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Dashboard Reporting: Design Tips and Tricks

Melinda Rojo Kathy Kimball

December 5, 2008

Session Overview
OBIEE offers a rich array of widgets for use in designing and developing dashboards, from dashboard prompts to view selectors to column selectors. This session will share the tips and tricks weve discovered on how best to use the powerful capabilities.

December 5, 2008

Session Topics
Overall Design Tips & Tricks Dashboard Tips & Tricks Answers Tips & Tricks Dashboard Terminology Usage Tracking Resources

December 5, 2008

Overall Design Tips & Tricks


Develop and implement standards for both dashboards and requests Summarize and then drill to detail Make prototypes Make use of visual indicators where appropriate and useful Reuse! Reuse! Reuse!
Prompts Requests Filters

Document requests and filters to facilitate reuse and maintenance

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Dashboard Tips & Tricks


Prompts Section Properties Request Properties Saved Selections Branding Download Options Printing
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Dashboard Prompts
Use prompts to filter results on either an entire Dashboard or the current Dashboard page

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Dashboard Prompts
Tips & Tricks
Select from many operators available Use SQL Results to set choices shown Use Server Variables to set defaults Set Presentation Variables Use constrain Use multiple prompts

Example
Only show departments and funds that a user is interested in. But still allow them to search on any.

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Dashboard Prompts

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Dashboard Section Properties


Guided Navigation
Can guide users to a related set of results either by static or conditional links

Drill in Place
Shows the new results directly in the dashboard rather than replacing the entire dashboard page

Arrange Horizontally
Displays all requests in this section horizontally
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Dashboard Report Properties


Show View
Option shows available views of a report Default is Compound Layout

Report Links
Option controls links displayed under reports

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Dashboard Saved Selections


Use saved selections to allow users to view dashboard pages with the their most frequently used choices Applies to many aspects of a dashboard page
Filters Prompts View selections

Stored on BI Server Web Catalog in /root/users/username/_selections

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Dashboard Saved Selections


Tips & Tricks
Add a button to all dashboard pages allowing users to clear their selections

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Dashboard Branding
OBIEE can be customized to your institution using styles, skins, and custom images Tips & Tricks
Name your dashboard (bg_banner.jpg)
http://obiee101.blogspot.com/2008/09/obiee-portal-customization-part-1.html

Change Powered by Oracle on page footer (siebelbug.gif)


http://obiee101.blogspot.com/2008/10/obiee-replacing-siebelbuggif-powered-by.html

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Dashboard Download Options


Download to Excel and Download to Excel 2000 behave a little differently depending on the platform and browser used We recommend Mac users use the Firefox browser and the Excel 2000 link Excel and Excel 2000 file format is really *.mht; *mhtml though the extension is .xls Youll want to save the file as a Microsoft Excel Workbook before editing the file

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Download to Excel or Excel 2000


Formulas are not downloaded. The value in a cell is downloaded as that value, not as a formula. Monetary columns download as numbers. Values with commas are formatted as numbers and retain formatting that was displayed on the Dashboard, i.e., if two decimal places are shown then those appear in Excel. Monetary columns without a comma are formatted as general, which is a number but with no specific number format. The value does not change but decimal places are suppressed if zeros appear to the right of the decimal place. Columns that are numeric and contain values with leading zeros lose the leading zeros when downloaded to Excel.

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Conditional Formatting Indicators


Weve had inconsistent results using conditional formatting indicators such as a flag or bubble and the image may move when the rows are sorted Conditional formatting indicators appear as a broken images when Download to Excel 2000 is used in both Firefox and IE 7 on Windows/PC No testing has been done on Macs yet

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Download to Data
Download to Data creates a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file, which includes all of the columns included in the Answers request (not just the view displayed on the screen) Formatting from the screen will not be carried over to the file Additional download results have been documented on our website:
http://polydata.calpoly.edu/dashboards/faqs.html

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Dashboard Printing
PDF or HTML of displayed view Headers or Footers appear in PDF if added to the Compound Layout

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Headers and Footers


Cal Poly footer includes:
Saved Name (name of the request) Print Date Page Number Author Name (person running the dashboard request)

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Answers Tips & Tricks


Column Selector View View Selector View Narrative View Compound Layout Saved Filters Saved Data Formats Value Interaction (Navigation)
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Column Selector View


Use column selectors view to allow users to dynamically change which columns appear in a request

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Column Selector View


Tips & Tricks
Standardize on label text such as Show Column: Color code column selector to make visible to end users Standardize on common columns and sort in same order on all requests
Used Advanced Tab to edit XML and copy/paste

Include all members of hierarchies in column selectors so they can jump to level Add column selector to a hidden field on a Pivot to sort results (otherwise only available on table view) Uncheck automatically refresh when a new column is selected so users have GO button

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View Selectors View


Use view selector view to select a specific view of the results from among the saved views

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View Selectors
Tips & Tricks
Standardize on label text such as Select a View: Create view to display filters Create view with instructions before displaying data Create view to easily download data

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Narrative View
Use narrative view to combine text with the results of a request Useful for referencing variables

