Extracting Business Insight from Basic Webi Reports

Larry Xu

A Web Intelligence report may look all too familiar to SAP BOBJ BI designers and users. Blocks of components, such as tables, forms, and charts are habitually used to create various reports. However, some table designs or block types may deserve a second look, as important and meaningful business insight can be extracted from the reports generated by these tables and blocks. Among these table designs and block types, three are worth mentioning. They are Crosstabs, Sections, and Breaks.

Crosstabs. A crosstab is the best block type for quick comparisons. It transposes a regular table into a matrix like crosstab, with multiple dimensions as both row and column headings. It can also have multiple measures in the body axis. Crosstabs are frequently used for the following analysis:

  • Customer sales by year, quarter, or month
  • Financial performances, actual vs. budget
  • Product sales by region and category, etc.

Let’s examine an example:


In this report, there are two column headings (two dimensions): Region and Province. There is one row heading (one dimension): Product Category. In the report body, there are two measures: Sales and Profit, and a calculated column of Percentage of Total Profit. From the report, a user can easily see that under Product Category “Office Supplies”, in the Region “Nunavut” and Province “Nunavut”, there is the biggest loss of $3,124. A user can also easily determine that out of all regions and provinces, Ontario has the highest percentage of total profit under Product Category of “Office supplies”, 29.58%.

To get further discussion about webi report Sections and Breaks, press the button below to get the entire white paper.