This week, I wanted to discuss recent developments in dashboard development using Xcelsius. In looking at the marketplace and how dashboards have evolved, Xcelsius has remained a popular tool for building business intelligence dashboards. I wanted to outline my experiences in this 3-part series and hopefully provide some valuable information as you plan your next dashboard project.

Part 1: Observations- How we derive value from dashboards today.
Part 2: Opportunities- Technology gaps and how to fill them in.
Part 3: Available Solutions- Extend and improve dashboards with add-ons.

Part 1: Observations
The overall value of a dashboard as we know it today is to simplify the process for delivering information to business users, while painting a picture of current performance as it relates to strategy and/or processes. The resulting benefit of this simplification is to reach and empower more people within an organization to identify problems, improve efficiencies, and ultimately seek new opportunities.

While a dashboard and its contents look different for every customer, the underlying methods are similar in how you derive value from dashboards.

  • Automation– Dashboards automate the process of cultivating, summarizing, and presenting information aligned with business logic.
  • Visualization– Dashboards enable consumption of data through data visualization controls ranging from trends to multi-dimensional graphs.
  • Navigation– Dashboards facilitate interactive analysis for filtering, sorting, and drilling into more information within a single consistent interface.
  • Connectivity– Dashboards enable on-demand access to multiple data sources for a mash-up of the most current information.
  • Runtime Analysis– Dashboards enable some level of analytic or what-if capabilities to provide additional insight beyond monitoring data.
  • User Adoption– Dashboards ultimately can increase user adoption of “business intelligence”, assuming the executions of the previous elements are appropriately combined into a useful application.

Part 2, Opportunities
Next, I will identify opportunities for improving dashboards with Xcelsius.

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