Building Simple Stories

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Build a simple story
  • Describe the Microsoft Office integration options to SAP Analytics Cloud stories

Story Design

How to Start a Story

The video below covers the basics to creating a story in SAP Analytics Cloud.

Story Page Types

When creating SAP Analytics Cloud stories, you have different page types to choose from:

  • Responsive: Required for viewing on mobile devices; dynamically changes layout depending on the viewer's monitor/screen size.
  • Canvas: A fixed page size that does not change, no matter the size of the viewer's monitor size.
  • Grid: A table-only page that is available only in the Classic Design Experience and will not be available in the Optimized Design Experience.

Classic Design and Optimized Design

When you create a story, you are prompted to choose Classic Design Experience or Optimized Design Experience mode:

SAP encourages you to use Optimized Design Experience mode. The Optimized Design Experience includes many usability and performance improvements and is the prerequisite for future story enhancements. There are a set of features that may not be available at this time as SAP continues to enhance the Optimized Design Experience mode; however, these and other new features are being added with each quarterly release and will be made available only in the Optimized Story Experience. Furthermore, it will be the new default experience in future releases.

The Classic Design Experience will still be available and provide access to features developed prior to Q2 2022. However, it will not receive any performance, functionality, or usability enhancements. There are also Classic Design Experience elements that will not be available at all in the Optimized Design Experience because there are more suitable substitutes. These elements include:

  • Explorer: Replaced by Data Analyzer as the new exploration tool.
  • Grid Pages: Replaced by the Optimized Presentation table option within Responsive and Canvas Pages.
  • Old HANA and BW Versions: Always use the latest BW and HANA version to ensure that you have the latest performance and feature functionality in SAP Analytics Cloud.
For the most current information on what features are available with each design experience mode, always refer to the SAP Analytics Cloud help in your current SAP Analytics Cloud tenant.

Guidelines for Data Visualization

There is no right or wrong way to tell a story; that is entirely up to you.

There are, however, general design principles that can help you create meaningful, attractive stories that provide useful information.

  • Choose direction: Define the importance of your visualizations.
  • Keep it simple: Ensure a user-friendly experience for viewers.
  • Follow general reading direction: Follow either left-to-right or right-to-left as appropriate for the audience.
  • Group information logically: Locate similar topics adjacent to each other.

Data Sources for a Story

Once you have a blank page in your story, you will want to add widgets to visualize the data in your story. The simplest option is to choose either a chart or a table to add to your page. Select either option from the story menu bar: Chart or Table (or, depending on your screen resolution, you may need to select the … More option in the menu bar and select from there).

With either choice, you will be prompted to choose a data source, either a dataset or model to browse to and select or an SAP Datasphere. You will probably choose a model most often.

Left Side Panel

When creating a story, users have the option to use the horizontal menu options at the top of the screen or the Left Side Panel. The panel can be toggled on and off from the Left Side Panel button in the View menu option.

At the top of the Left Side Panel users can select three different options:

  1. Assets: All elements available in the horizontal menu can also be added to the story from the left side panel.
  2. Outline: Access story settings, pages, and scripting.
  3. Filters: View and apply story filters.

When elements are added from the horizontal menu, SAP Analytics Cloud positions them on the screen. With the Left Side Panel, users can position the widgets or other elements in the exact position they require as displayed in the following example.

Builder and Styling Panels

Build Your Chart or Table

Next, you will build your chart or table. You may need to toggle the Right Side Panel button in the View area of the ribbon to access the Builder panel.

Once you are in the Builder panel, you simply add the appropriate data to the various elements of the widget.

The Builder panel, however, is only half of the entire panel. The other half is the Styling panel, which provides many formatting options for every component of the story, including the page itself.

Build a Simple Story

Business Scenario

You need to access real time data from your SAP HANA on premise system for simple data analysis.

Task Flow

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Create an optimized story with a responsive page
  • Customize your story

Microsoft Office Integration with SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Add-Ins to Microsoft Office

Rather than using SAP Analytics Cloud stories for data analysis and planning, you can use SAP add-ins to Microsoft Office, enabling you to use Excel to format, analyze, and enrich your SAP Analytics Cloud data.

You can insert one or several models in a workbook. Then you can add or remove dimensions and measures to analyze your data. You can also add totals in rows and columns to your table. In your analysis, you can use dimensions with hierarchies applied. You can expand and collapse the hierarchy nodes within the table.

There are also several formula functions provided that can be used for filtering, reading meta data, and creating cell-based reports. For example, SAP.GETDATA returns the data value for a specified set of dimension and member combinations.

Finally, both add-ins accommodate planning capabilities, such as:

  • Write-back
  • Revert
  • Publish
  • View changed cells with automatic highlighting
  • Add filters, subtotals, navigation attributes, properties

The SAP Analytics Cloud, Add-In for Microsoft Office

In this example, you can see the additional SAP Analytics Cloud, Add-In for Microsoft Office tab displayed in the Microsoft Excel ribbon as well as sample formula functions available.

Watch this video to learn more about SAP Analytics Cloud, add-in for Microsoft Office.

Currently, the SAP Analytics Cloud, add-in for Microsoft Office provides access only to import models.

SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office

Unlike the SAP Analytics Cloud, add-in for Microsoft Office, SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office can use SAP Analytics Cloud live models. In this example, you can see the SAP Analytics Cloud live connection and data sources with the resulting crosstable in the Excel worksheet.

Watch this video to learn more about the SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office.

While SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office can also be used to plan on SAP Analytics Cloud data, all future development regarding SAP Analytics Cloud will be on the SAP Analytics Cloud, add-In for Microsoft Office.

Additional Information

For more information on either of the SAP Microsoft Office add-ins, see the SAP Analytics Cloud help topic.

Log in to track your progress & complete quizzes