Simplify Reporting by Creating a Top N Analysis Report

  • by Yu (James) Hong, Information Management Lead, Major Manufacturing Company
  • Balaji Bitra, BW Lead, Major Manufacturing Company
  • November 1, 2007
See how to develop a BW Web report that shows the top N product analysis with the subtotal key figures of top N products and the subtotal of the remaining products in one report. Walk through an example of how to set up a top 20 products analysis based on the user selection of the subsidiary and time period.
Key Concept

Top N product analysis allows a company to select a certain number of its products and analyze them both as a group and in comparison to the remaining products in its portfolio. Using this kind of analysis, a company can assess products in various ways based on different criteria, such as region.

A global company’s product portfolio produces complex reports that often require simplification to emphasize certain pieces of information. Managers usually want to see concise reports of important products that explain key elements of their product lines.

One way to produce such a report is to show how the top N products of a given portfolio perform relative to the remaining products in terms of sales or profit. The standard report only shows the top N products’ information. With access to the subtotal key figures of the top N products and the subtotal of the remaining products in one report, managers can allocate brand investments, research, and development to the right products. Moreover, some products could be very important in one region but not in the other.

Users can select the region and period for which they would like to perform the top N products analysis. You then have a report that includes the top N products, their subtotal, and the other products’ subtotal.

You can use a product variable with a user exit type to create such a report. We’ll develop a report that shows the top 20 products in a given company as compared to its other products, which is information a standard report doesn’t provide. We’ll also show you a previously undocumented way to code the ABAP user exit so that it calls another query to populate the values at runtime. First, you need to create a report that lists the top 20 products and their key figures, which we’ll explain next. This process applies to SAP BW 3.x and later.

Yu (James) Hong

Yu (James) Hong is an information management lead at a major manufacturing company. He currently is in a BI architect role in the critical corporate finance system. Prior to his current position, he worked as a senior consultant for BearingPoint and a program analyst for Colgate Palmolive, Inc. His expertise covers all aspects of the SAP NetWeaver BI implementation.

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Balaji Bitra

Balaji Bitra is the BW lead at a major manufacturing company. Prior to that, Balaji was a senior consultant with BearingPoint, Inc. He is experienced in implementing large SAP BW projects.

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