Building a Report

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Create custom analytical reports from scratch

Start From Prepackaged or Start Fresh?

While SAP Ariba offers ready-to-use prepackaged reports for immediate insights, there are instances where a tailored approach is necessary. Let's compare the benefits of starting with a prepackaged report versus crafting a custom one.

Start From PrepackagedCreate a New Report
  • Report structure immediately available​
  • Easy editing for all users​
  • Preformatted with fields and measures​
  • Designed for experienced users​
  • Requires familiarity with functional data elements​
  • Business users will access custom reports​

The Report Building Process

You use a report wizard to create a new report or edit an existing report in 3 steps:

  1. Select the report's Source Data by choosing the relevant data facts and measures.
  2. Add row, column, page, and detail fields to the Pivot Layout.
  3. Set initial filters to Refine Data, such as restricting the time range of the report or adding other filters as needed.

After creating or editing a report, you can run or save it.

Step 1: Source Data

In step 1 of the report wizard, you select data facts and measures. You assign the report a title and can provide a description that appears if you hover over the report title. The data is shown in your default currency or other company-approved options. ​

Data facts represent the transactions under analysis. The available facts vary based on your company's SAP Ariba solutions and might include custom facts that your company has implemented.

The facts you choose determine the measure fields you can add to the report. For instance, selecting the Project fact lets you pick measure fields such as Project Countand Duration.

Reports are editable at any time.

User-Defined Fields

To enhance your report with unique measures, you can create computed fields based on existing measures. User-defined fields are created by specifying a formula that performs basic calculations on existing fields. These are the basic steps to create a user-defined field:

  1. On the Source Data page of the report wizard, choose Create User-defined Field.​
  2. Enter a name for the field and describe its purpose.
  3. Define a formula using standard operators. Supported functions include MIN, MAX, AVG, and/or SUM. For non-measure fields, the count function can be used to calculate the number of items.​
Computed fields must align with the selected fact. For example, if you're analyzing purchase orders, you can't incorporate invoice data.

​Beyond formula-based fields, you can also establish custom grade fields, which can be used to assign a grade based on another data field's values.

Step 2: Pivot Layout

In step 2 of the wizard, you set your pivot table’s layout by placing fields in the desired area.

Field PositionDescription
Row fieldsSegment data by specific fields, like viewing spend by supplier or sourcing events by agent.
Column fieldsDisplay data across fields, such as quarterly spend or requisition spend by catalog type.
Page fieldsAct as filters, allowing views for specific cost centers or individual suppliers.
Detail fieldsOffer in-depth information, like ship-to locations or contract expiration dates.

You can choose from a list of Available Hierarchies and Available Fields to add to the report. Hierarchies usually have multiple levels and include additional fields, while fields are flat. The options available depend on the facts you selected in step 1 of the wizard. A visual layout on the right side of the Pivot Layout page updates as you lay out your design.

Row fields on the x-axis segment data based on chosen hierarchies. The wizard allows up to two hierarchies for rows to ensure efficient data retrieval. You can adjust hierarchies in the pivot table view post-creation.

Step 3: Refine Data

In step 3 of the wizard, you narrow the focus of a report by setting initial filters. Setting initial filters limits the size of the report query and helps performance.

You can require users to set initial filters on the Refine Data page before running your report so that it opens faster. This kind of report is also known as a parameterized report. The basic process to constrain a report involves:​

  1. Adding page fields to the report
  2. Choosing Customize on the Refine Data page
  3. ​Set desired page fields as required

You can configure the report to run immediately when the report opens by bypassing the Refine Data page. This will prevent long run times and the retrieval of unnecessary data.

The Refine Data Process

To customize a report's initial filters:

  1. On the Refine Data page of the report wizard, select values for the fields. These default values will be applied when you run the report.
  2. Choose Customize to open the Customize Form page.
  3. Select Always show this customized form if you want to show users your custom Refine Data page before they run the report.
  4. Specify how you want report users to interact with each of the report’s fields:
    • Choose the trash icon next to a form field if you want to remove it from the Refine Data page. The field will be moved to the Hidden Fields area. Users cannot alter a field's settings when it's hidden.
    • Choose Show next to a field in the Hidden Fields area to show it on the Refine Data page. If you want to require a user to set a value for a field or change its hierarchy search behavior, you must show it.
    • Select Required for any fields you want to require users to filter on before running the report. Users will only be allowed to work with the hierarchy levels or values you specify.
    • In the Selection Type columns, choose whether to allow users to create filters with values in all levels of the hierarchy or restrict filters to the top level only.
  5. Choose Done to exit the Customize Form page.
  6. Choose Save.

How to Create a Custom and Parameterized Report

Create a Custom and Parameterized Report

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