Can I add something to this discussion, please? - Commenting with SAP Analytics Cloud.


People working with analytical insights require commenting functionality more and more as an integrate part of their business analytics. Even stronger: for end users and data analysts, commenting became a strong prerequisite for any analytical tool the last years. time to see how SAP implemented their commenting functionality in SAP Analytics Cloud.

My colleague Mohamed Abdel Hadi is an expert on the topic and I am proud to reflect his thoughts here.

What do users need when it comes to commenting functionality?

  • Users need to add comments on the numbers in a report.

  • They want to add a comment to a diagram, visualization or table.

  • Or for the report as a whole. These are report comments.

  • Or users want to add a comment for a single cell or value.

  • Commenting as part of a process or workflow: Comments might be used as part of the planning process, for instance, to explain why a particular budget was set for an item

Some users use comments to pick out the pieces of information for a cover page or for a summary at the end of a report. Others want their comments to be stored in a context-sensitive way. In other words, if the data in a report is filtered by a different criterion (such as by year or product group), the data and the comments change as the user navigates through it.

Why are comments important?

Commenting is an integral part of the report, dashboard or insights; comments have a version history and the ID of the user who wrote the comment is stored. With comments, users can collaborate quickly and easily on different topics, and learn from other users. For instance, when you'd ask someone to look at a dashboard and perform certain tasks, commenting and collaboration functions together make a standard report much more relevant.

How to Add Comments to a visualization?

To add a new comment, choose the diagram and then click the Add Comment icon:

You can enter your text in the box that then appears. You can address your comment to specific members of your team by marking it with @.

Choose Place Comment to save your comment. SAP Analytics Cloud can store up to 200 comments for each story.

It sorts them automatically into threads and numbers them in date order. You can change the sort order and sort comments by page and comment number. The comments are published by saving the story. If another user logs on and calls up the same story, they can view all the comments in it by activating Comment Mode. Users can “like” comments and reply to them.

Even if the user is not authorized to change charts or other elements of the story, they can still add comments for other elements. That way, they can share important information with their team.

Using the Comment Bar

You can navigate to the comment mode by either using comment view in menu bar, or by opening the collaboration area (see below: click image for more detail)? One note on opening the collaboration area: it displays all the comments in the collaboration area, but not in the story. To do that, you have to activate comment mode.

You can either enter a comment for a page or for a particular element of a story. You do so by clicking on the page name and entering your comment there.

When you create a comment, the system assigns it a thread number, which it displays on the right-hand side of the collaboration area as a reference. In the comment itself, you can respond to earlier comments; the new comment is added to the thread. By moving the mouse over a comment you can “like” the comment or, provided you entered the comment, delete it.

There is also the possibility to duplicate or rename a comment, and even to set it "hidden" if the user feels a need to do so

Adding Comments in Tables

In SAP Analytics Cloud, you can add comments for particular values in a table. Your coworkers can then ask questions about or explain any given data point. To add a comment to a cell in a table, choose the cell and the value. SAP Analytics Cloud applies the same access rights to the comment for a given data point as would apply otherwise. For instance, a user can display data for a certain region only. If they then enter a comment for one of the values, the comment is displayed only for users who also have access rights that permit them to display data for that region. If a user calls up the table who does not have the necessary access rights, they cannot see the comment.

Collaboration with SAP Analytics Cloud

The collaboration functions in SAP Analytics Cloud make working together easier.

Users can:

  • Create a discussion

  • Add comments

To create a discussion, choose the Discussions icon in SAP Analytics Cloud. Then simply choose one or more people with whom you want to discuss something. You can attach documents to a discussion thread, assign tasks to individuals, and link to other stories.

Learn More

Demo video on how to add a comment

Demo video on how to start a discussion

About the author of this article:

Mohamed Abdel Hadi is VP presales analytics for SAP Germany. This article was first published on SAP SCN in both German as English language. The original text can be found here.

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