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SAP Information System Reporting Overview

SAP Information System has the felicity to extract the data using reports.In drilldown reporting, the SAP R/3 System provides an online reporting tool that lets you evaluate the data in Profitability Analysis interactively. With this tool you can select the desired dataset according to any of the characteristics in your CO-PA system and draw on any important business ratios (so-called key figures) you wish using the dynamic drilldown function. You can display several profitability segments for any key figure, or several key figures for any profitability segment.You can also perform variance analyses, such as plan/actual comparisons, fiscal year comparisons, comparisons of profitability segments, and so on.

In drilldown reporting, you can display both reports with a simple, fixed layout (basic reports) and reports with a more complex structure and formatting (form reports).The drilldown functions are divided into three groups, which differ in the amount of options available. Each user can choose the function level that suits his or her requirements. n The menus and the functionality available in the drilldown report make the reporting tool easy to use.n Drilldown reporting is used in both costing-based and account-based CO-PA.

You can summarize the data according to the derived characteristics and then drill down interactively in reporting. At each level of the report, you can display the drilldown list (overview) or detailed information (margin analysis).

Creating Reports

The drilldown reporting tool was designed to provide you with simple means for defining straightforward reports while still offering all the functions necessary for you to create more complex, formatted reports. Consequently, a distinction is made between two different types of report.Basic reports are often used to run a quick, ad hoc analysis to look for a specific effect. These structures have predefined basic structure that can be used for general use.

Form reports, on the other hand, are more complex and can be designed according to their specific purpose. These reports are often used for official reports and are especially suited for printing. Form reports are defined on the basis of so-called “forms”, which are separate objects that can be used for a number of reports. There are different types of form, which differ in terms of what elements are defined where in their structure.

Basic reports do not require the use of a form. When you define a basic report, you simply need to select the characteristics, characteristic values, and key figures that you want to analyze.Remember: Each report that you define is only valid for either costing-based or account-based Profitability Analysis, never both.

Architecture of Drilldown Reporting

You can use characteristics, key figures, and forms to define a report. The result when you display the report is a number of lists and graphics that you can call up and analyze interactively.A form determines the content and formal structure of a report list. A form can be thought of as a semi-finished report, which you complete by specifying characteristics and key figures when you define the individual report. You can specify characteristics in the form as well as in the report. Key figures, however, can only be contained in either the form or the report.

Drilldown reporting in CO-PA provides you with easy-to-use functions for navigating through the dataset. For example, you can move from one segment to the next level or the next segment at the same level, deactivate a level of the drilldown hierarchy, and switch between detail lists and overview lists. You also have a number of other functions available for editing online reports (conditions, sort orders, ranking lists, and so on). And you can send report lists by fax or electronic mail, or download them to Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel.In addition to the various interactive functions for online lists, drilldown reporting also provides special functions for defining the report layout for printing (page breaks, headers and footers, underscores, and more).



Basic Report

You can access the functions for defining reports from Customizing or from the CO-PA application menu. From the initial screen for creating a report, you can process any of the components of the report in any order you wish.When you define a basic report, the system first asks you to specify a "from" and a "to" period, a plan/actual indicator, a version, and - in costing-based CO-PA - a record type.Then the system displays a list of all the characteristics in the operating concern. Here you can select the ones you want to analyze. These characteristics will form the dimensions of your multidimensional “data cube”. If characteristic groups have been defined for the operating concern, the system also displays the Characteristic group field. If you enter a characteristic group, the system displays only the characteristics in that group, instead of all the characteristics of the operating concern.

On the Create Profitability Report: Key Figures screen in costing-based CO-PA, the system lets you enter a key figure scheme (see the slide “Defining Key Figures”) to display a list of all the key figures in that scheme. By choosing Value fields, you can extend the list to include all the value fields of the operating concern. In account-based CO-PA, the system automatically displays a list of all the fixed basic key figures.If you wish to delete a report, you can do this using the Change report function. However, if you want to delete an entire group of reports, it is easier to do this in Customizing using the Reorganize reports function.


Form Reports

A form determines the content and formal structure of a report list. A form can be thought of as a semi-finished report structure, which you complete by specifying (additional) characteristics and key figures when you define the final report.The content of a form should generally be treated as fixed, and should only be changed under exceptional circumstances. This is because when you change a form, it changes all of the reports that use that form.

