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Picture the scene: You're in a high-stakes meeting, ready to unveil the insights hidden within your dashboard. As you navigate through the data, excitement gives way to frustration. Your dashboard slows down, dragging its feet during critical interactions. Your stakeholders' attention wavers, and you find yourself grappling with the very technology meant to empower you.

How can you negate the frustration of crafting a stunning dashboard, only to see it stutter and stall when you need it most? This was the starting point for our journey into creating the definitive guide to optimizing SAP Analytics Cloud.

In SAP Analytics Cloud: Performance Optimization Guide, my co-authors and I lean in heavily to the customer’s perspective. As believers in the power of practicality, we made sure to provide actionable insights. Drawing on our experience working with SAP Analytics Cloud and in user research, we explain how best to optimize SAP Analytics Cloud apps and dashboards.

In doing so, we detail best practices to elevate story builder and analytics designer apps, improve models, and enhance backend efficiency. What’s more, readers can use our advice to master performance measurement, testing, and monitoring.

Below, I’m excited to share my insights on how we chose our content and why we focused on the aspects that resonate most with our users' experiences.

The Pitfalls of Performance  

We kick off the book by delving into the issues faced by end-users, including potential performance bottlenecks that can impact everyday business. We put the spotlight on the challenges users often encounter so that we can explore the strategies to overcome them.

In my role as a User Researcher at SAP, I know how easy it is for users to get lost in jargon. That’s why we take time to demystify terms and discuss the crucial differences between performance testing and engineering.

We also wanted to emphasize the need for clarity on performance tests and tools. Therefore, we talk about the nuances of measuring, testing, and monitoring dashboard performance, shedding light on their significance in delivering a seamless experience.

Our journey continues with a step-by-step exploration of performance testing. A guiding principle for us is that understanding metrics is key. They guide us through the labyrinth of performance evaluation.

Empowering Users, Administrators & Dashboard Users

We want to empower users with tools they can use immediately to enhance their dashboard's performance. To that end, the performance equation is a tool that readers can employ to make tangible improvements.

The "Ten Golden Rules of Performant Dashboards" is a personal favorite part of the book. It condenses years of experience into simple guidelines, giving readers a structured approach to performance optimization.

We transition to the practical side of things with SAP Analytics Cloud Story Builder. Here we discuss how to use charts, tables, images, and calculations in a meaningful way and focus on possible performance.

Highlighting the Performance Analysis Tool within SAC is our way of emphasizing the importance of analysing and fine-tuning. This tool equips readers with insights into their dashboard's performance that can't be overlooked.
We are strong advocates for continuous improvement. By optimizing settings through the SAC analytics designer, users are empowered to refine their dashboards incrementally, consistently enhancing performance.

This includes general settings, specific optimizations, your analytics application structure, scripting, responsive design, measuring the performance of self-coded features, and more.

Decisions matter, and as authors, we wanted to stress how even seemingly small choices impact dashboard performance. We explore modeler and backend settings together, demonstrating how understanding these decisions can lead to substantial performance gains.

Administrators play a vital role in performance optimization. We give administrators the tools they need to fine-tune backend and tenant settings. This directly affects the end user experience, aligning with our user-centric approach.

What about the users of dashboards? We look at the choices that viewers or users of the dashboard can make to improve performance. This includes understanding the impact of network and computer characteristics, and what usage interactions can be slow, and what you can do to reduce delays when presenting your dashboard to others.

Making An Example of Our Work
We find that practical examples resonate deeply in technical guides. That’s why the book has three chapters dedicated to real-world examples in the realm of dashboard optimization, each drawn from our user research.

We create dashboards that use a spreadsheet as its data source, create two dashboards using a BW and a HANA live data connection, as well as show examples of how the analytics designer expands on the standard story builder tool by adding features that enable the creation of more complex and customizable applications.

As we conclude, remember that the guiding theme of this book is about creating dashboards that resonate with users on both aesthetics and performance. We want readers to understand that it's not just about aesthetics – optimal performance ensures an enjoyable user experience.

Every click matters, every interaction shapes the narrative. Armed with insights, we can craft dashboards that captivate and excel in performance, guaranteeing a delightful user journey for all.


Buy from SAP Press: SAP Analytics Cloud Performance Optimization Guide

Read about the authors.