Archive for the ‘Xcelsius 2008’ Category

Jul
10

Join Mico Yuk for live Dashboard Training on the BIDF Tour – Europe

Join Mico Yuk as she takes the BI Dashboard Formula Tour to Europe in Zurich, Switzerland, September 19-20th during the BOAK 2013 conference.

This intensive, 100% brains-on workshop is intended to equip BI report and dashboard developers, business analysts and anyone else involved in the planning, scoping and prototyping of BI Dashboards, for the ‘Next Wave’ of BI!

BIDF BOAK 2013

Mico will be teaching the following 3 modules from the BI Dashboard Formula:

  • Module 1- Planning: Learn how to identify gaps in project resource, the business goals and alignment up front, to avoid any pitfalls later on in the process
  • Module 2- Dashboard Scoping: Strop struggling with the business users to generate KPIs. Learn how to use our #1 rated BIDF Blueprint to work with your users, and let it do the work for you!
  • Module 3- Dashboard Storyboarding/Prototyping: Learn how to use our unique BIDF storyboarding method with your business users to create state of the art ‘high end’ analytics for your users. Create the WOW factor every time!

On day 2, get 100% hands-on BI4.0 SAP Dashboards Technical Training by IT Logix BI Guru, Raphael Branger.

Mico-BIDF

Early Bird registration is ending soon! So don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn from one of the Top BI Dashboarding Gurus in the world!

Registration includes exclusive bonuses ($975 value) such as:

  • Hotel Stay + Lunch
  • Exclusive BIDF 3.0 USB with all class materials, templates, exercises + goodies
  • 30-day access to our BIDF 2.0 online Members Portal

 

 Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her about me page.

Feb
13

Webinar Recording: Learn One Shocking New Way to Increase BI User Adoption

Big thanks to Everyone that registered for the webinar last week, ‘Learn One Shocking New Way to Increase BI User Adoption’.

During the webinar, Mico revealed for the first time, one of her secret weapons to increase BI User Adoption. After the webinar, the attendees were raving about it, see some of their comments below:

  • “My only comment is that is ridiculously simple, but effective.”
  • “Can’t wait to try this, sending out invite right now to power users!”

To find out what these attendees were raving about, just sign up for Free access to our BIDF Members Portal (no cc requ), or if you already have access to the portal, just signin with your username and password, then click on “2013 Free Webinars” on the main Dashboard.

  BIDF Free Trial Access Signup Form

BIDF Signup Form

Based on the attendees’ reaction, I promise, this is a webinar you don’t want to miss!

Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her aboutme page.

Jan
31

[FREE Webinar]: Learn One Shocking New Way to Increase BI User Adoption

Join Mico Yuk (@micoyuk) again for another ‘eye opening’ webinar, guaranteed to save you time and money on your BI projects.

REALITY… Regardless of how hard you work on your BI project, the success of the project will be determined by one single KPI?

USER ADOPTION…

Studies have shown that BI user adoption rates for 2013 are at an all time low: 15 – 20% for most organizations. This means that 75% or 3 out 4 of your business users will never use your BI solution, regardless of how great it is, unless of course…

You learn to use her one secret technique!

This new, but effective method of launching your BI project will make all the difference in the world to your business users.

In 60 minutes you can expect to experience:

  1. Fun – guaranteed… it’s far from the typical boring IT stuff
  2. Easy – chances are you’ll enjoy it so much it won’t feel like work
  3. Cheap – approximately 3-5% of the average BI project cost
  4. Results? – your business users won’t be able to wait to try your BI product! Your team will leave feeling appreciated and ready to for the next challenge!

She has never shared this before, so you’ll simply have to attend to see what it is and how it’s done.

Register for another Special FREE Webinar today!
Date & Time: Thursday, Feb 7th, 12:00-1:00 pm EST

(Space is limited to first 500 registrants, on average we get about 1K. Recording available for those who register, but can’t attend.)

Don’t miss out! This fun ‘eye opening’ webinar is guaranteed to give you a different perspective on how to successfully approach your BI projects in 2013.

Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her aboutme page.

P.S. – Registration for the BI Dashboard Formula will shut down in 7 days! Don’t wait… Register Today!

 

Jan
24

Webinar Recording: Learn 5 Easy to Implement 2013 BI Dashboarding Strategies

Hi Everyone,

We would like to say thanks to everyone that registered for the webinar last week Thursday with Mico Yuk. As promised the recording and slides are available for  those who couldn’t attend.

To watch the recording and slides, just sign up for FREE access to our BIDF Members Portal (no cc requ).

Signing up for the portal, gives you access to lots of free resources, including: presentations, webinar, templates, and much more!

