Building Stories Using Files as Data Sources

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Build stories from files

Story Building from a File

You can use a file as the data source for your story. While a model is the most common data source to use, having the option to use a file can help enhance your story with specific data that may be unique to your business unit, cost center, customers, etc.

When building a story using a file as the data source, you automatically create an embedded dataset. In the Data Preparation area you can make changes directly to the data:

  • Modify the name of the dataset: Select Edit to the right of the current dataset name in the Dataset Overview pane on the right side of the interface.
  • Resolve warnings regarding the data quality in your dataset: Typically, these data quality issues involve missing data, measures containing non-numeric characters, or dimensions assigned a mismatched data type. Issues are displayed as links within the impacted column entries. Select the links to view more detailed information listed under Validation in the  Navigate to Details panel of the Dataset Overview pane.
  • Manage measures and dimensions: You may need to delete or rename entities, add geo-enriched data, define level-based hierarchies, change the data type, set up the default aggregation type for your measures, etc. You use the Navigate to Details pane for these manipulations.
  • Define transforms in cells, rows or columns: You may need to filter or replace values, or concatenate or split columns. 

You can use one of two transformation options to manipulate the data:

  • Transform Bar
  • Custom Expression Editor

The Transform Bar lists suggested transformations to apply to the column, such as replacing the value in a cell with a suggested value. You can also select Create a Transform and choose from the options listed under the transformation bar displayed above the grid.

The Custom Expression Editor accesses the Wrangling Expression Language (WEL) scripting editor to define your own transformations using predefined functions for specific wrangling capabilities. The figure Data Preparation Options shows examples of the wrangling options you have.

Create a Story Based on a File

Business example

You need to analyze some new sales data by creating a story. The data is contained a file so you decide to use the create new story from file functionality in SAP Analytics Cloud.

Task flow

In this exercise, you will perform the following tasks:

  • Create a story based on a file (Sales2022ActualStores##.csv)
  • Evaluate the raw data in the dataset
  • Create a chart in a responsive page
  • Create a canvas page and format it
  • Add a story filter
  • Use Edit and View mode

Story Building by Dragging and Dropping a File

You can create a dataset with simple drag-and-drop on the Home page. Watch this video to learn how.

The Explorer will be deprecated in an upcoming release. However, you will still be able to use a file as a data source, and wrangle the data as needed.

You can start creating a story for your data by experimenting with filters and charts in the explorer.

Watch this video to learn how.

Some actions specific to tables in planning models are not supported in the explorer; for example, allocation, version management, and forecasting.

Use Explorer to Create Visualizations for a Story

Business example

You have a file that contains SAP Concur travel data and you want to use the SAP Analytics Cloud explorer functionality to automatically create visualizations for your story on the fly.

Task flow

In this exercise, you will perform the following steps:

  • Use drag and drop to create a story
  • Create visualizations with the explorer feature
  • Add the visualizations to the story

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