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SAP SuccessFactors Reporting is still worth it

SAP SuccessFactors Reporting is still worth it

SAP SuccessFactors Reports which you will not be able to build with SAP Analytics Cloud (yet)

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC) is everywhere, but a lot of people forget that we are not there yet with SuccessFactors. There are still valuable reports, dashboards and metrics running in production and more client are eager to build more. All build with the traditional reporting tools in SuccessFactors such as YouCalc, BIRT Templates, Ad Hoc Reports or Online Report Designer (ORD). In this article I would like to point out some requirements which are still worth to build with traditional reporting tools, knowing that they will be replaced by SAC one day.

Why building on old Reporting Tools?

At the end it is all about Return on Investment (ROI). Is the investment in some new reports or dashboards still valuable for my company? Not knowing when the traditionally tools will be deprecated gives you a rough time span about 2-3 years minimum. Also, a lot of time for a report goes into the requirement and definition of the report.

Having a report in place and moving to SAP Analytics Cloud doesn’t mean to start from scratch. Reminder: there will be no migration path into SAC. You will need to build the reports from scratch. Having the report business ready enables you to easily rebuild it in SAC. I tried it with some KPI’s in Recruiting and it takes significant less time if you already had a report in place (knowing the data sources, fields, logic and preferred visualisation).

Embedded Analytics (Name for SAC embedded in SuccessFactors) will go live in Q4 2019 (no promise after two delays) and you can expect not having all features ready immediately. For example, LMS data will be still a challenge. Insider: Data from the new modelled Onboarding will be available.

Knowing the features of SAC as a standalone Reporting and Analytics tool from SAP don’t guarantee that it can replace all features in SuccessFactors. This uncertainness, a reasonable amount of time before traditional reporting tools get deprecated and the reliability of some tools in SF makes it worth to further invest in more reports and dashboards.

Which Reports and Dashboards are still worth to build before SAC?

First of all, a small disclaimer. I didn’t see a Beta version of the embedded SAC version in SuccessFactors yet. Hence, I can’t say for sure what will be covered with this version and what not. Following assumption from my side:

  1. I don’t think that Homepage Tiles will be creatable with embedded Version of SAC in the first version. Homepage Tiles are a great tool for Talent modules to create quick overviews, KPI’s or simple To Do list. They are relatively easy to build and delivers huge value with the Drilldown and deep link feature.
  2. I know SAP works on replacing the Pixel Perfect Talent Cards (PPTC) into SAC. I don’t know if it will be available in the first embedded version, but I don’t think they will deprecate this functionality soon. It also looks pretty good and is with 5-15 days building time (depending on numbers of fields, design, format and languages) a reasonable investment.

  1. For my feeling it just got popular (or is still absolutely unknown) in the last 1-2 years. Dashboards embedded in the Compensation Form. It is not very common, but it is a real game changer for manager and executives dealing with their teams. Dashboards are embedded in the Form XML and pulls live data from the Form. SAC, in my opinion, will not deliver that feature!
  2. LMS Reporting is still one of the biggest challenges in SuccessFactors. Traditionally some standard Reports are integrated in LMS. Some Data is available in ORD, but not everything. Building LMS Reports in Plateau Report Designer (PRD, similar to BIRT Templates) requires skills and experience with SQL. Not to forget that you should be able to understand the LMS data structure. Easy reports still can be built via ORD, but I don’t see any proper way around PRD at the moment.

These are some examples, where in my opinion, it is still worth to go forward if you have requirements.

What speaks against traditional Reporting Tools

Let me start with the biggest pain point. There won’t be any major enhancements for the traditional reporting tools. The last update for the YouCalc Dashboard Builder was in 2017. ORD is still lacking performance and usability. The only enhancements are done in the Report Center. In most of the cases you do rely on your SAP Partner for support.

In my test cases I was always faster building reports in SAC even when I was a beginner as well. Building reports or dashboard in SAC will reduce time by 20-40% (measured by feeling!).

You won’t need a SAP Partner anymore to build pretty KPI Dashboards. Usability and performance are good and intuitive.

Overall, I would also compare to reports and dashboards you need now for operational purpose vs.  Strategic KPI’s, complex dashboards or analytics.

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Post by Chris Wilpert – SAP SuccessFactors Consultant and leads the SF Reporting Centre of Expertise at Adessa .


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