Working at one of our customers I was assigned the task of improving the performance of a Dashboard that was taking approximately 2 minutes to load; those of you who have experience working with end users know that this is unacceptable for a Dashboard, so in order to resolve that, there are several tips and tricks that can be used to improve the performance of a dashboard in SAP BI Dashboards (formerly known as Xcelsius) – below I will show a few.
Recently, we received a request from a customer to have printable dashboards where they could present dashboards as Microsoft PowerPoint slide presentations and circulate around the company for each reporting cycle. Find out how.
In this blog post I will explain why you should start redesigning dashboards into HTML5 and present you with a guide on how to do it.
Why redesign dashboards into HTLM5?
This post is about SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (formerly known as Xcelsius) and its intricate form of work. If you are an assiduous dashboard developer or just beginning to work with the tool, you will notice some bugs that interfere with your developing and slows you down. My main goal is to talk about the bugs or "misfortunes" that I have commonly faced in SAP BO Dashboards (Xcelsius) and the workarounds that I have found to save you some time when working with this tool. My second objective is to open a discussion where you can comment on other SAP Dashboards issues and solutions you found.
Looking forward to add a little more to your visualizations? Spice them up with a clickable moving ticker! For those who are not familiar with Dashboard Design (formerly known as Xcelsius), a moving ticker is a banner which has a similar look to a stock market ticker displaying customized moving labels from right to left. The one described here is also clickable, which means that when you click on any label it can execute many actions such as opening URL’s.
We always try to build dashboards that people really use, and for that we need to find a balance between functionality and design. The design might not seem as important as the functionality, but trust me, in order to get the attention of users you need to build something that really catches their eyes, such as this ticker feature which is easily noticeable to do it´s constant movement.
Step by step process
In order to help you make your Dashboards eye-catching, I am going to show you how to build a clickable ticker to open URL’s with the following steps.
Let’s start by organizing our spreadsheet (find example below – Fig.1) with the following information:
- Labels: Information that will be displayed on the ticker
- URLs: Links that will be opened when clicking on the labels
- Auxiliary info: cells containing Index, destination, status, key, URL to open, which will be explained later on
When your spreadsheet is ready follow these steps:
1) Drag and Drop the ticker object to your canvas.
The ticker object can be found under the category “Selector”.
2) Configure the Ticker object’s properties.
In the General tab, assign the labels you would like to show on the dashboard.
Insertion type: Position
Destination: This cell is key as it will give the position number of the clicked label on the ticker.
e.g: If you click the third label of the ticker this cell will be a “3”, it it will change when you click another label.
3) Drag and Drop a URL object to your Canvas.
The URL object can be found under the category “Web Conectivity”
4) Configure the URL object’s properties and behavior.
URL: In this cell you need to build a “vlookup” formula as it is shown in fig.1.
In the behavior tab under the Trigger Behavior properties you find:
Trigger cell: This is going to be the same as the destination cell of the Ticker (Sheet1!D$4 in this case – Fig 2.).
Check the “When Value Changes” option.
Hide this button by selecting different values for the status and key cells as below:
The outcome and conclusions
After completing these steps you should have built a clickable moving ticker which will spice up your visualization.
This solution will allow you to:
- Open Intranet/Internet URL’s from moving labels.
- Change visibility dynamically for graphs and images from you Dashboard Design visualization.
- Enhance the design and gain visibility of your visualizations
I hope this feature is useful to you and it brings positive feedback from your end users. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.