BIDF 2.0 Members Portal 2

There were also many questions asked that Mico could not answer during the webinar, so below the video are her top 5 questions with answers.

Don’t miss out out! Click here to view the recording now!

P.S. - Tomorrow is the last day to use the ‘micobuddy’ coupon to save 10% on your BIDF 2.0 Registration. Class is almost full. Click here to Register now!

Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her aboutme page.

Nov
14

Survey Results are in! Final 2012 #AllAccessSAP Xcelsius Webinar is a GO!

We just wanted to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to everyone who completed the survey! The results are in, with over 2K votes and even more shocking than we expected.

View the complete report now!

Also, by popular demand, the discounted registration pricing for the BI Dashboard Formula 2.0 has been extended to November 23rd! Join us on this journey to getting your BI Dashboards on track for 2013!

Cheers!

Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her about me page.

Oct
29

Dynamic status update of Check Box components in Xcelsius: Part 4/4

Not all check boxes are created equal

This post continues an examination of the methods to achieve dynamic update of Xcelsius Check Box component’s statuses that started in the previous parts of this series: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

One of the interfaces that require this functionality is similar to the Row Selectability section on the Common tab of the Behavior ribbon in the Spreadsheet Table component properties. It is also used in Excel filters (“(Select All)” option) and in Tableau (“(All)” option), and in many other displays that include grouped check boxes.

This design consists of the multiple dependent check boxes that can be checked/unchecked selectively by a user, but also are governed by the so-called “master” check box. The status change of the master check box correspondingly affects the statuses of all of the other check boxes in the group.

To reproduce it in Xcelsius, I’ll use the model similar to the one used in the Part 3 with a line chart of traffic trends by geographic region and the check boxes representing these regions. Display status of each chart series depends on the checked/unchecked status of the corresponding check box. What the user sees as a check box is a push button component placed on top of two check box components. The push button has a transparent background. One of the checkboxes is set to be checked and the other one is unchecked. Their dynamic visibility is based on the status of selection (see details in Part 1 and Part 2). The challenging design difference in this model is that the component responsible for the Select All/None functionality (master control) is not a button as in Part 3, but a check box itself, at least in a visual capacity, and its functionality should create a corresponding user experience.

If the user unchecks any dependent check box, the master check box should be unchecked as well. If all of the check boxes are checked, the master check box should also become checked. We can’t get such functionality in Xcelsius models out of the box. But there is a workaround that I’m going to share with you.

On the figure below you can see the components included in the model.

To show what happens behind the screen at a run time I added a Spreadsheet Table component. It is based on the range C1:E6, which consists of the calculated statuses of selection and visibility. The next two figures show how the spreadsheet is set up.

Chart series are linked to the Calculated Data range (H2:K6). Formulae in that range use the REPT worksheet function that returns values from the Raw Data range (H8:K12) if corresponding display status in the range (D3:D6) is 1 and an empty string if it is 0.

Each click on any dependent checkbox (which is in fact on a transparent push button), copies the values (1 or 0) from the corresponding row in the range C3:C6 into the cell in the range D3:D6. Then, the formula in C3:C6 recalculates the inverted value in the preparation for the next click.

The Dynamic Visibility Status properties of the stacked check boxes representing the master check box are linked to the cell E2 (shaded in green on a spreadsheet).

The formula in the cell E2 ( =MIN($D$3:$D$6) ) calculates the lowest out of all dependent check boxes’ statuses.

When a user clicks on what is shown as the master check box and labeled as (All), he triggers an overlaid push button. It results in an insertion of values from the source range E3:E6 into the destination range D3:D6.

Formulae in E3:E6 range (1-$E$2) return inverted E2 value facilitating 1 and 0 toggling of dynamic visibility statuses of the all dependent check boxes and then, closing the loop, affects checked/unchecked status of the master check box.

This post concludes the series about dynamic status update of Check Box components in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard (Xcelsius). With one of the next releases of the product, we might get the Check Box component’s behavior changed (at least as an option) to be similar to Excel’s Check Box control, and this series of posts will become obsolete. Until then, we can use the methods explained here to achieve the functionality, as of today, not supported in Xcelsius out of the box.

Leonid Koyfman is a BI professional with over 10 years of experience in a database design and development and in delivering reporting solutions using enterprise reporting technologies. He is a big Xcelsius enthusiast passionate about dashboard design and other kinds of data visualization. In his leisure time Leonid enjoys solving mental puzzles and hiking in the Bay Area with his family.

P.S. The BI Dashboard Formula is officially LIVE NOW! Read our Members’ Testimonials and see why we received a 98% approval rating! Register before November 7th and take 10% off with coupon code: MicoBuddy10.