A distinction is made between forms with one axis and forms with two axes. Forms with one axis only consist of one dimension - either rows or columns. Forms with two axes, on the other hand, contain both rows and columns.This means, for example, that you can define forms with one axis that may not be useful as a basis for final reports, and use them as templates for creating forms with two axes. Such forms can then be used as often as you like.Which type of form you use will depend on what type of layout and which content you would like to display in your reports.

Different Types of Forms

There are three types of form:

ŸOne axis without key figure In a form with one axis and without key figure, you define either the rows or the columns using characteristics. When you press Basic list, the system displays a blank list with columns. 

One axis with key figure In a form with one axis and with key figure, you define either the rows or the columns using characteristics and key figures. When you press Basic list, the system displays a blank list with rows.

ŸTwo axes with key figure In a form with two axes and with key figure, you define both the rows and the columns using characteristics and key figures. When you press Basic list, the system displays a blank list with both rows and columns. You can decide whether the key figures should appear in the rows or the columns, depending on what you want to report on. Characteristics can be displayed in both the rows and the columns.To create a form, enter a name and the desired type of form.




One Axis Without Key Figure

In a form with one axis and without key figure, you only need to define the columns. You do this by specifying characteristics and characteristic values. If you wish, you can also define additional columns using formulas (such as Plan - Actual = Variance). The characteristics and values you specify determine the content of those columns.

You decide which key figures you want to see (revenue, contribution margins, and so on) and which drilldown characteristics - dimensions through whose characteristic values you navigate (such as “Industry”, “Customer”, and so on) - you want to analyze when you define the report.When you execute a report, you obtain a drilldown list with two headers, with each key figure standing above a group of columns containing the characteristics you specified in the form. The individual values of the first drilldown characteristic (industries “Retail” and “Media”) are displayed  in the rows.

The detail list shows the columns you defined using characteristics in the form definition. The key figures are displayed in the rows. The detail list displays the results of one selected characteristic value (industry “Retail”).


One Axis With Key Figure

In a form with one axis and with key figure, you specify the key figures you want to analyze (planned revenue, actual revenue) in the rows of the form. You can also limit these key figures further by specifying characteristics and their values as well.When you define the report, you only need to select the drilldown characteristics (industry, customer).

The drilldown list shows the key figures and characteristics from the form in the columns, while the values of the first drilldown characteristic (“Retail”, “Media”) are displayed in the rows.The detail list only contains one column showing the selected characteristic value (“Retail”). The key figures are shown in the rows.Remember: In a form with one axis and with key figure, you define either the rows or the columns of the form. When you press Basic list, the system displays a blank list with only rows. However, you can “tip” this form by moving the rows to the columns using the Column display function.Note that when you define a form, you are defining the layout of the detail list. That means that the position of the elements in the form determine their position in the detail list. This is why the key figures are shown in the rows by default in forms with one axis and with key figure.

Two Axes (Matrix)

In a form with two axes (matrix form), you define both the rows and the columns using characteristics and key figures. The key figures must appear in either the rows or the columns of the form, but not both. Characteristics, on the other hand, can be used to define both rows and columns.  When you define the report, you only need to select the drilldown characteristics (industry, customer).When you execute the report, you obtain a drilldown list with two headers, with each key figure (revenue, contribution margin 1) standing above a group of columns containing the characteristics you specified in the form (plan, actual, variance). The individual values of the first drilldown characteristic (industries "Retail" and "Media") are displayed in the rows.

The detail list shows the columns you defined using characteristics in the form definition. The key figures are displayed in the rows. The detail list displays the results of one selected characteristic value (industry “Retail”).Remember: All three types of form offer you a number of functions for determining the final layout of your reports (colors, number format, line spacing, text lines, and so on).



Form Settings

A number of functions are available when you define a form:

ŸColors: You can use this function to highlight certain elements of the form.
Number format: This function lets you specify a display factor and the number of decimal places displayed. This function is always applied to a specific column or row. Once you have executed the report, you can change the settings individually for each row or column.
Reverse signs: With this function you can reverse the signs of a given column. Negative values are displayed as positive, and positive values are displayed as negative.
ŸSuppress zeros: With this function you can have the system hide all rows that have the value “0”. This is shown in the form definition by the small x’s: “xxx.xxx.xxx”.
ŸText type: This function lets you specify whether you want to see the short, medium, or long text of each element.
Column width: This function lets you change the displayed width of a column.
To use any of these functions, first select the desired column and then choose the function. 


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