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Visualize your Data with Charts

Learn how to visualize data through charts, create custom calculations, and query with Search to Insight
You will learn
  • How to create Bar and Line graphs
  • How to create a Custom Calculated measure
  • How to create Numeric Point charts with Search to Insight
katmchengKatryn ChengMay 5, 2022
Created by
andrewliu-SAP
March 18, 2022
Contributors
andrewliu-SAP

Prerequisites

  • You have access to an SAP Analytics Cloud account
  • Download this company logo for our dashboard

In SAP Analytics Cloud, you can create charts with the Story Explorer, directly in the story, or with Search to Insight. We’ll go through each, starting with Story Explorer.

  • Step 1

    We ended the last tutorial with a completed data model; now, we will begin exploring and visualizing the data.

    1. Switch to Data Exploration mode by clicking the icon shown below

    Data Exploration

    This opens the Story Explorer and lets you explore the data to understand the available measures, dimensions, and values. In the Story Explorer, you see a faceted view of your data in the top pane along with a visualization area in the lower pane. When you select measures and dimensions in the upper pane, the visualization in the lower pane updates in real-time. Once you are happy with your results, you can copy the visualization to your Story.

    Let’s visualize Sales Revenue by Region.

    2. Select Sales Revenue as the measure

    3. Click the + Show Dimensions icon and select Geo Hierarchy

    4. Click the Geo Hierarchy header then specify drill Level 2 for drill level to show Regions

    Sales Revenue by Geo Hierarchy

    5. In the … More Options menu, select Sort > Sales Revenue > Highest to Lowest

    Sort Sales Revenue by Geo Hierarchy

    6. Double click the chart title and rename to “Sales Revenue per Region”

    7. Click the Copy icon and select Copy to Page 1

    Sales Revenue per Region rename and copy

    Let’s try another chart, gross margin by product category, but with a filter on the “Other” category.

    8. In the … More Options menu, select Clear Chart

    Clear Chart

    9. Select Gross Margin as the measure

    10. Click the + Show Dimensions icon and select Product Hierarchy

    11. Click the Product Hierarchy header then specify drill Level 2 for drill level to show Product Categories

    Gross Margin per Product Hierarchy

    12. Click the “Other” bar and click the exclude icon

    Exclude

    13. In the … More Options menu , select Sort > Gross Margin > Highest to Lowest

    Sort Gross Margin by Category

    14. Double click the chart title and rename to “Gross Margin per Product Category”

    15. Click the Copy icon and select Copy to Page 1

    Gross Margin per Product Category rename and copy
  • Step 2

    Let’s add another visualization to the story showing the Gross Margin for the past 3 years. However, we’ll be creating this chart directly in the story through the Builder tab in the Designer panel. With the Builder tab, the chart dynamically updates depending on the measures and dimensions you select.

    16. Click Insert > Chart in the Toolbar

    17. Select Gross Margin as the measure and Date as the dimension

    18. Select Date, click the Hierarchy icon and specify Level 3 for drill level to show the Date with Quarters

    Gross Margin over Time

    19. In the Chart Action Menu, select + Add > CGR

    Add CGR

    The Compound Growth Rate (CGR) is the ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. You can add a CGR line to your Bar/Column or Stacked Bar/Column chart. Click here to learn more.

    Let’s now create a Line Chart showing Sales Revenue and Quantity Sold over time.

    20. Select Insert > Chart in the Toolbar

    21. Select Line under the Trend Chart Structure

    22. Select Quantity Sold and Sales Revenue as the Left Y-Axis measures and Date as the dimension

    23. Select Date, click the Hierarchy icon and specify Level 3 for drill level to show Date with Quarters

    Gross Margin over Time sc

    24. In the Chart Action Menu, select + Add > Forecast > Automatic Forecast

    Add Automatic Forecast

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

  • Step 3

    Let’s organize our dashboard layout to make room for more visualizations. We want to create a top lane for Numeric Point charts and a left lane for page filters.

