With a general understanding of the basic concepts that collectively create dashboard value, there are certainly opportunities to improve on each concept. Before evaluating opportunities for improving dashboard development for Xcelsius, there are a few assumptions that we will make to narrow our focus.
- Data quality is not an issue
- The methods for monitoring performance are rationalized (performance indicators, metrics, supporting analytics, etc).
With these assumptions taken into account, we can focus specifically on dashboard development. Xcelsius does an amazing job of providing controls for painting a picture of business performance. As the software evolved into an enterprise dashboard development application for BusinessObjects, we have seen great improvements along the lines of:
- Integration with BusinessObjects Enterprise, enabling the required heavy lifting for processing and serving up data through the semantic layer.
- Streamlined Xcelsius development environment for faster easier authoring and maintenance of dashboards.
- Extended global filtering, alerts, and aesthetics capabilities for an improved dashboard experience.
- Addition of an SDK, allowing developers to generate new components, connectivity options, and logic.
The addition of the SDK is the best opportunity for you to maximize their investment in Xcelsius for dashboard development.
The SDK enables your customers or third party developers to extend Xcelsius’ capabilities far beyond what exists today. For each concept described in part one, the SDK opens up a new world of possibilities through:
- Automation– Unlimited opportunities to automate complicated procedures and logic through simplified point and click properties sheets within the Xcelsius development environment.
- Visualization– There are visualization mediums that have become synonymous with dashboards including spark-lines, bullet charts, and scorecards that would serve Xcelsius dashboards well.
- Navigation– There are advanced navigation paradigms including hierarchical, multi-select, and drag and drop that would extend end user’s ability to intuitively navigate information.
- Connectivity– Any data source that can be exposed via XML or web services should be integrated into an Xcelsius dashboard with the same point and click simplicity as Business Objects.
- Runtime Analysis– While Xcelsius makes what-if analysis a breeze to create using Excel logic, there are opportunities to improve the depth and breadth of runtime analysis capabilities.
- User Adoption– While end user’s appreciate the sleek looking graphics, and aesthetics, there is certainly room to improve customer’s ability to build professional looking dashboards.
Coming Soon: Part 3, Available Solutions
Next, I will recommend available solutions in the marketplace that you can download and integrate today.