Jason Lee

Configuring Traffic Light Data Visualization in SAP Analytics Cloud

In today's world, data has become indispensable. In addition to much more insight, automation and more efficient processes, the abundance of information also brings challenges. SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) offers a solution and makes various visualization tools available to support you in analyzing data. In this blog, we use a tutorial to discuss how SAC's threshold and conditional formatting functions help convert complex data. This can help extract actionable insights and simplify decision-making through the right use of data.


Ensure you have:

  • Goes without saying, you have access to an SAC tenant.

  • Basic understanding of SAC report development.

Note: This tutorial assumes a basic understanding of report development in SAC. Steps 1 to 3 are included for completeness, but detailed guidance will be provided starting from Step 4.

Steps to configure traffic light data visualizations.

Step 1: Data Preparation

Begin by importing your dataset into SAC or prepare your data model in the data source if you use the Direct Connection. Ensure it contains the necessary key performance indicators (KPIs) for your analysis.

Step 2: Create a New Story

Open SAC and create a new story. Choose a layout that aligns with your visualization goals, ensuring an optimal display of your insights.

Step 3: Add a Table- or Chart Widget

Select a Table- or Chart widget and with the latter also choose a suitable Chart Type, such as the Scorecard or Column Chart, based on your data characteristics. Select the Measure and Dimension and other configuration as per your requirements. In this tutorial we selected:

  • Measure “Sales Amount” 

  • Dimensions “Region” and “Product”. 

Step 4: Configure Traffic Light Indicators

Identify the KPIs critical to your analysis. Configure traffic light indicators to visually represent performance levels:

  • Green: Positive performance.

  • Yellow: Moderate performance.

  • Red: Underperforming metrics.

Got to 1) Tools > 2) Conditional Formatting

Note: You can also add Thresholds to Tables and Charts in the Builder Panel by clicking on “+ New Tresholds”. For this tutorial we use the Tools menu option “Conditional Formatting” which refers to the same settings. The following steps are the same no matter which one you use, just different paths to get there.

Set the ranges based on the following thresholds:

  • Green: Sales Amount >= $100,000

  • Yellow: $70,000 <= Sales Amount < $100,000

  • Red: Sales Amount < $70,000

To enable the Thresholds in a Table:

In the builder panel Select > Thresholds> Show Thresholds

The Threshold Symbols are the default after enabling “Show Thresholds”

To Enable the Thresholds in a Chart

  • In the Builder panel, select a measure.

  • Select (Threshold Options) Show Threshold Story Defined.

The bars adopt the defined Thresholds color formatting:

These steps provide an immediate visual cue, allowing users to quickly assess performance and identify areas that require attention.


Step 5: Customize Visual Elements

To enhance clarity and visual appeal:

  • Colors: Customize the colors of your traffic light indicators to align with your organization's color scheme or to convey specific meanings.

  • Shapes and Sizes: Adjust shapes and sizes to emphasize certain elements or to create a visually balanced display.

  • Labels and Tooltips: Add descriptive labels and tooltips to provide additional context and insights.

These customization options ensure that your traffic light visualization not only communicates data effectively but is also visually appealing and informative.

Changing How the Conditional Formatting are displayed

  • Select the table tile.

  • In the Styling panel, find the Templates section.

  • In the Threshold Style list, choose the style:

Symbol (default) – use the story-defined symbols and colors for the threshold ranges.

Color Values – the threshold colors are applied to the cell data.

Color Background – the threshold colors are applied to the cell background.

Color Background Without Values – the threshold colors are applied to the cell background and the values are hidden.

Step 6: Enhance Interactivity

Improve user engagement by implementing interactivity features like you normally also would:

  • Filters: Add filters to allow users to focus on specific subsets of data. For example, users can filter data based on regions, time periods, or specific metrics.

  • Drill-Down Options: Implement drill-down functionality to enable users to explore detailed insights. This is particularly useful for users who want to investigate specific data points further.

By enhancing interactivity, you empower users to interact dynamically with the visualization, gaining deeper insights based on their specific needs.


Step 7: Save and Share Your Visualization

Once satisfied with your configured traffic light visualization, save it within SAC. Explore sharing options within the SAC platform, making it accessible to relevant stakeholders or teams.



This tutorial has equipped you with the steps to configure traffic light data visualization in SAC. By combining technical precision with creative customization, you can transform complex data into actionable insights, fostering better decision-making processes.

Apply these techniques to your datasets, experiment with advanced customization options, and share your experiences with the SAP community. Effective data visualization is a continuous journey, and your insights can contribute to a collaborative learning environment.


Do you want to discuss Improving Usability of your SAC Planning solution? Feel free to reach out to Jason Lee at