Managing and Running Story Reports


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Manage Story Reports in the Report Center
  • Run and interact with a Story Report

Report Center Actions for Story Reports

You can manage your story reports in Report Center. Using the Action menu on the Report Center page, you can run, edit, share, rename, duplicate, export, schedule, label and delete a Story which you are the Author or shared with the required access rights.

Users who have the permission Story Admin can manage all reports.

You can also add a label to the story for easier categorization.

Report Center Actions for Story Reports

You can ...… a Story report, if one or more of the following conditions are met ...

You are the author of the Story report.

The Story report has been shared with you.

You have been granted the Story Admin permission.


You are the author of the Story report.

The Story report has been shared with you with edit access rights.

You have been granted the Story Admin permission.


You're the author of the Story report.

The Story report has been shared with you with edit access rights.

You have been granted the Story Admin permission.


You are the author of the Story report.

The Story report has been shared with you with edit access rights.

You have been granted the Story Admin permission.


You are the author of the Story report.

The Story report has been shared with you with full access rights.

You have been granted the Story Admin permission.


You are the author of the Story report..

The Story report has been shared with you with edit access rights.

You have been granted the Story Admin permission


You are the author of the Story report.

The Story report has been shared with you with edit rights.

You have been granted the Story Admin permission.

New Schedule

You are the author of the Story report.

The Story report has been shared with you.

You have been granted the Story Admin permission.

Label As

You are the author of the Story report.

The Story report has been shared with you.

You have been granted the Story Admin permission.

For more information on utilizing the Report Center actions, refer to the Report Center unit.

Story Sharing

You can enable users to run or update a Story by sharing the report with them. An author of a report can share Stories that they created. A Story admin can share any Story in the instance. When you share Stories with Story admin users, by default, they have the permission to perform any action on the Story irrespective of the access you grant. However, when you share Stories with the non-admin users, you can grant read, edit, or full access to the shared report.

The actions that can be performed by non-administrators is determined by the level of access you select when sharing:

  • Read: Allows users to run the shared report.
  • Edit: Allows users to run, edit, rename, export, duplicate, and label the shared report.
  • Full Access: Allows users to run, edit, share, rename, delete, export, duplicate, and label the shared report.

For the procedure to share a report, refer to the Report Center unit.

Share and label a report

Story Scheduling

You can schedule Story reports for offline execution, using the New Schedule option on the Action menu in Report Center. The ability to schedule Story report allows you to generate reports at a later date and time, and at recurring intervals.

When scheduling a story report, there are a few characteristics to be aware of, which are as follows:

  • Stories only support output to the CSV file format.
  • You can select the portions of the report to include, but only table widgets are supported.
  • Each report can have only one schedule per user.

For the procedure to schedule a report, please refer to the Report Center unit.

Story Templates and the Content Store

You can import Story reports templates from the Content Store available in Report Center and create your reports based on the imported Story template.

The Story templates available in Content Store help you to get started with Story reports. They offer a basic report structure that you can modify to best suit your business needs.

The Content Store provides a set of commonly used Story report templates. The content store is managed by SAP SuccessFactors. You will only search for the products that are active in your tenant.

To import a Story template, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Report Center page, choose Import.
  2. Choose the Content Store tab.

    The Story report templates, only for the products that are active in your tenant, appear.

  3. Either search for a Story template by its name or description or browse the list of available templates, and select the template you want to import.
  4. Choose Import.
  5. To proceed with the Story import, read the message, and choose OK, I understand, and wait for the import process to complete.

    If you are not able to view the imported Story reports in Report Center, wait for a couple of minutes and reload the Report Center page.

    Choose See more details in the Description column of a Story template to read the summary of the template.
Only Story administrators can import story templates.

Watch the tutorial on Content Store to get more information.

The Import and Export of Story Reports

You can reuse the stories created on a different tenant or environment, instead of having to manually create them again, using the Import and Export options in Report Center.

You can export one or more Story reports to save them as a PACKAGE file on your local drive. Unlike its predecessor ACN files that contained only the content network reference of the story, the exported PACKAGE file contains the actual report definition. The PACKAGE file format is a successor to the ACN file format and it's native to the application.

For the procedure to import/export a report, refer to the Report Center unit.

The export functionality in Story must not be used for backup purposes. There's limited backward compatibility for exported stories. The stories exported at a given product version might fail to get imported or work in higher product versions, and this applies to both the .ACN and the .PACKAGE files.

Story Report Running

You launch story reports from Report Center. To run a report, complete the following steps.

  1. Navigate to Report Center.
  2. Select one of the following:a) Choose the underlined name of the Story.b) Choose the action menu button to the right of the Story and select Run.
  3.  The report will launch in view mode.
  4. Some reports might include prompts, for example a required effective date to return employee data.

