How to Display and Update Comments in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards

  • by Vinay Gupta , Technical Architect, Infosys
  • Neha Lunkad Lodha, Team Lead, Infosys
  • Vivek Madhav, Principal Consultant, Infosys
  • April 29, 2013
Analyzing data presented in a dashboard helps enhance performance and pinpoint the opportunities and problem areas in a business. When data analysis is combined with qualitative comments, it can play a crucial role in ideation and strategy formulation. Learn about a custom solution that helps business analysts input their comments and feedback in the dashboard.
Key Concept

A Web services-based function module can be used to connect to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards. The function module performs the business logic of handling comments (e.g., read or update comments).

No standard mechanism can provide the comment functionality to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.x (formerly known as Xcelsius). We developed a custom mechanism that any business area can implement for BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.x or older versions of Xcelsius.

We carried out this solution for the research division of a multinational company. This functionality was implemented in the company’s finance dashboard, which provided a snapshot of actual versus plan financial data. The solution gives users the flexibility to provide their comments on the deviation between plan and actual data, among other things. Moreover, the comments are visible to other peers and superiors based on authorization, and they can be stored permanently in the database.

Important considerations for this dashboard commenting feature include the following:

  • Commenting should be implemented at the granular level (e.g., a combination of profit center level, plant, period, or version). We recommend performing due diligence with the business before choosing the granularity.
  • User IDs should be stored along with comments to maintain an audit trail.
  • It is possible to enable entry of multiple comments for different areas of analysis (e.g., income, expense, headcount) in the same comment box. Consider this option as per business requirements.
  • Dashboard layout is important for usability and user experience. Based on our experience, placing the comment box on the upper right side of a dashboard provides better visibility and improves user experience.

We demonstrate a step-by-step approach covering the scenarios for read and update comments.

Vinay Gupta

Vinay Gupta is a technical architect at Infosys with nine years of experience in SAP NetWeaver BW. He specializes in data modeling, reporting, and performance tuning for SAP Net Weaver BW and SAP BusinessObjects.

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Neha Lunkad Lodha

Neha Lunkad Lodha is the Team Lead for SAP BusinessObjects and SAP NetWeaver BW at Infosys, in New Jersey. She specializes in SAP NetWeaver BW and reporting using SAP BusinessObjects toolsets and BEx Query.

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Vivek Madhav

Vivek Madhav is a principal consultant at Infosys with more than 11 years of experience in IT. He specializes in SAP NetWeaver BW, SAP BusinessObjects, and SAP Enterprise Performance Management. He currently focuses on providing consulting and solutions in the space of planning and analytics in the finance area. He has also worked on SAP Planning and Consolidation (BPC) and Profitability and Cost Management (PCM).

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