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Compound Layout View


Use compound layout view to assemble different views for display on a dashboard Tips & Tricks
Remove the Title view Know your boundaries (upper, lower, left, right)
View Boundaries Report Boundaries

Use multiple compound layouts for requests with multiple layouts but the same criteria

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Compound Layout

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Saved Filters
Use saved filters so they may be shared with multiple requests Document shared filters in a flow chart to show dependencies on specific saved filters

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Saved Filters
PolyData Dashboards: Finance
Revenue and Expense Summary by Period - Budget Transactions Budget
Source: Fact Budget, Filters: 7 My Budget Transactions Page

Revenue and Expense Summary


Source: Fact Summary, Filters: 4, 5 My Revenue and Expense Page

Source: Fact Summary, Filters: 5, 6

Revenue and Expense Summary by Period - Encumbrance


Source: Fact Summary, Filters: 5, 6

Transactions Encumbrance
Source: Fact Encumbrance, Filters: 7 My PO Transactions Page

Activity Summary by Year


Source: Fact Summary, Filters: 4, 5a, 11 My Projects Page

Revenue and Expense Summary by Period Actuals


Source: Fact Summary, Filters: 5, 6

Transactions Actuals
Source: Fact Actual, Filters: 7

My Revenue and Expense Transactions Page

Project Summary
Source: Fact Summary, Filters: 12, 13 My Trial Balance Page

Trial Balance
Source: Fact Summary, Filters: 8, 9

Trial Balance Summary by Period


Source: Fact Summary, Filters: 8, 9, 10

Transactions Trial Balance


Source: Fact Actual, Filters: 7, 8

My Trial Balance Transactions Page

My Open POs Page

Open PO Summary
Source: Fact Encumbrance, Filters: 1, 3

Open PO Detail
Source: Fact Encumbrance, Filters: 1, 2, 3

Filters Legend: 1: Encumbrances Criteria 2: Encumbrances Drill 3: Encumbrances Prompt 4: Revenue and Expense Criteria 5: Revenue and Expense Prompt 5a: Revenue and Expense Prompt without FY 6: Revenue and Expense Summary by Period 7: Transactions Prompt 8: Trial Balance Criteria 9: Trial Balance Prompt 10: Trial Balance Summary by Period 11. Five Years Back Prompt 12. Projects Criteria 13. Projects Prompt VisioDocument Rev. 12/3/2008

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Saved Filters
Tips & Tricks
Create to match all columns in a dashboard page prompt Create to match all columns in the criteria Create to match all columns in standard column selectors Create to use for development while building new requests Order of filters matters!

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Saved Data Formats


Use saved data formats to apply, save, and re-use column properties on Value Format tab, Column Format tab, and Conditional Format tabs Scope of save can vary
For a specific column As a system-wide default for this column As a system-wide default for this data type

Stored in an XML file in the Web Catalog in the /root/system/metadata folder

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Saved Data Formats


Tips & Tricks
Save the email address field to display systemwide using mail-to format Will display on all requests using that column

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Value Interaction
Use value interaction to specify what should happen when a user clicks on a column heading or column value Allows users to navigate to multiple requests or dashboards
If multiple navigation paths, pop-up window displays caption

Provides drill-to-detail capability

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Value Interaction
Source Request
Set Interaction Type to Navigate Add Navigation Target to an Answers request Add caption (if multiple targets)

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Value Interaction
Target Request
Use filter with operator of Is Prompted Include all possible columns
Columns in Pivot Axis Columns in Prompts Column Selectors

Column names must match source request EXACTLY


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Dashboard Elements

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Dashboard Terminology
Dashboard content separated by Functional Areas Dashboard Pages one or more related requests Dashboard Page Prompt controls requests on dashboard page Narrative text allows static and variable text Request query Hyperlinks - hierarchical drills, drill to detail options, and links to related information Filter selection criteria for request Column Selector view different columns of data View Selector select different reports within the same request Conditional formatting using green, yellow, red symbols Presentation Catalog Folder list of content related requests

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Usage Tracking
OBIEE provides a usage tracking system with the standard installation Usage Tracking includes
SQL statements to create tracking user and tables/views RPD containing Usage Tracking models Web Catalog for Usage Tracking dashboard

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Usage Tracking
Installing the Usage Tracking components includes:
Creating a database user to host the Usage Tracking objects Creating the Usage Tracking database objects Merging master RPD with Usage Tracking RPD Altering NQSConfig.ini to enable Importing Usage Tracking web catalog components

Reference Blog for step-by-step instructions


http://obiee101.blogspot.com/2008/08/obiee-setting-up-usage-tracking.html

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Usage Tracking

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Usage Tracking

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Resources
Oracle Metalink 3.0 http://metalink3.oracle.com Oracle Business Intelligence obiee-101 http://obiee101.blogspot.com Business Intelligence Oracle http://oraclebizint.wordpress.com FAQs for PolyData Dashboards
http://polydata.calpoly.edu/dashboards/faqs.html

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Questions?

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Contact
OBIEE Technical Conference:
http://polydata.calpoly.edu/dashboards/obiee_conf/index.html

Email: polydata@calpoly.edu

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