    25. Right-click on the right lane and select Remove

    26. Right-click on the remaining lane and select + Add lane > Add lane above

    27. Right-click on the bottom lane and select + Add lane > Add lane to left

    Reorganize lanes

    28. Resize the left lane to the far left

    29. Resize the Gross Margin per Date and Quantity sold Sales Revenue per Date charts as shown

    Resize lane and charts
  • Step 4

    Search to Insight brings conversational AI to SAP Analytics Cloud, allowing you to create a story by asking questions in natural language. When you query for data, Search to Insight automatically recognizes the dimensions and measures in your query and searches through available metadata for the answer to visualize the results for you.

    Let’s use Search to Insight to ask a quick question then copy the result to the story.

    30. Click the Search to Insight light bulb icon on the Shell Bar to open Search to Insight

    31. Type “Gross Margin Last Year” into the Search bar

    32. Click the Copy icon and select Copy To > Page 1

    Numeric Point Chart 1

    Now let’s format the Numeric Point chart by changing the scaling and decimal places.

    33. Open the Styling tab in the Designer panel

    34. Select Auto-formatted for Scale

    35. Select k, m, bn for Scale Format

    36. Select 1 for Decimal Places

    Numeric Point Chart styling

    37. Right-click on the empty header text object and click Remove

    Remove lane

    Furthermore, let’s edit the chart title and hide unnecessary labels.

    38. In the Chart Action Menu, select Show/Hide and unselect Primary Value Labels

    39. Resize the chart, then double-click the chart title to rename it to “Gross Margin for 2021”

    Numeric Point Chart 2

    In addition to displaying a value in the chart, it would also be helpful to show variance. Variances in your charts let you show the difference between versions of a measure or the difference between time periods.

    40. Open the Chart Action Menu of the Numeric Point chart

    41. Select Compare To > Previous Year

    Compare to Previous Year

    Now, let’s create two more Numeric Point Charts by duplicating the first chart twice then moving them all to the right.

    42. Click the Chart Action Menu of the Numeric Point Chart

    43. Select Copy > Duplicate

    Duplicate chart

    When copying and duplicating objects, the formatting is copied along with the object, making it a convenient way to create multiple charts with the same look.

    44. Move each Numeric Point chart to the right

    45. Select the second Numeric Point chart and open the Builder tab in the Designer panel

    46. Select Sales Revenue as the measure

    Numeric Point Chart 3

    47. Rename the chart title to “Sales Revenue for 2021”

    Rename Numeric Point Chart 3

    Click here to learn more. In the next step, we will create a Calculated Measure for the last Numeric Point chart.

  • Step 5

    Now let’s show the average sales per manager in our last Numeric Point chart. However, we don’t have that measure, so we’ll need to create a Calculated Measure.

    48. Select the third Numeric Point chart and open Builder tab in the Designer panel

    49. Remove Gross Margin as the measure and click + Create Calculation…

    Calculated measure 1

    50. Select Aggregation for the Type

    51. Enter “Avg Sales Revenue per Manager 2021” for the Name and for the chart title

    52. Select AVERAGE for Operation

    53. Select Sales Revenue for the Measure

    54. Select Manager for the Aggregation Dimension

    55. Click OK

    Custom Calculated Field

    Click here to learn more.

  • Step 6

    Let’s finish this tutorial by adding a company logo to the dashboard.

    56. Click the + icon under Insert in the Toolbar

    57. Select Image

    Add an Image

    58. Upload the Company Logo provided in prerequisites and select it in the Image Library

    59. Adjust the image’s size to match the other charts

    Input Logo

    Don’t mind the white logo on the white background, as we will be changing the themes and styling in the last tutorial.

    Your dashboard should now look like this.

    Dashboard update
  • Step 7

    Which of the following is NOT a way to create a chart?

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