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Real-time analytics isn’t worth much if you can’t make sense of the analysis -- and act upon it right away. The need for such instant action is driving uptake of business intelligence dashboards, which intuitively display key performance indicators (KPIs) -- and the most useful dashboards help users collaborate.

Users can create their own business intelligence dashboards, tailored to their own needs -- with the capability of quickly and easily collaborating with others.

“Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has used what she called her ‘dashboard’ of jobs data to justify the Fed’s easy money policies,” Bloomberg noted earlier this month.

Executives can create their own dashboards using SAP Fiori, according to Birgit Starmanns, senior director of product management for SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori. At SAPinsider 2015, she showed how the platform’s simple and personalized user experience (UX) can help a financial professional evaluate KPIs in real time.

Find Problems in Real Time

Three easy-to-read graphs pop up on Starmanns’ tablet, and she immediately notices a problem with operation margin, how much of an organization’s revenue remains after paying specific costs. Tapping the screen lets Starmanns drill down into greater detail.

“I’m following the path here ... the problem is in Expenses, and it’s with the Global Customer Operations Unit in Latin America,” Starmanns said. “I’m shown here that the problem is in Brazil.”

Drilling down farther reveals that third-party expenses are rising too quickly for Starmanns’ comfort. The dashboard’s collaboration tools let Starmanns notify her team that something is amiss, and then she continues her real-time analysis -- which exposing several abnormally high transactions.

Don’t Just Stand There ...

Global maps and line items on Starmanns’ screen give way to a bar vertical graph for Accounts Receivable; a magenta column stretching upward promptly indicates an abnormally high number of accounts are more than 90 days overdue. Next, a horizontal bar graph instantly displays the customers who aren’t paying their bills.

“The customer at the top has, by far, has more outstanding receivables than the other customers,” Starmanns said. “I’d like to take a look in more detail, and I can look at these across many different dimensions.”

Within a few clicks, the app lists unpaid invoices -- and she can do something about it. Starmanns’ dashboard lets her use Jam, e-mail and other collaborative apps to instruct applicable account executives to get their accounts in order.

... Do Something!

When Starmanns identifies and clicks on the pesky $18 million invoice, SAP HANA and SAP Simple Finance display the details in real time. Now Starmanns has all the information she needs to help resolve this issue with the customer in question.

“With the power of SAP Fiori, S/4HANA and SAP Simple Finance ... we can see that there’s a lot of interactivity here, all the way down to the transactional level,” Starmanns said.

This interactivity takes place on SAP Fiori apps, as well as new solutions that are natively designed with the UX. It helps users and their colleagues make the most of real-time analytics by better understanding their business intelligence, enabling them to collaborate and react more quickly.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

More From SAP Business Trends:

How Real-Time Analytics Will Kill a Financial Tradition @SAPinsider 2015

Why Paranoia Is Good for Business @SAPinsider 2015

Nipping Fraud in the Bud @SAPinsider 2015