The chart components in SAP Dashboards (formerly Xcelsius) include mouse-over functionality, which offer the end-user some additional detail and perspective on the data. While the functionality is helpful, it is also very inflexible. Beyond changing basic formatting options via the Properties menu, SAP Dashboards does not provide any direct method through which a dashboard developer can customize the contents of their mouse-over labels.
Several articles have been written on the various workarounds that a dashboard developer can employ to create a fully customized mouse-over label. This article will discuss one such option for creating custom mouse-over labels which is not only simple and sustainable, but also dynamic. You will find other examples of separate methods here, here, here, and probably other places as well.
The process starts in the Excel data model. First, I made sure that the data series was sorted in the order in which I wanted the data plotted on the chart. Then, I inserted a new column called “Custom Labels”. Using my simple data set of annual sales figures, I inserted formulas into the “Custom Labels” column which dynamically calculated the text I wanted to appear in my hover-over label.
The formula produces a label which includes the calendar year and metrics for last year’s sales, this year’s sales, and the percent change. (Note that the formula includes several line feeds, which are intentional.)
” & IF(B3<B2,”Down “,”Up “) & ABS(ROUND(((B3-B2)/B2)*100, 1)) & “%
” & A2 & ” SALES:
” & TEXT(B2,”$#,##0.00″) & ”
” & A3 & ” SALES:”
Then, using the Properties menu, I changed the Category Labels on my column chart to use the “Custom Labels” column instead of the “Year” column.
Again on the Properties menu, under the Appearance > Text tab, I unchecked the Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels.
The hover-over labels on the column chart now show dynamic, custom text based on the Excel formulas under the “Custom Labels” column.
The biggest consequence of this approach is that you lose your category labels, i.e. the horizontal axis labels below each bar. That means that this approach is not suitable for all cases. But in those instances where a category label is superfluous or where the need for a custom hover-over outweighs the need for a standard category label, then I recommend the over method as a simple solution.