Archive for the ‘Xcelsius’ Category:
In Feb. 2008, I wrote an article, Overlay 2 Xcelsius Charts. Since then, this technique has been burried in the archives and many people have missed it. Thank’s to Jesse Aden’s own creation of this solution, he has provided new guidance that is extremely helpful in the article below:
By Jesse Aden
I often got frustrated trying to show a bar or column chart with the projected/targeted data next to the actual, as it wasn’t very visually appealing. To fix this, I tried using a stacked column chart, which would look alright, but the figures would always be off.
Fixing this turned out to be very simple. Just overlap (exactly) two of the same bar/column charts.
A few things to watch out for:
1. The top graph should display the actual (current) data, where the bottom should be the projected or targeted.
2. On the top graph, make transparent the background, major & minor markers, and the legend (if using alerts).
3. The default colors for both are the same, so until you either apply alerts, or change the series color, it will look like it doesn’t work.
4. After changing the color, make the back chart’s bars bigger than the front charts’. It shows exactly what is intended, and accounts for when the target is made, or passed.
5. The titles have to be the same. Don’t put in a title on one and delete the title for the second.
6. The scales have to be the same. This means that automatic scaling is out of the question, and the scale must be based off of the highest number of the displayed series. For example, I have excel search through the display values (target and actual) to find the MAX, then round-up and add a certain number over that. It looks better this way, instead of just rounding up.
7. Finally, remember that if you use alerts, you cannot use a legend.
From strategy to execution, organizations navigate their respective markets carefully as they compete for market share and revenue. Boat racing faces similar challenges for executing against strategy as I learned during a development project for the 2009 SAP 505 World Championships. For this race, I assisted with the development of a race strategy/execution dashboard that couples business intelligence dashboard technology with sailing technology and domain knowledge. The resulting collaborative effort led to the development of an innovative dashboard.
This Xcelsius dashboard features two modes: strategy and race (execution). Strategic planning requires cultivation of information from many different sources. While data retrieval presents unique challenges, mashing it together in one visual compilation is another. For this particular dashboard, vendors and domain experts collaborated to produce powerful results in an extremely short period of time.
To plan either business or race strategy, you need to predict conditions and then plot a course of action. Based on date/time inputs and wind prediction inputs, the dashboard retrieves data from Local Knowledge software to plot ocean currents (yellow lines). The strength and direction of the current is visualized in a visual grid within the Google Map. Upwind laylines (red dots) are controlled by current, wind, and a profile based on the 505 boats. Local Knowledge software does all of the heavy lifting and returns laylines and currents through a custom web service.
Monitoring execution is the second challenge not easily achieved as conditions change. While the strategy tab relies on user input for wind conditions and a starting point, which ultimately affects the course itself, the race tab presents real-time views of this information . Real time GPS locations of all boats and marks (marks shown as red pins) are provided via Trac-Trac. On the fly, the dashboard retrieves laylines and routes based on real time information including wind conditions. Trac-Trac also provides additional information for each boat including boat direction and position.
All of this information is fed through Xcelsius into Centigon Solutions GMaps Plugin, which was extended to meet the challenges of this project.
A public facing version of this dashboard is available for you to viewing at: http://explorer.sap.com/505/ and during the event, will include real-time commentary feed by renowned sailing expert Kimball Livingston.
For those of you who regularly visit my blog, I apologize for the lack of posts this month. After returning from holiday I have been heads down working on many exciting things ranging from innovative new demos to new products and releases. I will be back in September with tons of new material to share. Here are some things for you to look forward to in September:
- New dashboard examples leveraging new integrations and techniques.
- New CSV connector from Centigon Solutions: It is almost ready for prime-time!
- My full review and breakdown of Antivia’s Xcelsius Web Intelligence Integration Suite which is absolutely brilliant.
- A dashboard design for the community to critique. I have been asked countless times to provide examples of properly designed dashboards with Xcelsius so I finally took the time to clean one up.
If you are thinking about building components for Xcelsius, I recommend that you check out this webinar presented by Evan DeLodder: Custom Components & the Xcelsius SDK: Facts, Myths and Tremendous Potential. Below is the synopsis:
Xcelsius has become a powerful platform for creating powerful business intelligence dashboards. The availability of the Xcelsius SDK provides an opportunitiy for organizations to integrate new visualization, logic and connectivity.
Join us for a webinar sponsored by Global BusinessObjects Network and learn from one of the premier experts in Flex/Xcelsius integration. Evan DeLodder, Sr flex developer and Xcelsius expert, will guide you through the facts, myths and potential for you to create Xcelsius add on components that will imrpove your organization’s ability to navigate and consume information quickly.
August 27, 2009 - 12 p.m.
Evan DeLodder, Centigon Solutions
I am long overdue publishing my write up on Antivia’s Xcelsius Web Intelligence Integration Suite. As one of the premier developers of BusinessObjects Enterprise and Xcelsius solutions, Antivia has revolutionized how customers can leverage BOBJ’s semantic layer with Xcelsius.
