3 Best Practices for Adding Financial Data to your SAP Jam Dashboard (2024)

As a SAP Jam administrator and Sharepoint user, I have seen an interesting trend in the domain of collaboration software and productivity tools: financial market data is taking a larger and larger "screen estate" in collaboration dashboards. This business trend seems to have been noticed by the product team behind SAP Jam. In the latest SAP Jam Admin Guide, a full section was dedicated to creating a custom header that resembles a market data widget (see image below - specifically, the left-hand side of the header).

3 Best Practices for Adding Financial Data to your SAP Jam Dashboard (1)

Financial Market Data as part of a SAP Jam Header

The above example in the admin guide is just one use case and it involves product development on top of a specific external stock market API. In this article, I will try to generalize the learnings and review the common use cases and best practices of integrating financial market data into the end-to-end SAP Jam user experience.

Financial Market Data: A "New Resident" in Collaboration Dashboards

In my previous life as a Sharepoint operator, my company (whose stock is traded in the United States) floated the idea of displaying the daily movement of its stock price in the internal Sharepoint sites. I vividly remember multiple occasions where we paused in the middle of a meeting and marveled: "Wow, look at our stock price!"

Fast forward to today in the SAP Jam world, displaying the price of a company's stock has become much more common, if not ubiquitous in certain business settings. At the same time, a few new use cases have emerged:

  • Displaying the overall market and economic performance (e.g., Dow Jones, GDP growth, etc.) in the internal team site or collaboration dashboard

  • Displaying the aggregated performance of the immediatesector (e.g., technology, healthcare, etc.) the company is in

  • Visualization and charting of long-term stock trends - either as a static image or an interactive plot

In particular, having some form of financial market information in the team business dashboard has become a highly sought-after "feature" in industries where stock compensation is a significant part of an employee's total compensation or where a company's financial performance is closely tied to external market conditions (e.g., Oil & Gas, Financial Services, Consumer Packaged Good, etc).

Now that we have covered the business rationales for having financial market information in collaboration and productivity workflows (i.e., the "Why" part), let's take a deeper look into the best practices for implementing the said functionality in a way that maximizes business impact (i.e., the "How" part).

Best Practice #1: Make Sure the External Market Data Source is Clean and Normalized

Since it is normally the business, product, or engineering team that implements the relevant market data information in the SAP Jam dashboard, it is important to choose an external data source that provides clean & normalized data and truly understands how the market operates.

Take the Apple stock as an example. Apple (AAPL) recently announced a 4-for-1 stock split, effective as of August 31, 2020. A "4-for-1 stock split" basically means that Apple's nominal stock price will suddenly drop from $400+ per share to $100+ per share on the effective date of the event, but the number of total AAPL shares in the market will quadruple. If an external market data source simply provides the raw AAPL stock price before and after the stock split, you will see an abrupt "collapse" of Apple's stock price ($400 -> $100), while in reality it's just another business-as-usual day on the Wall Street and the market cap of Apple remains unchanged. A reliable market data provider, on the other hand, will normalize the stock of Apple based on the split event so that there is no sudden price jump on a historical basis - this stock data provider guide has a good illustration of how raw vs. adjusted price works.

In brief, having a reliable external data source that follows the industry standard will save a lot of cycle times for your product/engineering team when they implement the financial information for the business dashboard.

Best Practice #2:Choose the Right Data Format based on your Business Objectives

Market data services offer a variety of data delivery methods - from the classic FTP data sharing to the modern websocket streaming services. Work with your engineering team to make sure the data pipeline is suitable for your specific business use case and technical architecture. Below is a (partial) list of "when to use what" based on my prior experience designing and implementing similar solutions:

  • If you would like to show realtime price movement in your SAP Jam dashboard, a WebSocket-based stock market API can be a good place to start. A WebSocket service will stream the market data to the business application whenever a new data point becomes available.

