SAP Business ByDesign is SAP’s cloud ERP solution and, with its key performance indicators, offers a wide range of options for recording business key figures. These can be viewed directly in Business ByDesign create and evaluate there. The following article provides an overview of key performance indicators and how they work in Business ByDesign .

Key performance indicators in SAP Business ByDesign

Key performance indicators (KPIs) enable companies to measure the degree to which goals have been met. These are quantifiable business indicators that can take numerous forms depending on the company’s activity and its focus. If you want to use this in your cloud-based ERP from SAP, go to the key performance indicator view. Here it is possible to monitor the areas of responsibility and use evaluations based on the KPIs. All KPIs are also visible in the Management and Company Analysis work centers. In the My Area of Responsibility work center, the user only sees the KPIs depending on the respective views.

The user fills out the KPI monitor in the Key Performance Indicator view and selects the Open evaluation catalog option. Here the user has the option of selecting all KPIs from an evaluation catalog that he would like to monitor. The Key Performance Indicator view must then be updated. You should now see all of the KIPs selected for monitoring.

Then the KPIs can be evaluated. To do this, the user creates a new evaluation that depends on the respective KPIs. Further evaluations can then be derived from this by copying the KPI evaluation. Editing and deleting KPI evaluations is of course also possible. However, there are some restrictions on deletion. In this way, only the public KPI evaluations can be deleted who created the evaluation. No user is allowed to monitor this at the moment. The same applies to company reports and private reports. Standard evaluations cannot be deleted.

The properties of KPI evaluations can be easily adjusted in the Key Performance Indicator view. To do this, the user goes to Actions in the view and then to Set properties. Here it is now possible to set the desired threshold value. For example, it would make sense to set a threshold value for a goal from which, according to your own assessment, the green area begins. In this way, the interpretation of the numbers determined can be simplified. It is also possible to set an alarm when a notification about the KPI status should occur at all. It is conceivable, for example, that a notification is given every time the status changes, or only when a critical status is reached, or every time the status deteriorates. An alarm does not have to be defined, however.

As soon as the user has made changes to the settings in an evaluation, the evaluations must be recalculated. This is done in the KPI monitor. It is sufficient to mark the corresponding evaluation and then go to Recalculate evaluation under Actions. If desired, evaluations can also be deactivated. Unlike in the case of a deletion, the evaluation is then still available, but there is no longer any display in the KPI monitor. A corresponding function for this can be found under Actions. The reactivation then takes place via the evaluation catalog.

Create a new KPI evaluation

The creation of new KPI evaluations takes place in the cloud ERP of SAP Business ByDesign via the evaluation catalog. This can be opened in the Key Performance Indicator view. The program asks the user to select a KPI that is to serve as the basis for the evaluation. The user then has to define the evaluation as well as additional dimensions and properties. We’ll take a closer look at how this works in the following sections.

After the user has checked all specifications, the new evaluation can be created. Changes are still possible at this point in time. Finalization takes place as soon as the user selects Finish.

Copy KPI evaluations

SAP Business ByDesign It makes it easier for the user to copy evaluations that have already been created and then use them elsewhere for new evaluations. As soon as a certain pool of evaluations is available, a variety of derivations are possible and new evaluations can be created all the faster for an efficient way of working with KPIs. The copying is done again via the evaluation catalog. The user selects the desired evaluation and then goes to copy. Here, too, the evaluation must be defined again, the user creates additional dimensions and defines the properties. From here on, the procedure does not differ from the creation of completely new evaluations.

Define KPI evaluations

So that a new KPI evaluation can be created, the user must define how the KPI evaluation should look. The user defines various conditions for this. How the evaluation is carried out and what the KPI monitor shows the user depends on the resulting set of conditions.

The user proceeds in such a way that he first selects a dimension that he is interested in evaluating. This can be a specific attribute of a KPI, for example. Then the user selects the calculated value. Which ones are available here depend on the respective dimension. After that, conditions have to be defined for the calculated value. If the calculated value is to be less than the target value, the user selects the condition Is less than. If it is to be greater, the condition Is greater than must be selected accordingly. If the calculated value is to be within a previously defined range of values, the user selects the Is between condition.

Then the user has to set a target value. He finds the corresponding elements in a list. The evaluation can take place on the basis of a reference value or an absolute value. In the case of a reference value, the threshold values are listed as a percentage of the comparison dimension. In the case of an absolute target value, the comparison is made with a fixed value. The threshold is then expressed in units of measure.