Report Designers can also preview their story reports at any time by switching between edit mode and view mode.

View Modes

Currently, a story report can be saved in one of 2 view modes: Classic and Optimized. Optimized view mode has usability and performance enhancements but has a few limitations on components that can be used in the story design.

Features of Optimized View Mode (OVM)

Undo/Redo feature – OVM provides viewers with the ability to quickly reverse actions. Actions that do not have a data-related change are not undoable. For example, a page switch without any data impact data will not be undoable.

Ghost Loading Indicator – A ghost widget is a preview version of a widget that appears greyed out and helps viewers see which objects are still loading, especially for smaller items.

Story Filter Appearance – Story filters and input controls have a more noticeable dropdown and increased menu width for better readability.

Performance Improvement – OVM improves story performance in specific situations, addressing client-side issues but not server-side or network problems.

ToolTip Position – Tooltips are closer to the mouse for easier access, with extra actions in right-click menu.

Apply Selection Button for Multi-Selection Filter – The Apply Selection button is the default in all the filters for Optimized View Mode stories. However, the designer can enable/disable it on a filter basis.

Data Analyzer – Data analyzer enables you to save your drill-down data state and analysis as insight. Data analyzer contains a table, a filter area, and a builder panel with navigation capabilities to add and remove dimensions and measures from the table. The Explorer Mode from Classic View Mode is replaced by Data Analyzer.

Enabling Optimized View Mode

You have two options to enable Optimized View Mode on stories that are in Classic View Mode. You can use either of the option to enable OVM.

  1. File > Save > Enable Optimized View Mode
  2. File > Edit Story > Story Details > Enable Switch ‘Enable Optimized Mode’
It is recommended to duplicate the story before enabling Optimized View Mode.

View Mode Toolbar

When you run a story report, the report loads in view mode. The view mode toolbar differs from the Edit Mode toolbar described in a previous section.

File Menu

SaveAllows you to save the story report
Save AsAllows you to save another copy of the Story
Save As TemplateAllows you to save the Story as a template that can be used to create a new story
ExportAllows you to export the Story to a PDF file or into Google slides

Edit Menu

ResetAllows you to reset the view of the report output.
RefreshRefreshes the data in various components of the Story.
CopyCreates a copy of the story component (like, chart or table) on your clipboard.
PasteAllows you to paste a copy of the story component from your clipboard to your selected location in the story.
Paste SpecialAllows you to choose to Copy Source Distribution or Keep Target Distribution and set the selected option as the default for future Paste Special operations.

Tools Menu

Edit PromptsAllows you to set variables for the prompts defined in the story. The prompts are applied to the queries in the Story reports.
BookmarkAllows you to capture and save the current state of the story. It also allows you to visit the previously bookmarked states of the story.
Formula BarAllows you to calculate values in empty table rows and columns, or cells outside a table. The formula is displayed by default. Choose the icon in the formula bar to toggle between displaying the formula and the text value.
Story Filter / PromptAllows you to create a story filter based on the dimension or measure from the selected query (data source).

Display Menu

Comment ModeAllows you to view the comments posted on the story components.
Tab BarBy default, the page dropdown view appears. The Tab Bar option allows you to view multiple pages as tabs in the story.

Interactive Widgets

Many of the action menu commands may be available to report consumers (reports in view mode) depending upon the configuration of the widget. Some example of actions report consumers can do, depending on the configuration including the following:

  • Apply Top/Bottom filters
  • Provide comments
  • Freeze table row / column
  • Show / hide labels
  • Adjust filters via input controls
  • Adjust filters within controls

The Pasting of Values into Filters

Instead of scrolling through a long filter list for specific values, you can paste the values from a list.

When you have a page filter that has many values, it can take a long time to find the specific values to display in your filter. If you have the list of values saved somewhere else, you can paste them in and update your filter.

To Paste Filter values, complete the following steps.

  1. Select a story or page filter.
  2. In the filter menu, select Paste Filter Values.
  3. Paste your list of values into the dialog box.
  4. Choose whether to Append the new values (keeping any members that were already selected), or Overwrite the list (which will clear selected members and then select those from the list).

Bookmark Story Report Views

When viewing a Story Report, you may want to come back to the same view of the data every time or you may want to set up different states or scenarios. You can create bookmarks to save different states of a story.

For example, you have several pages in your story that have filters, input controls, or prompts applied to them. You do not want to spend time resetting all of them each time you want to see a different scenario. You would like to open the story, see one scenario, and then quickly switch to another scenario. You can even create global bookmarks so that anyone who can view the story can also see the different scenarios.


A bookmark only includes filters, input controls, prompts and explorer views.

When you are satisfied with how your story looks, you can save the current state.

To Bookmark Current State, complete the following steps.