  • If you would like to display the historical performance (e.g., daily price movement of a specific stock over the past 10 years) on a visualization widget (e.g., interactive charts), a REST API is probably the best bet.

  • If you want the users/visitors of the dashboard to download or export the data, it may be advisable to store the underlying financial data in your company's database and serve it for on-demand download

There are no cookie cutters - the optimal data pipeline depends on the business logic and tech stack of your org, which brings me to my next point.

Best Practice #3: Don't Design in Silo

Publishing financial market data to collaboration tools such as SAP Jam is an agile and iterative team effort that involves ideation, design, prototyping, user testing, and deployment. Externally, it requires aligning with third-party data providers on the business use case, enterprise ETLs, and support mechanisms. You may want to over-communicate rather than under-communicate when designing the finance-related business dashboard, be it a simple stock price widget, an interactive chart, or a fully featured dashboard of financial market data. As is the case for any user-facing product, your internal & external stakeholders are your best teammates and the most important users.

In Summary

In this article, we surveyed the broader market trends where more and more collaboration tools are having some form of financial market information in their business dashboards. We also reviewed three best practices for adding financial data to a front-end experience such as SAP Jam:

  1. Make sure the external market data source is clean and normalized

  2. Choose the right data format based on your business objectives

  3. Don't design in silo

Did I miss any other aspects of incorporating financial market information into the overall SAP Jam experience? Please let me know in the comment section!

As a seasoned professional in the domain of collaboration software, particularly as a SAP Jam administrator and a Sharepoint user, I find the integration of financial market data into collaboration dashboards to be an intriguing and evolving trend. My extensive experience in this field allows me to provide insights and firsthand knowledge regarding the nuances involved in incorporating such data seamlessly.

The article you've shared touches upon key aspects of this trend, and I'd like to delve into the concepts discussed:

1. Integration of Financial Market Data in Collaboration Dashboards: A Growing Trend

The integration of financial market data into collaboration dashboards is becoming increasingly prevalent. The example from the SAP Jam Admin Guide illustrates a custom header resembling a market data widget, showcasing a specific use case involving product development with an external stock market API.

2. Common Use Cases and Best Practices for Integration

The article outlines several common use cases for integrating financial market data into collaboration workflows, including:

  • Displaying the daily movement of a company's stock price.
  • Showing overall market and economic performance.
  • Displaying aggregated performance of specific sectors.
  • Visualization and charting of long-term stock trends.

3. Business Rationales for Financial Market Information in Collaboration Dashboards

The "Why" part of incorporating financial market information is elucidated, emphasizing its significance in industries where stock compensation is substantial or where a company's financial performance is closely tied to external market conditions.

4. Best Practices for Implementation

The article introduces three best practices for implementing financial market information effectively:

  • Ensuring the external market data source is clean and normalized.
  • Selecting the right data format based on business objectives.
  • Emphasizing collaborative and iterative design processes, avoiding siloed approaches.

5. Importance of Data Source Quality

The importance of choosing a reliable external data source is highlighted, using the example of a stock split event for Apple. A dependable market data provider ensures the normalization of data based on industry standards, preventing misinterpretation of events like stock splits.

6. Choosing the Right Data Format

The article advises on selecting the appropriate data format according to business needs and technical architecture. It provides insights into when to use WebSocket-based APIs for real-time data, REST APIs for historical performance, and storing data in the company's database for on-demand download.

7. Collaborative Design Process

Emphasizing the collaborative nature of designing and implementing financial market data features, the article stresses the importance of communication and alignment with internal and external stakeholders throughout the process.

8. Summary and Call to Action

In conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive overview of market trends, use cases, and best practices for integrating financial market information into collaboration tools like SAP Jam. The three highlighted best practices serve as a practical guide for organizations seeking to enhance their collaboration dashboards with financial data.

If you have any specific questions or if there are additional aspects you'd like to explore, feel free to let me know.

3 Best Practices for Adding Financial Data to your SAP Jam Dashboard (2024)
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