YouCalc Dashboard Reports in SAP SuccessFactors – Part 2

YouCalc Dashboard Reports in SAP SuccessFactors – Part 2

in jul 31, 2017

YouCalc Dashboard Reports are visual reports in SAP SuccessFactors. Some of these reports are pre-delivered, while others can be ordered (for a fee) via the SuccessStore. These visual reports have a pretty nice design and can be used as a Tile on the Welcome page as well. The Dashboards are built using a client-based (i.e., installed on a PC) tool called YouCalc Dashboard Builder (stand alone software).

SAP SuccessFactors bought the tool some years ago and it seems there are not many people out there who are familiar with it. It picks up data from an ad-hoc report and visualizes it. Unfortunately, as a customer, you cannot build your own complex dashboards with the YouCalc designer, BUT you are still able to build intuitive and easy Dashboards with the Tile Builder with some functional limits. To build complex dashboards you need a partner or the Professional Services Team from SAP SuccessFactors.  I’ll cover details of what the YouCalc Dashboard Builder for SAP SuccessFactors can do and what it looks like in this article.


Dashboard 2.0 Report Example

General Information About Dashboard 2.0 Reports in SAP SuccessFactors

Originally, these Dashboards were called Dashboards 2.0, because back in those days SuccessFactors also offered normal Dashboards. Normal Dashboards were sunset in 2016. That’s why they are mostly labeled as Dashboards now. Still some people (like me) call them YouCalc Dashboards.

You can find them in several places in SAP SuccessFactors. They can be used as a tile on the Welcome page, to show charts and figures in the Reporting Tab or they can be used for support in the Employee Profile (for example, Compensation). The Recruiting module also uses a YouCalc Dashboard Model to show the candidates and requisition overview. Modules that most frequently use YouCalc Dashboard Reports are: Goals & Performance, Recruiting, Compensation and Succession.

Dashboard 2.0 Reports are an embedded analytics solution in the SAP SuccessFactors suite. The technology behind them is an in-memory analytics and calculation engine that pulls data from the Ad Hoc reporting framework. This allows the dashboards to be fast, interactive and always have data that is 100% up-to-date (Live Data – no delay). It’s worth repeating: The Dashboard Reports are built by SAP SuccessFactors or by SAP partners. Customers can’t build their own Dashboards because they usually don’t have access to the software (YouCalc Dashboard Builder) in order to do so. Nevertheless, customers have access to the Tile Builder (Manage Dashboards > Manage Standard Dashboards and YouCalc Files > Build Tile), where they can build simple custom tiles and put them together in a KPI Dashboard.

To use Dashboard Reports, you need to activate them first in Provisioning (“Dashboards 2.0 (YouCalc) Framework”) and give permission to users via Admin Tools -> Permission Roles (Report Permission -> YouCalc Tiles And Dashboards). Admins should also get permission to manage Dashboards 2.0 Reports (Manage Dashboards / Reports -> YouCalc Tiles And Dashboards). Keep in mind that you also have to check YouCalc options for other modules in Provisioning if you want to use them.

Note: There might be customer-specific configuration that prohibits the standard dashboard from working out-of-the-box. SAP SuccessFactors doesn’t guarantee that all widgets in the standard dashboards work for every configuration. Before you use a standard report, make sure you use all standard fields that are required for this report. We recommend customers speak with their implementation partner if they want to use standard Dashboard 2.0.

Functionality & Features of Dashboard 2.0 Reports in SAP SuccessFactors


YouCalc Dashboard Builder Overview

I don’t know of any BI software I could compare to YouCalc so far. It looks and works very differently as you will see in the picture “YouCalc Dashboard Builder Overview” above. The tool suggests that it can work with data provided by WebServices (REST), CSVs and several sources from SAP SuccessFactors (Ad Hoc Reports, Ad Hoc Report Definition, Recruiting, Workforce Analytics, and so on), but in most cases I saw it was working with data from SAP SuccessFactors. You cannot write your own SQL queries or drag and drop different fields together to pull data from the instance. The data is pulled from an Ad-Hoc report definition that you import into YouCalc before building the Dashboard and if you upload the YouCalc model later into your instances, SAP SuccessFactors will know where to get the data from (obviously from an Ad-Hoc report, so keep a copy of the report if you don’t work with a Report Definition).