  1. From the menu, select the Bookmark icon and Bookmark Current State
  2. Provide a name for your bookmark.
  3. Choose whether to make it a Personal or a Global bookmark.
  4. Decide whether to set it as the new default bookmark.
  5. Select Save.

To access the default bookmark or any saved bookmarks, do the following: 

  1. From the menu, select the Bookmark icon and Open Saved Bookmark
  2. Select the default bookmark or one of your saved bookmarks.

The story opens with saved settings.


If you change the default story settings after you have saved bookmarks, the next time you try to use one of those bookmarks you may get a warning message. For example, you change a page filter to be a story filter. The next time you open the bookmark that has a page filter, you will see that the bookmark has been partially applied.

Data Refresh

Report consumers can refresh the data for the story report. In the Data section of the toolbar, there is a Refresh command. It has two available options:

  • Refresh: refresh the data immediately
  • Auto Refresh: periodically update the data according to the report designer's configuration

With Auto Refresh you can schedule all data to automatically refresh in a story report.

To enable Auto Refresh in Stories, complete the following step.

  • From Data section on the story toolbar main menu, select the Refresh icon and then select Auto Refresh.
A report consumer can only use Auto Refresh if it has been enabled in the report by the report designer.

Collaboration in Story Reports

You can add comments to a specific page or widget within a story. Other users can reply or simply Like (using the Like icon) your comment.

To add a comment to a story page, confirm the Tab Bar is enabled in the Display menu. On the page tab bar, select the drop-down menu and choose Comment → Add Comment to submit. Enter your comment in the displayed dialog box.

To add a comment to a widget, select the widget and choose Add →Comment icon. Enter your comment in the displayed dialog box and select Add Comment to submit. When the comment is posted, a comment icon is displayed at the top-right of the widget or page tab bar.

The comment icon does not display if the story is not set to Comment Mode via the Display menu.

Data Analyzer

Data Analyzer is a predefined ready-to-run application for ad-hoc analysis. It can be accessed in view mode of SAP SuccessFactors Stories for People Analytics when it is enabled.

Data Analyzer displays the data by default in a table but you can switch to chart view as well. It contains a toolbar with essential functionalities and an option to Show Filter (or Hide Filter). It has a Builder panel with navigation capabilities to add and remove dimensions and measures from the table and to switch the visualization from table to chart.

As a user of a story in optimized design and view mode, you can open data analyzer from a table and several supported chart types.

To open the data analyzer:

  1. Select a chart or table that has the Data Analyzer enabled.
  2. Choose More Actions > Open Data Analyzer.

Working with Data Analyzer

Adding Filters

You can add filters to focus on details in your analysis.

If you want to add filters, click the Add Filter button to choose one of the listed items. In the Set Filter dialog you can add filters according to your needs: You can add filters for dimensions and filter by member or by range. After you have added filters, the filter tokens are displayed on the toolbar. You can easily remove the filter with the Delete Filter button.

Using the Builder Panel and the Available Objects List

The Builder panel is displayed on the right side of the application. Under Rows and Columns, you see all measures and dimensions that are displayed in the table. In the Available Objects panel that is displayed next to the Builder Panel by default, all available measures and dimensions of the data source are displayed. Here you can select dimensions and assign them directly to the table's rows or columns by clicking the rows or columns buttons next to the name, OR by dragging and dropping dimensions or measures from the Available Objects to the Builder panel. To display more measures in the table, you can check the measures in the list or uncheck them if you want to remove them from the table. To remove dimensions or measures from the Builder panel and from the table, click the remove button beside the dimension.

For the Rows and Columns, you are offered a context menu that you can open by clicking the more actions. Here you can use the following functions:

  • By clicking Swap Axes, you can exchange rows and columns.
  • By clicking Totals Position, you can set the display of the totals.
  • By clicking Suppress Zeros, you can suppress zeros in rows and/or columns.

Each dimension in the Builder panel also has a context menu that you can open and use by clicking more actions on the dimension.

In the Available Objects panel, you can also search for objects. Additionally, in the upper right corner of the Available Objects panel, you can change the objects' display as well as their sort order.

You can resize the width of the left side panel for Available Objects. This way you can display long dimension and long measure names.

In the Builder panel, you can also switch the visualization of your data from table to chart by choosing a chart type in the dropdown box at the top of the panel. Each chart type offers a specific set of settings that you can change. The following chart types are available:

  • bar
  • column
  • stacked bar
  • stacked column
  • line
  • pie
  • donut

Using the Styling Panel

In the Styling panel, you can use the Default or Basic template as styling option for your table and switch on Alternating Rows. To change the number formatting of your measures, you find different number formatting options like Scale, Scale Format, Decimal Places, as Show Sign.

