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Filtering Data with Focused Navigation – SAP BO

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For SAP BusinessObjects, you can apply filters to layers in the map to present a focused view of your data.

So far, we have created cross tabs and charts as part of our workspace and we learned how we can filter data and how we can change the view of the data by using characteristics and key figures for navigation purposes. Starting with SAP BUSINESS OBJECTS BI4 Service Pack 04, we introduced a feature called Focused Navigation, which allows you to link a cross tab to another cross tab or chart and use the selection of the cross tab to filter the data shown in the second cross tab or chart.

Before using this functionality in the next few steps, let’s use a concrete scenario to explain the value of the feature Focused Navigation. For this scenario, we are taking the role of a Brand Manager and we are responsible for the revenue and profit of specific products in our overall portfolio. Now in SAP BUSINESSOBJECTS ANALYSIS, EDITION FOR OLAP, we are being presented with a cross tab showing us the revenue, profit, and margin broken down by Product and Calendar Month. In addition to the cross tab, we can also see the information displayed in form of a chart. We are currently looking at the information for the complete year but would like to filter the information to the current quarter and only those products that we are responsible for, which we could achieve by using the Filter by Member option and select the months for the current quarter and the list of products for our area. The downside of that option is that then all other months and products are being removed from the cross tab and chart and we now would have to go back and change the filter in case we want to see more than just the current quarter.

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This is exactly the situation where Focused Navigation comes in handy. With Focused Navigation activated we would simply select the relevant information – the months of the current quarter and the products from our area – in the cross tab and the chart will not show the complete data anymore, but only focus on the selected information and the chart will only visualize the selected data.
After we clarified the functionality of Focused Navigation, we will now use the next set of steps and implement this feature in our own workspace.

  1. Open the BI Launchpad via Start > All Programs > SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.0 > SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform > SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform Java BI Launchpad.
  2. Logon with your SAP credentials and the SAP authentication for your SAP NETWEAVER BW system.
  3. Select the menu Applications.
  4. Select Analysis, Edition for OLAP. In the next step, you are presented with the list of available OLAP Connections.
  5. Select the connection we created previously pointing to your SAP NetWeaver BW system.
  6. Click Next. You are now receiving the list of available BEx queries.
  7. Select the BEx Query from section BEX QUERIES.
  8. Remove all items from the Rows.
  9. Add characteristic Product to the Rows.
  10. Now move the item Key Figures from the Columns to the Background
  11. Ensure that the key figure Net Value is the only key figure that is being displayed.
  12. Click OK.
  13. Add characteristic Calendar Year / Month to the Columns. (see Figure 5.67).

Figure 5.67 Analysis Workspace

14. Navigate to the tab Insert (see Figure 5.68).

Figure 5.68 Inserting a chart

15. Click on the button to insert a new line chart (see Figure 5.69).

Figure 5.69 Analysis Workspace with chart

16. Use the small area on top of the chart to increase the focus area so that you can see several months of data (see Figure 5.70).

Screenshot_612Figure 5.70 Chart Focus Area

17. Now select the cross tab in the upper part.
18. Navigate to the tab Display.
19. Click on Focused Analysis in the toolbar (see Figure 5.71).

Figure 5.71 Focused Analysis

Now in our exampl, we want to see a set of products for three months quickly and without having to go through the entire Filter by Member options. We activated the Focused Analysis option and can now use it to show only the selected information in the chart

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 20. Select the rows for the product Notebook Standard 15 and Notebook Standard  (see Figure 5.72).

Figure 5.72 Selected Rows with Focused Analysis

As you will notice, the chart now shows only the information for those two products

21. For our example, we want to select only the information for three months to show the data from the current quarter.
22. Instead of selecting the complete rows, select the cell for those two products and the three month (see Figure 5.73).


Figure 5.73 Cells selected with Focus Analysis

You can see that the chart is now only focusing on those six selected cells and that we can use the visualization to quickly identify the data we are responsible for.

Figure 5.74 Multiple Rows with Focused Analysis

Focused Analysis can only be used with data that is “next to each other” in the cross tab. For example, selecting those four rows as shown in Figure 5.74 will result in the chart only showing the first two selected rows. You can create a custom order to overcome this limitation.

23. Select the row for Product Notebook Basic 15 in the cross tab.
24. With the mouse button held, move the row up so that it is shown below the first two rows that we have selected.
25. Repeat the steps for Product Notebook Basic 17.
26. Select those four rows in the cross tab (see Figure 5.75).

Figure 5.75 Multiple Rows Selected

By using the combination of a custom sorting and Focused Analysis, we are able to quickly analyze the information for those products that we are responsible for in a visual manner, by simple selecting them in the cross tab and filtering the chart to the selected information.

In this section, we reviewed the new feature of Focused Analysis and how it allows us to quickly filter the information in our workspace. In the next section, we will review another new feature called “Pivot with”.

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About Author

Ravindra Savaram is a Technical Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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