Finally, the user can define the threshold values, which can then be used to trigger alarm messages. Here again the conditions Is less than, Is greater than and Is between are available for selection.

Processing of the KPI evaluations

Whoever uses the cloud ERP from SAP Business ByDesign uses, would certainly like to make changes to a certain KPI evaluation at some point. This is possible in the work centers My Area of Responsibility and Management. The key performance indicator view is also relevant here. Here the user selects the KPI evaluation that he would like to change and then goes into the actions. There he will find the option Edit evaluation. However, it is also possible to choose the route via the evaluation catalog. Here the user only has to select the desired KPIs and then go to Edit. As described above, this is only possible if the editing user is also the person responsible for these KPIs.

The adjustments relate again to the definition of the evaluation, to the additional dimensions and the properties of the evaluation. Here, too, the user has to check all conditions, dimensions and properties again before the changes are applied.

Define additional dimensions

Any additional dimensions can be defined for each KPI evaluation. If the user decides to define and use the additional dimensions, the restriction In Condition Used will now appear for the selected dimensions of the evaluation. The user can restrict as many dimensions as he wants. This function can be accessed in SAP Business ByDesign Possible via the Management and My Area of Responsibility work centers, as usual in the Key Performance Indicators view.

In order to set the restrictions, the user selects the desired dimension. How the value can be specifically restricted depends on the type of dimension. There are two options here. If the program displays a single dialog box, the restriction is based on a single value. The user does not have to do anything else than select the desired value. If a double dialog box appears, a restriction with several values is possible. The user selects the values to be restricted in the left dialog window. All selected values then appear in a list in the right window.

It is also possible to delete the restrictions again. This is done by removing restrictions.

Define properties for KPI evaluations

Several things are possible in the properties. The user defines the name of the evaluation here, adds a description if necessary and defines when an alarm should be triggered in the event of a status change. It is also possible to group different evaluations in the KPI monitor for a better overview. The user receives access to the properties of the KPI evaluations in the Cloud ERP from SAP Business ByDesign again in the Key Performance Indicators view in the Management and My Area of Responsibility work centers.

The user assigns a name for the evaluation in the Evaluation name field. However, it is also possible to use the suggested standard name. With Reset to default, the user can later decide on the default name, even if he has already filled in the Evaluation Name field. The Evaluation Description field is used to add brief explanations to the respective KPI evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation should be stated here. This makes it easier for other users to select suitable evaluations for their needs. It is also interesting for users whether other evaluations already exist that use the same KPIs. The users can find information on this under Existing evaluations.

The user will find the alarm activation event option under evaluation behavior. Here he selects when an alarm should be triggered for status changes of the KPIs. This is possible when a critical status is reached, a status deterioration or in general when a status change occurs. However, there is no need to select an alarm activation event.

In addition, the user specifies which type of evaluation should be in the properties. The options Private, Corporate and Public are available for selection here. The access rights decide which evaluation types can be selected. If a user is assigned to the Business Analysis work center, only the public reports are available for selection. Private and public evaluations are possible in the My Area of Responsibility work center. Public and company reports are available to users in the Management work center.

Finally, the user should determine which grouping he wants for his various evaluations in the KPI monitor. The settings made here also relate to the display in the evaluation catalog. The user defines the perspective and the importance. The importance can be high, low, medium or very high. For the business perspectives, the customer perspective, the financial perspective and the internal process perspective as well as the learning & growth and employee perspective are available in the Cloud ERP.

Set semantic colors

The usefulness of the KPI evaluations and the data they contain depends crucially on how the software presents the information. In order to facilitate the recording of the business information, the user creates meaningful colors and edits them. It is particularly useful that you can define your own colors for the respective key figures for certain actual values, budget values or previous year’s values. The viewer of the evaluations scans the content much faster thanks to the semantic colors, which increases the benefit of the KPI evaluations accordingly.

The user defines a semantic tag for this, whereby each color is then associated with a specific pattern. These patterns include, for example, dots or stripes in a diagonal orientation. As soon as the user has assigned a semantic tag to a key figure, the program colors the column headers in the tabular reports and the bars in the corresponding color.

The semantics are assigned in the Create Key Figures view. Enrichment with semantic colors takes place for SAP content as well as for user-defined content. If you want, you can only set the semantic colors for selected reports. If you want to make your work easier, you can simply use the SAP suggestions for semantic colors. Of course, it is also possible to define your own tags and thus implement an individual corporate information design.

All statements without guarantee.