Sep
24

Dynamic status update of Check Box components in Xcelsius: Part 3/4

Now you see it, Now you dont!

This post demonstrates how to apply the ideas presented in Dynamic status update of Check Box components: Part2 to the dynamic selection of chart series.

One of the features introduced in Xcelsius 2008 SP3 was a dynamic series selection in charts.This long awaited addition addresses an old request for the ability to hide/show a chart series at run-time.

Now, all we need to do to set it up is to go to Appearance section in the chart properties, enable legend on theLayout tab, check Enable Hide/Show chart Series at Run-Time check box and accept the default value of Check Box in the Interaction combo box. At run time, next to the corresponding labels in the chart legend, we’ll get the check boxes that govern the display status of the chart series as shown in the following example of charting traffic trends by geo region.


This approach is quick and intuitive. It’s a big step forward and in many cases will serve its purpose. But there is still room for improvement. One of the limitations is an inability to reset all check boxes (or all in a group) at once. So, the traditional solution for toggling a display of chart series based on Check Box components and Excel logic still takes its place and can be enhanced with the methods explained in details in (Dynamic status update of Check Box components: Part2). The following model shows how to apply such a technique to the previous Hide/Show chart Series example.

All custom push buttons shown above the chart use the Status range (cells H3:H6) as the destination. The raw data is in the range P3:U6.

The range J2:N6 is the data source for the chart. Formulae in the range J2:N6 calculate values for the chart series. When the values in the Status range are 0s, the formulae in the corresponding rows in the range J2:N6 return empty strings and series that are based on those rows are not displayed. And when the values in the Status range are 1s, the formulae in the range J2:N6 return the raw data values and the display status of the chart series gets toggled.

Custom push buttons are created as described in Customizing a Push Button component in Xcelsius.

The buttons support All, Invert and None types of selection. The buttons serve to select only series in the corresponding groups (USA and Canada in this example). The check boxes are also designed as custom push buttons and used for changing the display status of the chart series for individual regions (e.g. just Portland or Seattle and Portland).

Select None functionally is just one click less than a combination of All and Invert selections. So, depending on our intentions, we can save an extra click for the user by adding this button, or exclude it from the design to save some space on the canvas and deal with fewer components. Yet another option, as a compromise between two, is to stack the All and None buttons and toggle their dynamic visibility.

With such an implementation, after clicking the All button it will become invisible, and the None button will be displayed instead on the same spot. In turn, clicking the None button will hide it and make All button available for the next logical action. Using this option might need some integration with the Invert button functionality.

The example in this post demonstrates one of the practical applications of the dynamic check box status update in Xcelsius and can be extended to the designs that support more complex rules for simultaneous selections of logically grouped items.

Leonid Koyfman is a BI professional with over 10 years of experience in a database design and development and in delivering reporting solutions using enterprise reporting technologies. He is a big Xcelsius enthusiast passionate about dashboard design and other kinds of data visualization. In his leisure time Leonid enjoys solving mental puzzles and hiking in the Bay Area with his family.

Sep
19

Free XWIS test-drive coming to a city near You!

During my keynote at the recent “Mastering SAP BusinessObjects” conference in Melbourne, Australia I said “in order to make Xcelsius or SAP Dashboards enterprise ready you need XWIS from Antivia.” I said this because Antivia’s XWIS closes five key gaps in Xcelsius / SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards functionality which are fundamental to enterprise dashboard success:

  1. Reduced complexity
  2. Design productivity
  3. Dashboard performance
  4. End-user functionality
  5. Mobile delivery

Just as WebIntelligence makes it easy to manage multi-dimensional data with its micro-cube, so XWIS brings similar in-dashboard OLAP capabilities to Xcelsius development. This reduces dashboard complexity by avoiding the need to create multiple connections to the server for different slices of data and by eliminating the formulas required to knit these slices of data together in the spreadsheet. Less complexity means you’ll achieve a significant increase in design productivity (meaning more dashboards, developed more quickly) and at the same time you’ll see a dramatic improvement in dashboard performance (both initial load and click-to-click). XWIS also enables the out-of-the-box addition of key end-user functionality such as drill-down, drill-across and “slice and dice”. And to top it off, all this is available both off-line and on tablet devices. But, I want you to see this for yourself … so, I’d encourage you to get along to one of the hands-on XWIS test-drives that Antivia is planning, this fall. By taking a test-drive, you will see all of these capabilities in action as you build your own interactive, connected dashboard, from scratch, against a significant dataset, within minutes, using XWIS.

