click Create.

Adding Data to a story

The first step in creating a story is to import data. You can import data as a dataset or model from an external data source into a new story. You can import and immediately use data to create visualizations within your story. 

Select the Add Data option in Tools tab. The Let’s add some data! dialog is displayed.

Users may choose to import data from a file, acquire data from a source/connection, or use data acquired from an existing model or dataset. 

Select Data from an existing dataset or model: for data stored in SAP Datasphere. For more information on how to leverage SAP Datasphere data in stories, check Live Data Connections to SAP Datasphere.

In the left panel of the Select Dataset or Model dialog, select anSAP Datasphere connection. The application lists all the spaces and data available in your SAP Datasphere system.

Select an Analytical Dataset, an Analytic Model or a Perspective.

Use Charts to Visualize Data

Let us create charts in SAP Analytics Cloud stories to display your data. There are many ways to visualize your data, from bar charts and waterfall charts to tree maps or pie charts. 

Once you’ve picked a chart type, selected your model and added measures and dimensions, you can move onto other tasks such as adding a variance or an axis break, or changing how the data is displayed. 

From the toolbar, under Insert, select Chart OR Drag a Chart from the assets list.

From Currently Selected Chart you can select a chart to your SAP Analytics Cloud story, choose the best for your analysis 

From Chart Orientation, for specific selected chart, such as Bar/Column, Box Plot, Waterfall, and so on, you can change whether you want your chart to be displayed in a Vertical or Horizontal orientation. 

 After you select a chart type and orientation, From Measures and Dimensions, you can select the measures and dimensions to display in each area of your chart. 

Now click on Add Measures

You can add multiple measures and multiple dimensions to your chart. When measures or dimensions are part of a hierarchy, or when a dimension has attributes, you can expand them and select their children, or expand a dimension and select its attributes. 

Select the Measure. for our case it is Number of Ratings.

Similarly click on Add Dimension and select the Dimension. for our case we need to expand the Department dimension and select the name attributes.

We can style the appearance of SAP Analytics Cloud story widgets by changing fonts, colours, axis scaling on charts, and so on. 

In Builder panel you can switch to the styling by selecting the little brush on the right. you change page and chart background and Chart’s font colour.

It is best practice to save regularly. Before moving on, click on Save.

You’ve now added the chart to your story successfully, and it displays the number of ratings for each department. similarly you can add the chart to your story to show number of Rating for different location and business unit.

Revisit Talent Analysis Metrics KPI

In my previous blogs(Modeling SAP SuccessFactors Data in SAP Datasphere), we discussed a simple KPI for Talent Analysis. 

Check the team’s potential by giving insights into employee performance metrics based on locations, business units and departments. [This business requirements defines the business objective at a high level and is non-technical].  

Toconnect and model the SAP SuccessFactors data in SAP Datasphere and to visualize it into SAP Analytics Cloud helps us to understand Talent Analysis Metrics for meaningful decisions. 

Let us consider another KPI which executives and business owners want to investigate.

Gender Diversity into employee performance metrics.[Extended business metric]

One way to calculate it is to check the number of female top performers compared to male top performers. 

(Female-total top performers ÷ Total Top performers) × 100
(Male-total top performers ÷ Total Top performers) × 100

We can reuse the same analytical model in the SAP Analytics cloud to create dashboard for the above KPI without changing it in SAP Datasphere. Let’s do that. 

Add Calculations

You can create custom calculations for your charts such as aggregations, calculated or restricted measures, value-based dimensions, and so on. When you create calculations for your charts you can include them as either measures or dimensions; the dimension calculations are added as cross calculations. 

From the toolbar, under Insert, select Chart again and then from Currently Selected Chart click on dropdown to select the Chart Type.

Numeric point chart is an Indicator charts used to show a business’s metrics by amount. It required at least one primary value, but they can have multiple primary and secondary values. In both cases, only a single data point is displayed. 

Select Numeric point charts

Click to select  +At least 1 Measure required to add Primary Values.

select Add Dimension to open Calculation Editor.

The Calculation Editor is used to create the calculations that can be added to your charts. 

For each type of calculation, a new calculated or restricted member is created for the dimension that you used to create it. You can also use dimension attributes as part of a calculation. For more information about dimension attributes, see Combine Data with Your Acquired Data. 

To calculate Total Top Performer we can need to   

  • Select Restricted Measure from the list. 
  • Enter a name for the restricted measure. 
  • In the Measure section, select a measure from the list for us it’s Number of Ratings. 
  • In the Dimensions section, select a dimensions along which you want to restrict the measure for us it’s Category. 

