Implementing Data Tracking

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Implement data tracking

Data Tracking

To make informed and effective business intelligence decisions, you need to understand how the data on which you base those decisions changes over time.

You can track and display data changes to help you focus your analysis on key areas, and avoid wasting time exploring irrelevant data.

With data tracking, you can highlight the values that have changed since a previous refresh for any level of aggregation.

A document with data tracking activated retrieves two microcubes – one for the reference data set, and one for the current data set. The document compares the data in the two microcubes, and highlights the changes according to the formatting that you defined for the changes. Similarly, when a document contains calculations on the data set, it compares the calculations on each data set to display the changes.

A document with data tracking activated contains twice as much data as a document for which data tracking is not active. This means that the data tracking document can take up to three times as long to refresh.

Certain actions clear the document of the data stored in the microcubes or modify the data provider. When the document no longer contains the data, the data tracking function cannot compare the data sets and highlight the changes. Similarly, when the data provider changes, the current version of the document is not compatible with the reference version, so the changed data does not display.

Data tracking restrictions

If you change or purge a data provider, the report no longer displays changed data.

If the data provider is changed, the current version of the document is no longer compatible with the reference version. If the data is cleared, the old data no longer exists for comparison.

As a result, the following actions are incompatible with data tracking:

  • Drill out of scope
  • Query drill
  • Deleting a query
  • Any modification (including modifications to security rights) that changes the SQL generated by a data provider
  • Purging the document

    When you perform any of these actions, the data history of the document is cleared because the actions are incompatible with the display of changed data. For example, if you modify a query, the data in the document changes because of the modification. Any comparison between this data and old data generated from a different query is misleading.

Data Changes Tracking

Web Intelligence allows you to track and highlight data changes so that you can identify significant changes quickly, disregard irrelevant data, and focus your analysis on the root cause of the changes.

For example, a report can allow you to monitor inventory levels and sales. When an item sells well, you can monitor inventory levels to ensure that you replace the items as quickly as they sell. As a result, you can satisfy the high customer demand and sell high volumes of the successful item.

Without data tracking, you make ineffective use of your time because. You must first identify how the data has changed between two refreshes before you can begin to analyze and address the reasons for the change.

Types of Data Change

Web Intelligence allows you to track the following types of data change:

  • Inserted data
  • Deleted data
  • Changed data
  • Increased values
  • Decreased values

The formula language provides advanced users with additional power and flexibility in displaying and formatting changed data.

Data Tracking Activation

You activate data tracking in the Analyze section choose the More button, and choose Track Data Changes. The Track Data Changes dialog box displays, and allows you to select a particular data set as a reference point for future changes. This data is known as the reference data.

When you activate data tracking, the Show Changes option becomes available to you and allows you to display or hide the highlighted data changes.

Options for Formatting Data Changes

When you activate the data changes, you can accept the default options for the appearance (font style, size, and color) of the data changes, or you can define other options in the Track Data Changes dialog box on the Tracking Options tab.

You can, separately, configure the appearance of the following changes:

  • Inserted, deleted, and changed dimension and detail values.
  • Increased or decreased measure values.

Your SAP BusinessObjects administrator defines the default appearance of changed data in the Central Management Server (CMS). When you configure the appearance of changed data in Web Intelligence, you override the CMS defaults.

Functions Specific to Data Tracking

You can use the formula language to include calculations based on data changes. For example, you can include a calculation to show the difference between the previous value and the current value of a measure. You can also use formulas to build formatting rules for formatting data changes.

To display the reference data set in your report, use the RefValue() function to create a formula or variable. This function gives the value of the reference data for the measure. When there is no reference data, the function returns null.

For example, when the Revenue measure currently has the value 1,000 and the reference value is 900, the formula RefValue([Revenue]) returns 900.

The RefValueDate() function also returns the date of the reference data used for data tracking.

Security for Data Tracking

The system administrator may restrict or limit the use of Data Tracking features.

Track Data Changes

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