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Designing stories that are easy to comprehend automatically helps SAP Analytics Cloud run at optimal performance levels. In this post, we’ll share some best practices and tips for designing and maintaining your stories to help keep things running smoothly.

Story Design

  • Try designing your story using Responsive pages instead of Canvas or Grid pages. Responsive pages allow your story content to re-flow depending on the size of the screen it is being viewed on.

Tip: Responsive pages are the only page-type that can be viewed with the SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile App for iOS.

  • Limit the number of content-rich tiles on each page like maps or charts with a high volume of data points. Overloading your pages with dense information will make it harder for your viewers to consume and may slow download-time.

Tip: Use pages to break up your story by category or type of information. Put your most-viewed content on the first page to make it easily accessible.

  • When adding images to your pages ensure that the images are sized for web and are smaller than 1MB

Tip: SVG vectors image files still look great at a small file size. If you can’t use an SVG image file, PNG image files perform better than JPG.

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Explorer

  • If your model contains a lot of dimensions, choose particular dimensions to show in the explorer rather than showing them all. This cuts down on scrolling and makes it easier for you to find the dimensions you need.

Tip: When using the explorer to create a visualization, try de-selecting the “Automatically Synchronize Visualization” button. By turning off this feature you can change your measure and dimension selections without auto-refreshing the visualization. When you’re ready, simply click the “Synchronize Visualization” button to update your visualization.

  • Story designers can choose to enable the explorer on charts and tables while in view-mode. When configuring this option, make sure to choose relevant measures and dimensions for your viewers to explore.

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Charts and Tables

  • Lowering the number of individual data points makes the information in your stories easier to read and analyze.
  • When adding tables to your story, keep in mind the goal of the table and ensure that viewers can easily navigate the information. To help ensure readability, tables are limited to a maximum of 500 and 60 columns. Tables with more than 100,000 cells will not display.

Tip: Apply chart filters to reduce the volume of information in charts with more than 1000+ data points and use table filters to keep a manageable amount of information visible in your tables.

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Geospatial

  • Location Clustering is automatically enabled when there are more than 5,000 points on a bubble layer. To even further optimize your bubble layer, switch on Location Clustering and choose 1,000 for the maximum number of display points.

Tip: If you are working with thousands of locations consider using the choropleth layer instead. This layer aggregates your data into shapes and you’re able to filter and drill-down on the shapes to get further insights into location data.
geo map SAP Analytics Cloud

  • To create a location-enabled model from a live HANA data connection, you must first prepare a calculation view with location dimensions. Location Data must be prepared through SAP HANA Studio. After creating a model based on the calculation view in SAP Analytics Cloud, you can add one or more location dimensions to map the Location Data imported from the live HANA system. For help, download instructions on Creating a Geo model from Live HANA Calculation View.

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Filters

  • If you’re creating a story with many elements based on the same information, try adding story filter capabilities instead of individual filters for pages, charts, or tables.

Tip: Page filters that are displayed as tokens (eg. Product below) take up less space in your story and are easier to work with than expanded page filters (eg. Location below) with many members.

  • Filters with fewer members are easier to use during analysis and when viewing a story. When setting up your filter, try to select specific members rather than selecting “All Members”.

Tip: For members with large hierarchies, you can limit the number of levels in the filter to make things easier to navigate.

  • The Cascading Effect feature is enabled on pages with multiple filters by default. When the feature is enabled, selections made on a story or page filter will affect related filters in the same story or page. Toggling off the Cascading Effect feature reduces query volumes and can speed up filter performance.

  • When adding date and time range filters you’re able to choose between a dynamic or fixed range of time. Check the SAP Analytics Cloud help documentation for a detailed explanation of each option and tips on how to customize these filters.

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Mobile

Viewing your stories with the SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile App for iOS is extremely convenient. However, a mobile device looks and acts a bit differently than your other screens. There are a few ways that you can help ensure your stories are useful when viewed on mobile devices.

  • Design your stories using Responsive pages. This is the only page-type that is accessible from the Mobile App for iOS.
  • Make sure you have some free space on your device. The Mobile App performs best on iOS devices with 2GB or more of free space.
  • When designing charts and tables that will be viewed on mobile devices, try to limit the number of data points and values that are displayed. This helps to ensure that viewers of your story are able to navigate the information, no matter what size of screen they’re working with.
  • For even more information on the mobile app, check out the SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile App Guided Playlist.

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Story Maintenance

  • Remove any unused pages in your story to help streamline your information and improve navigation for your users
  • When exiting your story, accept the prompt to remove models that are not in use. You can always add new models when editing your story if you need to.
  • To avoid saving uncompleted work, SAP Analytics Cloud does not automatically save your stories.  So, remember to save changes that you’ve made when editing your stories before closing your browser.

Tip: To take advantage of performance improvements in each new release, you’ll have to open your stories in edit-mode and click save.

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