Beside dimension, under Values, select  Click to Select Values, and then choose an option Select by Member.

Select values from the list of available members. You can use (Search) to find specific values. for us select Top Performers.

Now charts shows the Total Top Performers metrics.

Similarly, we can again use the Calculation Editor with the type Restricted Measure to calculate the Female Top Performers, but this time we add two dimensions for selection context 1) Category values Top Performers and 2) Gender values F(Female).

To calculate the Female Top Performers Percentage once again we will use Calculation Editor with type Calculated Measure and get the value of Female Top Performers ÷ Total Top Performers

Formatting the Values

For testing purpose, I have added all the calculated or restricted measures in Numeric point chart but our objective to show the Female Top Performers Percentage.  

Remove the calculated measures which is not required. 

choose an included measure to apply the formatting and select format

In formatting Dialog, Uncheck the use of underlying measures then select Scale to Percentage and Click OK.

In Builder panel switch to the styling by selecting the little brush on the right and change the chart’s background and font colour.

Now you have a charts shows the Female Top Performers percentage metrics.

Now you have an idea how to do the custom calculations for your charts. you can use the same steps to calculate Male Top Performers Percentage. 

Note: You can add many charts to your story, and you can have more than one chart on a page. Choosing different types of charts display different aspects of your data. 

Performance Analysis Dashboard

You can build the Performance Analysis Dashboard by choosing the different types of charts to display various aspects of data. The dashboard you build can offer an analysis of performance considering multiple factors such as length of service, rating and equality. 

SAP SuccessFactors is a source system. If required, you can create connections to different source systems and use other methods to bring data into the SAP Datasphere and get insights by analyzing the data and modeling this data to show you the connections that you are looking for; then, you can visualize it all with the SAP Analytics Cloud using a Story. 

For example, you can calculate each employee’s commitment score using Qualtrics survey and, by using different methods, connect it with SAP Datasphere for Sentiment analysis. 

The dashboard we have built reflects the overall performance measures of the workforce system of a company. With this performance analysis dashboard, you can measure the following organizational goals of human resources management: 

  • Check employee performance metrics  
  • Gender Diversity into employee performance metrics. 
  • Gender Pay equity based on the salary data 
  • Sentiment analysis – Employee commitment 
  • Talent Satisfaction – How satisfied are your employees? Etc. 

Summary and Conclusion

In this blog post series, you have seen how we can get insights by analysing your data in the SAP Datasphere and modeling this data to show you the connections you are looking for. Then, you can visualize it all using a Story with the SAP Analytics Cloud. 

We have built stories that are rich in interactivity directly on SAP Datasphere Models and easily explored charts and data quickly using the responsive and intuitive interface. 

SAP HANA Cloud, SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Datasphere are essential parts of the SAP Data strategy. The combination is a powerful tool that is designed for complex analytics scenarios based on hybrid system architectures. 

Before this blog post series comes to an end, I would like to thank my team at SAP for their continuous support and express special gratitude to Uma Anbazhagan and PVN PavanKumar, who supported me in validating and publishing this post series.

What’s next?

Well, that’s it from my side! I appreciate your patience and following this blog post series. We are very interested to hear about your own experiences and ideas on other SAP Datasphere use cases for SAP or Non-SAP solutions.

With a solid understanding of the SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud and the provided step-by-step guide, you should be well-equipped to start your own scenario.

Keep your anticipation high and Stay curious!

Reference & Further Reading

Live Data Connections to SAP Datasphere
Getting Started with SAP Analytics Cloud Stories
Connect SAP Analytics Cloud to SAP Datasphere
Consuming SAP Datasphere Artifacts in SAP Analytics Cloud

Find out how to apply the basics of modeling, planning, analyzing and administration with SAP’s free learning resources on SAP Analytics Cloud. The learning journey is designed for business users who want to upskill and boost their careers. Check out even more role-based learning resources and opportunities to get certified in one place on SAP Learning site.

For more information and related blog posts on the topic page for SAP Datasphere.

If you have questions about SAP Datasphere you can submit them in the Q&A area for SAP Datasphere in the SAP Community.

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      Author's profile photo Antonio Ferreira Vicente
      Antonio Ferreira Vicente

      That’s Great Blog! Thank you for sharing!

      Author's profile photo Lalit Mohan Sharma
      Lalit Mohan Sharma
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for your feedback! Antonio Ferreira Vicente

      Author's profile photo Mukesh Saraogi
      Mukesh Saraogi

      Thank you Lalit. This was great insight.

      Is it possible to reuse the Analytics models created in DS with tools like PBI/AWS or even virtualize it using SAP HANA?