I have become quite familiar with this powerful integration over in the past few months, so if you are using Xcelsius with Live Office or QaaWS and have gripes about Xcelsius integration, I heavily suggest giving this powerful solution a shot. I will have a full review coming in the upcoming week, but to give you a taste, here is XWIS integrated with GMaps Plugin:
I am more than happy to share my experiences, so if you have any questions feel free to contact me directly.
Last week, I was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article, For Business Owners, iPhone Apps Abound, about my experience using RoamBi for the iPhone. In short, I lived out an experience that every business owner has dreamed of… Conducting business while sitting on a remote beach without a computer.
Last month I went to the Bahamas to relax and re-energize in preparation for the second half of the year. This was my first vacation equipped with an iPhone and RoamBi, which ended up helping me finalize an opportunity for Centigon Solutions. This led to the following quote in the wallstreet journal:
“…RoamBi Visualizer, a free app from MeLLmo Inc., turns data in Excel spreadsheets (as well as Salesforce.com, SAP and others) into slick interactive graphics that make analyzing business opportunities and sales trends easy.
Ryan Goodman, founder of Centigon Solutions Inc., a small San Diego software firm, earlier this month fired up RoamBi to view product, licensing and pricing data to help the company’s sales director close a deal, all while sitting on a Bahamas beach. “I returned from vacation without opening my laptop once,” Mr. Goodman says…”
Laptops and mobile phones have existed for my entire professional career, so I don’t understand the concept of being disconnected. By practicing what I preach on my blog, I use the same tools to run my business. While I was on vacation, I used my mobile device enabled with RoamBi to keep tabs on what was going on without immersing myself in work. At the end of the day, technologies like RoamBi are going to help us react and seek opportunities without being tethered to a computer. For those of us who take advantage, mobile technologies will facilitate a better balance between our professional and personal lives because the “workplace” can be anywhere!
Here is a webinar that I will be delivering for SAP
Synopsis:Companies today face the challenge of analyzing and communicating information from multiple disparate sources. Even when useful data is available, you’re often too overwhelmed make sense of it while IT is too busy to deliver adequate reports to help you communicate business process and strategy Join our webinar, Visualization Tools That Increase Efficiency For Healthcare Professionals, and find out how to present information using interactive dashboards.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
11:00 am - 11:00 am PDT
Senior Systems Analyst
Centigon Solutions Inc.
Distribution Sales Manager
Take Centigon Solutions’ plugin component survey and provide valuable feedback to how Xcelsius add-ons impact your dashboard projects. Upon finishing the short survey, save $20 instantly on any Centigon Solutions plugin component for Xcelsius. Centigon Solutions will utilize your experiences and requests to influence product road map and meet community demands.
As a huge college basketball fan, more specifically a die-hard Duke fan, I recently got into a heated debate about what school has the most top draft picks. So of course that sparked an interesting dashboard idea, with the NBA finals and upcoming NBA draft this month.
The result is an Xcelsius dashboard with all of the NBA Draft Lottery picks since 1985. My goal was to enable dynamic analysis of any date range for the top X draft picks. Weather top 5 picks or top 10 picks, I wanted to dynamically see what colleges produced the top number of draft picks.
At the same time, I could click on any team to see the individual players who were drafted.
To build this dashboard, I used a combination of a few workarounds and Centigon Solutions plugin components including Filtered Summary, Dynamic Sort, and Background Builder. Without these components, this particular dashboard would have been near impossible.
I am going to provide the source files for this particular dashboard and do a few articles about specific workarounds, so you can learn a few new tricks of the trade while having the opportunity to use add-on components to build this type of analysis.
Webinar Reminder- Xcelsius Data Connectivity Series: When to Utilize Standard Xcelsius Connectivity and Integration
Xcelsius Gurus Data Connectivity Series: Part 2 - When to utilize non-Business Objects connectivity for your dashboard?
Wednesday, June 10, 2009, 10:00 am (Pacific Standard Time)
Speakers: Mico Yuk (EverythingXcelsius.com); Ryan Goodman (Centigon Solutions)
Following up from Part 1 of their successful Data Connectivity Series, Ryan and Mico, 2 of the top Xcelsius Gurus in the world, reveal how and when organizations should leverage non Business Objects connectivity options such as custom web services and portals to connect their Xcelsius dashboards. Not all data is created equal, and neither are your dashboard data requirements. SOAP, Excel XML Maps, XML Data Button, the Xcelsius SDK? By viewing common scenarios and seeing their suggestions for when and how to use these powerful connections, achieving your strategic dashboard goals will become simple. Understanding these standard integration points will not only shorten your dashboard development time, but it will also allow you to make educated decisions of how to best connect your dashboards to live data.
In this session you will learn how to:
* Choose the correct non SAP Business Objects connectivity option by viewing a number of real world scenarios and using our fact based suggestions
* Correctly utilize custom web services and XML connectivity option to power your Xcelsius dashboards
* Integrate Xcelsius into a web based application or portal