The time dimension is something that is universal to all dashboards and in most cases, a lot of time is spent in writing logic to determine the buckets especially Month to Date (MTD), Quarter to Date(QTD) etc and involves a lot of back and forth with the development team in designing the queries appropriately.
However, the base for all these buckets is the date and it makes many wonder as to why it is so difficult to get these buckets to function and justify the need for coding. The coding can be with User Exits in SAP or scripting within Lumira Designer.
SAP Lumira designer provides powerful scripting options to slice and dice the data based on different reporting time periods, but this could take significant time and skill. Also, creating multiple time-based controls, like having multiple list boxes for each time-period, would eat up a lot of real estate on your dashboard and make it look cluttered and a mobile experience might leave a lot to be desired.
At Visual BI, we have recognized this need and have a range of period selectors within our VBX extensions to address user’s requirements. In this blog we will be looking at different time and date selection components provided by Visual BI’s VBX extensions to highlight different use cases and help you create dashboards based on different time periods and align as closely as possible with user expectations.
- Day Week and Month (DWM)
- Year and Month Period Selector (YM)
- Year Quarter and Month Period Selector (YQM)
- Year Quarter and Month Multiselect Period Selector (YQMM)
- Time Slicer
DWM (Day Week and Month)
A simple control providing you the ability to select a day or a week for the selected month and year:
YM (Year and Month Period Selector)
Period selector for selecting the desired Month and year for your dashboard with a simple click
YQM (Year Quarter and Month Period Selector)
Provides the ability to select a month, quarter and year.
YQMM (Year Quarter and Month Multiselect Period Selector)
Unlike the other Period Selectors, the YQMM is used for instances, where you want to compare multiple months or quarters together. This gives the ability to do a comparative analysis like monitoring expenses across multiple months/ quarters across last 4 years as seen in the example below:
Different from the other time selectors, the Time slicer provides multiple operators for slicing and dicing the time dimension which are as follows:
- Ability to select last ‘N’ number of Days, Weeks, Months, Quarters, Years
- Current / Next (Day, Week, Month, Quarter, Year) – Ability to select a particular day, week, month…
- Period (YTD, QTD, MTD, LYTD, LQTD, LMTD) – Ability to filter on different time buckets without creating any logic on the front end or backend.
- Before and After – Ability to select a time frame before or after a particular day.
- Between – for selecting a time frame between 2 dates.
Refer to our blog VBX Time Slicer for Lumira Designer for more information on the Time Slicer.
VBX Period Selector Properties
A quick highlight on some of the important features of the period selectors which make designing SAP Lumira designer dashboards easier.
- Return date format: The date returned from the period selector can be easily configured to the date format present in your source system. You can either choose from a list of pre-defined date formats or list your own custom date return format to filter your dashboard.
- Fiscal year: By default, the Period Selector component displays the standard calendar month values from January to December and follows the calendar year. In case you would like to offset the calendar year to a fiscal year, you can activate the Fiscal Year option by providing the starting Month of the Fiscal Year. In the below example we have configured Aug as the start of the fiscal year calendar
- Default Time period Selection: Define the current month, quarter, year, or custom period as the default time period selection for your dashboard, when your dashboard loads.
- Calendar Limits and offsets: The calendar limits for the period selector can either be hardcoded by specifying the start and end Year/Month, or be made dynamic by using the offset property. Let’s consider the current year to be 2018, with a start year offset of -3, the start year would now start from 2015. This property would make the start/end year change dynamically as the year’s progress.
- Maximize and Minimize: Expand and collapse your period selector when not in use, thus helping you optimize your dashboard real estate.
- Appearance: No CSS required for styling. Customize the look and feel of the period selector using the detailed property sheet.
Want to give the Time selector components a try? Download the free 15 Day VBX Trial now.