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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert


A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is performing in line with its target objectives. Organizations use key performance indicators at multiple levels to keep a constant track of their success for achieving the set targets. High-level KPIs (organizational level) can be used to focus on the overall performance of an enterprise, while low-level KPIs (employee or team level) can help to focus on processes or employees in specific departments or functional areas.

Business Context

Depending on the type of industry and the corresponding departments in an organization, there could be several KPIs that can be defined to monitor the growth aspects. Each department may want to measure success based on specific goals/targets against a set period or time. For example, below KPIs can be set at department level in an organisation –

  • Financial KPIs – Net cash flow, Gross profit margin, Liquidity ratio, Transactions error ratio etc.

  • Supply chain KPIs – On-time delivery, Slow moving stock, Inventory to sales ratio, Freight cost per ton shipped etc.

  • Sales KPIs – Sales by region, Sales conversion rate, Product performance, Sales per rep or Sales commission etc.

    Use Case

    To set the context for this blog, I would like to take an example based on Sales KPI and demonstrate S/4HANA Cloud solution capability, using Custom CDS views and KPI definition.

    Example: KPI Report – Sales Rep Commission

    Sales representative commission as a KPI measuring factor, can help to demonstrate the ability and performance of each sales employee who generates revenue for an organization. For any business, sales teams are focused and competitive in nature as they are driven by high incentives and commissions on each sale.

    So, measuring this KPI based on a geographical region or a specific product line could be a valuable feedback for the management to create a healthy competition among the team members. Organizations can use this KPI to establish a baseline when comparing the sales reps and motivate their employees to be ambitious and achieve goals that encourage them to go that extra mile.

    Additionally, factors such as employee seniority, geographical location, domestic or international markets etc. can be applied as additional parameters if required on a case to case basis; considering the objectives of a company and the nature of its business.

    Sales commission as a KPI can also be used to encourage and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the sales staff. For instance, one sales rep may perform poorly in one region, however the same person may do exceedingly well in some other region. Yet, it may not be appropriate to compare sales rep commissions between teams selling different products, as the price, volume, and interest level could vary in general.


    • Key users should have a good understanding of their business model and the supporting metrics such as input parameters, thresholds, targets and trends that can be applied to the business KPI. Businesses should ensure that the definition of KPIs is always simple and easy to consume.

    • As there is no standard report available in S/4HANA Cloud solution to monitor commissions for sales employees; a custom report is necessary to achieve the desired result. Challenge in this case is that the key users should have a good knowledge of in-app extensibility concept. This blog intends to bring the necessary information for this purpose.

      Solution Model

      Objective: Create KPI report to monitor the team performance based on sales commissions.

      • There is no lone CDS view in standard solution that can provide the details of sales commission with its corresponding sale employee entered in a sales order. Hence to derive the desired result, a custom CDS view must be created by combining 3 different data sources (CDS views). With custom CDS views, you can merge data from various sources to tailor the data to your specific business needs or process requirements.

      • Details of the process are as follows:

        o To identify the suitable data sources, access the app – ‘View Browser’ under the business catalog ‘Query Design’.

        o With this app, you can search, browse, and tag analytical and non-analytical queries. This application displays all the CDS views that are created and released by SAP, as well as custom-created SAP views irrespective of draft or released status.

        o You can create analytical queries only for those queries that have the status ‘Released’ and for the ‘Cube/Dimension’ category type.

        o Use the search option to identify the data source using the key words; such as ‘salesdocument’ in this case as we intend to access the information from a sales order.

        o For this example, let’s assume that the sales commission is entered manually as a header condition during the sales order entry. However, businesses may choose to calculate the commission on percentage, based on base value such as quantity or order value.

        o Data sources identified for this use case are –

        · Primary data source – I_Salesdocument

        Ø Helps to derive sales order header information such as sales organisation, distribution channel, division, sales office etc.

        · Secondary data sources – I_SalesDocItemPricingElement

        Ø Helps to derive commission details for each sales person (header condition)

        · Secondary data sources – I_SalesDocumentPartner

        Ø Helps to derive the details of sales personnel responsible for sale.

        • First step in this process is to create custom CDS view using the app – ‘Custom CDS Views’ under the business catalog – Extensibility. You would require business role ‘SAP_BR_ADMINISTRATOR’ to access this app.

          • Use the ‘Create’ option to generate a new CDS view.

