Setting Formatting Standards

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Review current formatting and apply formatting best practice to stories

Formatting Standards

Look at the dashboards in the figure below. Can you identify which one follows proper formatting standards? Click the correct option.

Now, let’s look at why communication standards are so important for business communication.

The Need for Communication Standards

Communication standards are rules that specify how communications should be designed. They help us navigate daily life all the time. Consider, for example, traffic signals.

Could you imagine if traffic signals would look different in every city or country? In a case like this, standardization is literally a life saver.

But what about business reporting and analytics? Imagine different teams creating reports with different designs. Without standardized notation, the consumers may interpret these reports differently. The time spent preparing and deciphering the charts is better spent on using the information to inform decisions.

Some general guidelines to follow when creating stories for your entire organization include:

  • Have a clear message.
  • Identify content with a well-defined title concept.
  • Use corporate branding colors, fonts, etc.

With features like easy-to-build templates and flexible formatting, SAP Analytics Cloud makes it simple to incorporate formatting standards into your stories. By defining and adhering to basic design standards, it is easier to gain valuable insights faster, leading to better informed decisions.

In addition to creating visibly appealing as well as meaningful stories, following basic standards can also help improve the performance of your stories, from how quickly the widgets render on a page to how long it takes to scroll through a table.

In the following section, we list a few general guidelines to keep in mind as you create Stories. While there are no specific limits on the number of charts per story or data cells per table because there many factors at play, following the KISS principle--Keep It So Simple--is the best guideline to follow. And remember, these are guidelines, not rules. There will always be an exception.

Story Design Guidelines

  • Rather than designing a large story with many pages, try to limit your pages and create different stories for each use-case or audience. If you want to refer to a related story, you can add a hyperlink to a different page, story, or external website.
  • Use pages to break up your story by category or type of information. Put your most-viewed content on the first page to make it easily accessible.
  • Try to keep the number of individual widgets on each page of your story limited to six or less. Note: multiple widgets per page are certainly allowed, but an extremely high number of widgets in a page may affect the refresh time for a story.
  • Limit the number of charts and tables on a page to enhance readability, decrease the number of back end requests, and improve performance
  • Avoid charts with more than 500 data points.
  • Apply chart filters to reduce the volume of information in charts with more than 1000+ data points and use table filters to keep a manageable amount of information visible in your tables.

  • Apply the Top N feature to charts and tables to limit initially the amount of data displayed at one time.

  • When adding tables to your story, keep in mind the goal of the table and ensure that viewers can easily navigate the information. To help ensure readability, try to limit your tables to a maximum of 500 rows and 60 columns. If you need to display more, you can edit the drill limitation. Keep in mind that the more cells you include, the harder SAP Analytics Cloud has to work to display them.

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