Undo, Redo, Reset, and Auto Refresh

You can use the toolbar menus Undo, Redo and Reset in data analyzer. These menu functions support all actions that manipulate the data source in the table (like for example sorting, swap axis and more). They do not support table styling settings and general appearance settings of user interface elements.

With the toolbar button Auto Refresh, you can set the enable / disable auto-refresh of the data.

Add Thresholds as Conditional Formatting to Highlight Data

You can use custom formatting options to highlight data information such as low sales in an area.

Use thresholds to compare measures to a fixed range or to other measures. You can create thresholds and assign styles and colors to them.

To create a threshold:

  1. In the side navigation, open the Styling panel and choose Create Threshold (+) in the Conditional Formatting section.
  2. Enter a name for your threshold.
  3. Select the Measure.
  4. Choose a comparison option using Based on.
  5. Configure your Ranges.
  6. Choose your Style.
  7. Optional, assign a Filter.

Export Data

In the data analyzer, you have different options to export data from your table. With the export options all data in the table at the time of the export are exported.

To start the export of your table's data, the Export button in the data analyzer toolbar and select one of the export options:

  • Export Excel...
  • Export PDF...
  • Export CSV...

You find the export files in the download area of your local PC.

Explorer Mode

You can launch the Explorer for a chart or table to select different dimensions and measures, experiment with filters.

In the Explorer, you see a faceted view of your data, which you can manipulate to generate charts for your story pages. When you select measures and dimensions in the upper pane, the visualization in the lower pane updates in real time. You can filter dimensions by selecting individual members, and the visualization changes immediately to show you the filtered result.

Report creators must enable explorer mode for it to be available for a chart or table.

To launch explorer mode, select the chart or table and then select (Open Explorer...).

In the Explorer, you see a faceted view of your data, which you can manipulate to generate charts for preview.

Explorer mode is not available in stories that have the Optimized View mode enabled.

Explorer Views

You can create different Explorer views and add them to your Story bookmarks. You may want to create different Explorer views and come back to them later. You can do that by creating the views and then creating story bookmarks. To create explorer views, complete the following steps.

  1. In your story, select a chart and then select the Open Explorer… icon.
  2. Add New View.
  3. Select the new View tab and then select Edit.
  4. Provide a name and then select OK.
  5. Make changes to the measures, dimensions, and even the chart type.

    You can create as many different views as you want. When finished, select Exit Explorer Mode.


    To make sure your new views will still be there when you come back to the story, you need to create a story bookmark, as described in a previous section.

Watch the tutorial on Data Explorer to get more information.

Story Report Exporting

You can export a story as a PDF file or as a Microsoft PowerPoint (PPTX) file. To do this, complete the following steps.

  1. With a story open, select the disk icon and  > Export (see the following figure) path from the toolbar.
  2. In the dialog, choose PDF or PowerPoint(.pptx) from the File Type list.
  3. Choose which pages you would like to export. You can export all, or a range of pages.
  4. (Optional) Select Enable export in the background if you want to continue working while the file is being processed and saved. You may experience a slower response time until the export is complete.
  5. (Optional) Select Insert Appendix to include an appendix containing the filter settings and variables of the story (which are set for the story).
  6. (Optional) If you have applied scaling to any charts, you can select Apply Scaled Measures Across All Included Pages to scale the charts across pages.
  7. Select Export to create and download the PDF to your computer.

    Note the following in relation to exporting:

    When charts are scaled per page, the chart density is automatically determined using all charts from the same page only. When charts are scaled across pages, the chart density is determined by all charts that are being exported.The visible content of the story pages in the application determines the size of the exported content: for PDF, the pages will be scaled up; for PowerPoint the content will be scaled down. If you want to print the PDF file to paper, you may need to use scaling options in your PDF viewing software.The PDF or PowerPoint file shows exactly what appears on your story pages at the moment that you export them. If any charts or tables in your story are scrollable, only the visible parts are included in the exported file.

Data Exportation

You can export from a chart or table as a CSV file. You can also export from the Explorer. To export the data to CSV, complete the following steps.

  1. Choose your chart or table.
  2. Choose More ActionsExport.
  3. In the dialog, provide a Name for your CSV file.
  4. For your table, verify that the File Type field shows CSV.
  5. Select the Scope for your CSV file (All or Point of View, which includes what you see in the table data grid).
  6. To maintain Scaling, Units, and Currencies formatting, select Include Formatting.
  7. Select OK.

Table Data Exportation

You can export table data as an XLSX file. You can also export from the Explorer. To do this, complete the following steps.

  1. Choose your table.
  2. Choose More ActionsExport.
  3. In the dialog, provide a Name for your XLSX file.
  4. For your table, verify that the File Type field shows XLSX.
  5. To maintain Scaling, Units, and Currencies formatting, select Include Formatting.
  6. Select OK.

Video: How to Build a Page

We will now learn how to build a page - manage and run Story Reports.

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