Functions in YouCalc

The YouCalc Dashboard Builder has a ton of functionality (see the image “Functions in YouCalc” above). Most customers will never see the software that creates Dashboard 2.0 Reports. That’s why I want to give you a brief overview of what YouCalc looks like in order to give you some ideas about what it can build as well as some of its limits.

First of all, you need to have an ad-hoc report from the SAP SuccessFactors instance in which you want to run the Dashboard 2.0 Report. Export the ad-hoc report in CSV along with the report definition. That will be the basic data you will work with in the YouCalc Dashboard Builder. Now you are able to build or set up the data for charts or tables as you wish. It is sometimes really tricky to extract and combine data, because you have a wide range of functionalities you have to learn first.


Functional Area in YouCalc

The Functional Area (see the image of “Functional Area in YouCalc” above) in YouCalc can be difficult to understand in the beginning, but after some days of training, practice and testing, you will get familiar with the tool.

You are not able to see the visualisation in YouCalc itself, but if you click the button “preview” on the top you will be redirected to your standard web browser where you can see your results (see picture “YouCalc Preview” below). However, you still need to set up properties and functions of your chart, table or text in YouCalc.


YouCalc Preview

Tip: You have the option to change positions in the preview as well as see the Dashboard 2.0 Report in a Dashboard mode or as a Tile.

In the “Dashboard 2.0 – YouCalc Example” below, you see that I have activated several features in the dashboard. If you hover over the pie chart you will see how many candidates (by number and in percent) are external or internal applicants. What you don’t see is that I made the pie chart selectable.


Dashboard 2.0 – YouCalc Example

That means that if you click one section of the chart, it will drill down into the details of the data behind it. Under the chart, there will be a pop-up that shows a table with details for all candidates (internal or external) with their full name and Candidate ID. If you wanted, you also could make the individual candidate clickable. That means for internal candidates you can directly jump to an employee who applies for a new position. That’s what makes YouCalc so valuable for requirements where you need to drill down for more information.

I hope you just get some ideas what is possible with the YouCalc Dashboard Builder and Dashboards 2.0 Reports in SAP SuccessFactors. If you have further questions just contact us.

Note for SAP Partners: The last version of YouCalc Dashboard Builder can be downloaded from the JAM Group “youcalc”. You won’t find that piece of software on the web and it is not permitted to share the tool with clients or 3rd parties.

Pros & Cons of Dashboard 2.0 Reports in SAP SuccessFactors

As with all things, Dashboard Reports in SAP SuccessFactors has its pros and cons. In some cases, it would make sense to use another reporting solution, such as one of the others mentioned in my series of reporting articles. It may not be as powerful in terms of visualisation as the Workforce Analytics module and you have more options in BIRT to manipulate data, but it is a great way to get the most important data (KPIs) visible for everybody.

Also, it’s useful because you can use more than one ad-hoc report to present your solution. In the first article, I talked about the flexibility and level of visualisation in SAP SuccessFactors. Dashboard Reports are one of the best solution in terms of how we get data visualised in a nice and intuitive matter.

+ highly configurable
+ nice design and layout
+ wide range of functionality
+ used as classic dashboard or tile
+ pulls live data with good performance
+ data can be drilled down to detail level
+ able to use more than one ad-hoc Report

– content limited to ad-hoc repots & available domains
– limited cross-domain reporting (same as in ad-hoc reporting)
– requires training
– external tool, which is only accessible by SAP SuccessFactors or an SAP Partner

This Article is Part of a Series on “HR Reporting and Analytics in SAP SuccessFactors”

SuccessFactors Training and Demo

You still don’t have enough and want to learn more? We offer various SAP SuccessFactors reporting trainings. If you have bespoke training needs, the packages can be adjusted accordingly. According to your requirements, we can prepare a demo to show how things work and which options you have. Don’t hesitate to contact us to ask for more information and guidance.


Written Chris Wilpert

Chris Wilpert is an SAP SuccessFactors consultant at iXerv. Chris is SAP SuccessFactors-certified in Employee Central, Recruiting Management and Workforce Analytics and holds a Master's degree from Technische Fachhochschule Wildau.

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