What’s the difference between dashboards and applications in SAP Analytics Cloud? Here’s my 2-cents.
Hello everyone. This is Hau from Summerlin Analytics.
Recently, I gave a workshop on building custom applications with SAP Analytics Cloud.
For those who are familiar with the drag-and-drop nature of building dashboards with Analytics Cloud, then you know it has a very simple interface that allows you quickly to put together a series of charts for your business.
But what about custom applications in Analytics Cloud? What do they look like (from a developer or a business users’ perspective) and when would you want to dip your toes into that area?
In my workshop, I found that the quickest way to convey the differences between a regular dashboard and a custom application was through a demo.
With a regular dashboard, you have the common elements as the numeric chart type that gives you an overall, aggregated value (see video). You also have some bar and line chart types to show you a trend.
In terms of interaction, we have story and page filters that allows you to drill into your data a little bit more. We also enabled linked analysis for some of that dynamic filtering as well.
With a custom application, we can have the same functionality as a regular dashboard.
Here’s the same example page filters and how the selection updates the chart tiles (see video). Here’s the same example linked analysis where a selection on a data point acts as a dynamic filter.
So far, the application behaves the same as a regular dashboard in Analytics Cloud
Where a custom application differs (in my opinion) is visibility and user inter-action. Let me explain.
In terms of visibility, we can dynamic show and hide elements of the dashboard.
For example, I am toggling the background by clicking on the logo (see video). This is a very simple example but the idea can be extended much further.
For instance, a user’s role can dictate which tiles she sees. You can display one set of metrics for a VP of sales and another set of metrics for the Shipping manager. All this can be done with the same application.
For example, we can change the behavior of a user-click from linked analysis to something else (see video). Here, we display a detailed table for confirmation or validation. This might be useful for the Shipping manager who needs to confirm an order has left the doc.
Alternatively, we can display a micro-dashboard for the VP of sales to dive deeper into a customer’s past sales
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what you can do with your dashboards and when you might consider building a custom application.
I built analytical applications, dashboards, and reports for Fortune 500 companies that run on the SAP Platform.