SAS BI Dashboard: It's all in a name


When developing content in SAS BI Dashboard, such as indicators, ranges, and dashboards, knowing how to name them is pretty important. If changes are required later (for instance to improve the administrators capability of partial promoting content) much more work is required to ensure the links between the objects isn't affected.

SAS recommends that you plan out a naming strategy. Included below is an example that groups all the objects within a dashboard with a number or name, contains type information (such as KPI, DATA, RANGE) and a descriptive bit of text. You can see the relationships between the groups and probably can correctly guess the data sources for each indicator.

  • Common_KPI_CountryPrompt
  • Common_KPI_ZipPrompt
  • 01_DATA_SalesResults
  • 01_DATA_Investments
  • 01_KPI_SalesResults
  • 01_KPI_InvestmentRep
  • 02_DATA_CallSummary
  • 02_KPI_IncomingCalls
  • 02_KPI_CallLength

This approach not only aids the administrators promotion process, it can help with training or handing off dashboard management and development to another resource. However executives using these dashboards will ask for something more. The great thing is that the indicators actually have two names, one stored in the metadata and one displayed to the user. For BASE SAS programmers, this is very similar to variables with actual names (remember the 8 character limit) and a defined label that displays a more concise name to the user.

My awesome Co-author Tricia Aanderud posted recently about creating a BI Dashboard to kick Google Analytics results up a notch. Look closely at her spark table indicator, it was initially named 'ind_sparkline' but the final screenshot shows that the title 'Monthly Traffic by Week'. Think the second one is much more useful for the audience don't you? Within my prior post Changing or Removing Name I describe how to edit the displayed name or remove it altogether.

Another trick is to edit the format of these displayed names. Here is the post describing how to do this: Edit & Formatting of Name. Tricia and I will be sharing these tips and others during the SAS Global Forum conference in April. Hope you can join us!


About Author

Angela Hall

Senior Technical Architect

Angela offers tips on using the SAS Business Intelligence solutions. She manages a team of SAS Fraud Framework implementers within the SAS Solutions On-Demand organization. Angela also has co-written two books, 'Building BI using SAS, Content Development Examples' & 'The 50 Keys to Learning SAS Stored Processes'.

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