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Cynthia Lee

Cynthia Lee

Cynthia is an Associate Product Manager Intern on the SAP Analytics Cloud team, based in Vancouver. She is a creative communicator who loves highlighting the latest and greatest product features. Outside of the office, she loves storytelling, organizing events, and playing competitive dodgeball.

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American Hotel Register (American Hotel) is a premier global hospitality supplier that prides itself in creating memorable guest experiences. This family-owned company has roots in the United States and extends to multiple industries, including: hotel, healthcare, government, education, and funeral.

With over 900 employees and over 70,000 product solutions, there’s no shortage of information for them to analyze.

We spoke with Will Gagne, Business Intelligence Engineer from American Hotel, about his experience in transforming an executive dashboard with SAP Analytics Cloud. Let’s look at his extreme dashboard makeover!

The Original Design:

*NOTE: Data has been mocked up, and not an actual snapshot of American Hotel’s financials.

American Hotel’s initial dashboard design featured a thoughtful selection of KPIs in a tile-based layout. It was a great starting point, but had the following limitations:

  • Difficult to tell what’s important – With so many KPIs, and many of them the exact same size, it’s difficult to immediately see what’s most important to the business.
  • Redundant visual elements – “Current YTD” repeats in many of the chart headers, and unnecessary divider lines clutter up the tiles.
  • Unintentional use of color –but color could be more strategically used to focus the viewer on positive or negative thresholds.
  • Lacks interactivity – The current design may look great in print, but how do I drill down, further explore what’s impacting Gross Margin, etc.?
  • Lacks context – The current design is lacking context—What is it saying about company performance? If you only have 2 minutes with this report, would you know where to concentrate your efforts to make improvements?

After working with SAP Analytics Cloud Product Managers and applying a few of our data visualization best practices, American Hotel has a new, functional dashboard.

The Final Masterpiece:

*NOTE: Data has been mocked up, and not an actual snapshot of American Hotel’s financials.

At American Hotel, the focus of a Sales Executive is to manage their employees and make sure that goals are progressing and properly aligned. We asked Will to explain how an American Hotel Sales Manager would use their SAP Analytics Cloud dashboard. Here are the main changes they made and how it has impacted them:

  • Focus on what’s relevant – Now, the header features input controls that let Sales Executives filter their dashboard based on factors such as company, segment, purchaser, corporation, and brand. They can focus in on specific managers and drill down to see if their employees are meeting their goals.
  • Easier analysis – By adding variance calculations they can now track performance relative to their goals. The color green signifies a positive variance and the addition of an “Average” makes the information even clearer.
  • Cleaner aesthetic – By updating the font, simplifying the color palette, and removing the excess “chart junk,” this new dashboard has a clean and streamlined look. Since American Hotels handles an extensive range of product solutions, it’s no surprise that they wanted to make dashboard navigation as straightforward as possible.
  • Collaborative comments – What’s the point of uncovering great insights if you can’t share them? With SAP Analytics Cloud’s collaboration features, viewers of the dashboard can comment on different elements, keeping conversations organized and transparent.

By adjusting this dashboard, American Hotel Register has completely transformed the way that they interact with their data. It’s a perfect example of how a simple makeover can turn a simple dashboard into an interactive story.

Interested in learning more about what’s in store for SAP Analytics Cloud? Check out our Product Plan.

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