            • Provide an appropriate name / label and mark the checkbox as ‘analytical’ and select ‘cube’ from the dropdown’. Add the primary and secondary data sources as identified earlier in ‘view browser’ app. Use ‘Association properties’ to establish a link between the primary and associated data sources as they define relationships between entities.

              • An associated data source is a data source that can merged with the primary data source. You can add one or more associated data sources to your custom CDS view based on the business requirement. From the list of available data sources, select the relevant primary data source for the new custom CDS view. The associated data source field would be ‘sales document’ for this use case

                • After specifying the primary data source and associated data sources, go to the Field Selection tab to select the fields and associations from the primary data source and the associated data sources. Here you can select fields and associations from the primary data source and the associated data sources that are to be part of your new custom CDS view. For this example, Sales Area, condition type, amount, currency, partner function (with description) are selected.

                  • Now access the Field Properties tab to change the semantics of the selected fields if necessary. For this example, the condition rate value (sales commission) is summed up from each sales document based on partner function (sales employee). Save the draft and publish the custom CDS view.

                    • The next step is to create a custom analytical query accessing the business catalog ‘Query Design’

                      • Click on ‘New’ and create a query with appropriate title and select relevant data source i.e. the published custom CDS view created earlier.

                        • The next step is to select the relevant fields from available field catalog that needs to be displayed on the final output.

                          • The display tab allows to modify the default properties for the selected fields. For example, you may choose to override the label or change the display axis from row to column.

                            • Further, the filters allow to default any fixed values or make the fields mandatory for selection. Save the draft and publish the custom analytical query.

                              • Once the analytical query is published and the service is ‘activated’, you may proceed to create KPI. Access the business catalog ‘KPI Design’ and the app – ‘Create KPI’.

                                • Enter the appropriate title and select data source i.e. custom CDS view published earlier. Click on ‘Activate and Add Evaluation’. You may also wish to split the activities ‘Create KPI’ and ‘Add Evaluations’ into two different steps.

                                  • For this, access the app create evaluation under business catalog KPI design. This app allows to activate evaluations for the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you have modeled using the create KPI app earlier. You can add an evaluation to an active KPI.

                                  • An evaluation is a combination of parameters, filter settings, input parameters, thresholds, targets, and trends that you wish to apply to a KPI. In other words, the evaluation defines and controls which information about a KPI is visible.

                                    • To activate the evaluation, enter a title, select a released CDS view, the OData, entity set, and value measure. When you choose the KPI, the data source details (for example, the CDS view, the OData service, and the entity set) are drawn from the values entered for the KPI. Input parameters are drawn from the CDS view. Click on ‘Activate and Configure tile’ once all the details are entered.

                                      • In this step, you can choose the type of tile that is relevant to business requirement, title, dimension and the relevant semantic object. Click on ‘Save and configure drill down’ once done.

                                        • Select the active evaluation and choose to configure

                                          • Select the field relevant to be displayed as ‘dimension’. For this example, sales employee number and sales commission are selected.

                                            • Further, choose the relevant chart type, axis and scaling as appropriate. You can simulate the chart with dummy or actual values at this stage before confirming the configuration (save configuration). Next step is to configure a ‘Tile’ from business catalog KPI design business catalog. Configuration of tile allows to create visualizations for an active evaluation.

                                              • Access the app – Create Tile

                                                • Select the active evaluation and click on the app id to assign the tile to a business catalog.

                                                  • Click on ‘add’ to assign the business catalog and publish the same.

                                                    • Select the business catalog to which you wish to add the 'tile' and click ok.

                                                      • Select the business catalog and click on publish.

                                                        • Status is updated as 'Published.

                                                          • Now, a new tile Sales Commission is created and can be viewed under the ‘Sales Analytics’ business catalog.

                                                            • Click on the ‘sales commission’ app to view the sales commission of sales employees.

                                                              • Click on ‘settings’ to select appropriate chart as required.

                                                              • Conclusion

                                                                Measuring and monitoring business performance or a team / individual performance is critical for an organization’s growth. However, focusing on the KPIs that do not fit into a company’s objectives or business model could prove to be detrimental. For example, KPIs that are poorly structured or ones that are too difficult to achieve or measure and monitor on a regular basis etc.

                                                                So, the best practice is to ensure that KPIs align with the strategic goals and objectives of an organization; and evolve as the business grows. Additionally, the indicators chosen to measure the KPIs should have sufficient data to make the analysis reliable and accurate.

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