Gamification with SAP Analytics Application/ Analytics Designer

I’m sure you have heard of SAC Story, but have you heard of Analytics Applications? In this blog post, I will share my experience with using SAP Analytics Application and how it can help you take your dashboarding game to the next level.

I found that the terms Analytics Designer and Analytics Application are interchangeable. For this blog, I am going to be referring to it as SAC Analytics Application, as that is what you will see in the SAC page.

I built an Analytics App for a KPI dashboard and explored its ability to create a gamified leaderboard. Here’s what I learned.

Leaderboard%20created

Leaderboard created

What SAC Analytics Application offers:

SAC Analytics Application is unlike your typical SAC Story dashboard. It houses the ability of a low code application, giving it an edge when it comes to customization of the dashboard. In order to make full use of this feature, basic knowledge of Javascript or any coding experience is needed. Some customizations include CSS Customization, script functions and variables, which are not available for SAC Story.

CSS Customization on Analytics Application can be limited, but it still offers you the ability to customize regardless. I mainly used it for changing the color of a button on click, but you can discover more uses for this. You may wish to learn more about CSS Customization for Analytics Applications here.

What I used SAC Analytics Application for:

As previously mentioned, I made use of Analytics Apps to create a gamified leaderboard. The key here was to create a dashboard that does not come off too plain, with the gamification element still providing some bits of competitiveness for the team in hitting their joint KPIs. It also serves as a central platform for the team to ensure that they are on track for each of the KPIs and are not missing out on anything or whether they are putting more effort into one thing compared to another.

1. Script variables

Something I found to be very useful was the ability to set my own script variables in SAC Analytics Applications. Script variables are variables that you can set by yourself to use in the Analytics Applications. In this case, I made use of it to set the targets for each KPI. Doing so allows for better flexibility in creating changes to the target and bypasses the need for another SAC Modeller or OData Service to house them. This saves time and effort for you, the designer, streamlining the database design process.

Script Variables can be found under “Scripting”:

Note that you can choose the type of variables that you are storing. This is similar to how you declare variables in Java or Javascript. In my case, since my KPI targets are numbers, I can make use of either integers or numbers.

Other than the usage of script variables for static KPI targets, I made use of it to pass information between the widgets. For example, I need the top performer for KPI #1, which needs to be extracted from the chart on the bottom left. To do so, I used a script variable of the type String to hold the top performer’s name. This script variable is then referenced in a text field to showcase the name of the top performer.

The function to get the name from the chart is more complex, especially since I was using a blended chart (i.e. Chart with data from 2 or more sources). I will put a link in the appendix for your reference.

2. Script Objects

Coming from a developer background, I struggled with trying to use the low code functionality when attempting to create functions.

I could not make any functions within the scripts itself and started creating repetitive codes. It was a nightmare until…

I found Script Objects. It houses the functions that you would like to create! Here’s a quick look at how it works, from a coder’s viewpoint.

Understanding the different layers of scripting objects

Instructions on how to set up the function inputs. To get to this, simply click the class method (getFirstPlace) from the previous image.

It was simple enough to use, and was a breeze to set up the function. You can try it out by first making a function to do simple calculations such as summation to get used to how it works.

3. Tabs

Tabs were especially useful in trying to showcase more in one dashboard. For my use case, each tab was built to show the top performers for each KPI.

4. Custom Dropdowns

Dropdowns are available in SAC Story. But what makes it so different here in the SAC Analytics Application is the feature of customization. I made use of it to create a list of members that were present in a table. The table comes with a few filters to ensure that the members listed actually have projects in progress or are completed.

To do so, have your table and dropdown ready. Here’s how my table looks like:

Use this code to populate the dropdown. You would want it in your canvas’ onInitialization() method

var DIMKEY_ASSIGNEE = Table_12.getDimensionsOnRows()[0]; // This gets the Assignee key within the table
var SELECTIONS = Table_12.getDataSource().getResultSet(); // This gets all the selections possible in the table (i.e. all data values)
// It is in a JSON format and can be accessed like a dictionary
for (var i=0;i< SELECTIONS.length; i++) { Dropdown_1.addItem(SELECTIONS[i][DIMKEY_ASSIGNEE].id); // For loop to add the names of my members into the dropdown
}

If you didn’t manage to locate the onInitialization method, it is on the left of your screen as shown below:

The onInitialization() method runs the code that is placed it in when the user starts up the application. So, anything that you want to showcase immediately on start up should be placed here.

Getting your data started

I made use of an OData service connected to a Model to retrieve the data to be displayed on my charts and tables. This should be largely similar to how you would normally use SAC Story. If you want to learn more about how to use the SAC Modeler, try looking here for detailed instructions.

Summary

In summary, SAC Analytics Application has much to offer for your dashboarding needs. It can also be extended further to be a low code application that can do calculations for you. I personally find that there are some things I have yet to discover, and requires time to be explored. In the meantime, using these few widgets and functionalities in SAC Analytics Application has provided me with the ability to create a customized application that suits my project needs.

I am very happy with how it turned out and hope that this blog post has exposed you to the powers of Analytics Applications. If you have any questions, feel free to drop them down below. Have fun exploring SAC Analytics Applications!

Appendix

Getting data from blended charts

Creating buttons to toggle tabs

SAC Analytics Application Developer Guide (As of 2022 Q1)

Latest information/ updates on SAC Analytics Applications