IBCS® (International Business Communication Standards) aims to create reporting and visualization standards that will improve how we communicate with data.
In this post, we look at the Top 1 and Top 2 IBCS Standardization Elements. In the next post, we’ll take a closer look and 3 and 4.
To start with, we will look at the Top 1 – Messages and Top 2 – Title requirements and recommendations and take a closer look how we can use SAP Analytics Cloud to make sure we are as conform as we can be and follow the recommendations.
Here’s an example of a recommended structure for your visualization. We’ll start at the top with Message.
The message sits at the top of your report or visualization and is what the user sees first. It provides important information such as the title, year, and currency.
While the message provides details about critical values, suggestions, or concrete actions, it’s not meant to explain every detail in the chart. Instead it should be a maximum of two lines highlighting the most important information.
The title is not a typical title, it should include at minimum the following information:
- Measure name — e.g. Net Sales and Profit in mEUR
- Unit / Currency & Scaling information for the measure — e.g. Net Sales Revenue in mUSD
- Information on timeframe — e.g. 2013 – 2017
- Values — i.e. Actual values, Planned, values from the previous year, etc.
- Information on Variances — i.e. Actual or Budget or values from the last year
Here is an example of a good title:
It displays the company name, measure name, currency, scaling information, the timeframe, and measure types.
How does SAP Analytics Could help you?
When you start your next story, please note the templates that are available.
Some of these templates have been designed with the IBCS standards in mind. For example, the Report template is making several recommendations based on the IBCS standards and you can choose from a variety of layouts.
The message of your report is basically a text right now, but for the title we can make use of an interesting option in SAP Analytics Cloud, which is the dynamic text – and SAP Analytics Cloud even takes care of it by default.
For example, when you create a new chart, you will automatically get a chart title that includes the measure, the used dimension, and the currency, and the scaling information.
If you want to create a similar text, you can use the Text option (Menu Insert) and include dynamic information.
Here you can choose from a variety of dynamic elements, which you can then include into your text.
This covers the Top 1 and 2 in this series. In the next post, we take a closer look and 3 and 4.