Antivia is running test-drives in Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and New York during the first week of October.  My good friend Donald MacCormick (a key-player in the acquisition of Xcelsius by Business Objects and one of the guest speakers I hand-picked for my BI Dashboard Formula) is hosting each test-drive. Given the interactive nature of these events, space is limited, so I would urge you to register for an XWIS test-drive today.

Mico Yuk is a SAP Mentor and BI Influencer, co-founder of Benchmarkers Business Intelligence and founder of the Xcelsius Gurus Network, the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit her about page.

Sep
5

Live Dashboard Training with Mico Yuk in Zurich at BOAK 2012

I’m sure many of you have heard about Mico’s online training series, the BI Dashboard Formula, that starts on the 6th of September. Well Mico is now taking this training on the road to Zurich, Switzerland, for our ONLY live event on September 19th, as part of the BOAK 2012 Conference.

Mico will be teaching the entire 7-steps of the BI Dashboard Formula live for the first time! See below for details:

  • Step 1. Planning – The Most Important but Overlooked Step
  • Step 2. Scoping – The Art of Gathering Requirements
  • Step 3. Prototyping – Developing the ‘Perfect’ Dashboard
  • Step 4. Validating the Data – Before making False Promises
  • Step 5. Connecting the Data – The Moment of Truth!
  • Step 6. UAT (aka User Attack Testing) – How to get Thru Quickly
  • Step 7. Go Live – Living Through Dashboard Armageddon
  • Step 8. Knowledge Transfer – The key to Job Security
  • Click here to read the full details of each training module on the BIDF homepage!

Registration closes on September 17th, and we have 6 spots left as of this blog post!

  • Where: Zurich, Switzerland
  • When: September 19th, 2012
  • What time: 9am – 4:30pm CEST
  • How to Register: http://bit.ly/PWhvx4
  • What to expect: We’ve been told that being stuck with Mico in a room all day discussing BI is career changing literally. Lots of fun and lots of learning!

Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her about me page.

Aug
3

Dashboards don’t kill dashboard projects, People do!

Recently, I had the chance to think about past dashboard projects that I helped save, or complaints I have recently heard about “at-risk” dashboard projects. I offered the following as advice to colleagues and wanted to share my thoughts with you… I offer these three things to consider as your organization looks to improve your dashboard project success rate:

TIP 1: Know who you are designing for and what they need

“Dashboards” are tools to help business people assimilate information, but different roles, lines of business, and management levels need the right information at the right time.

Strategic Dashboards- Management / Executives

Strategic dashboards should present top level KPIs and performance monitoring metrics for management or executives. Sometimes these managers want everything including the kitchen sink, or believe that one dashboard project (expense) can serve the needs of management and lower levels. One dashboard should not typically serve the needs of multiple roles, and as I have found, it is typically easier to build two dashboards than try to build the security and logic.

Analytical Dashboards- Analysts

Analysts typically end up wanting the raw data so they can play with it in Excel. We have great new tools from SAP like Visual Intelligence and newer versions of Explorer that can begin to approach the needs of an analyst. Dashboards do make a great entry point for analysts, but generally lack the horsepower required out of the box. I have seen WebI or the addition of Antivia XWIS remedy the data volume, adhoc, and data export requirements that often come up with analytical dashboards.

Operational Dashboards- Operations

Operations generally means instant, real-time information. Call centers, dispatch, and emergency management users are typical consumers and if they don’t have a fast, super simple user experience, they will trash your dashboard. The connectivity needs to be very fast, especially in an operations center where someone is physically reviewing the dashboard throughout the day. Typically a bottle neck is real-time data availability unless the customer has experience building real-time applications. As such I recommend you flushing out this before dragging a single component onto the canvas.

Informational Dashboards- Everyone else

Informational dashboards are typically geared toward a broader audience of business users. As such, your dashboard needs to be built to win over this audience. The best way to do so is ensure the first phase of your project is delivered quickly, looks amazing, and must be functional.

TIP 2: Set expectations from day 1

A dashboard design solution like Xcelsius has always been our BI Army Swiss knife for applications, but it is not magic. It has its own set of technical limitations that should be understood and communicated. A dashboard developer or project manager should set expectations for what is possible out of the box, what extendable using third party software is, and that if you wait for SAP to deliver the fix or feature, it could be a long wait.

I have walked into countless engagements where the business defined requirements and was told those requirements were possible with Xcelsius, yet no one ever pushed back to set expectations that it would require 40 queries and take 5 minutes to refresh. This is not good!

TIP 3: Find a business champion

Many dashboard projects may be pushed from the top down to end users who may have existing tools and processes for doing things. You have one shot to make an impressions with a new application and if you don’t have someone on your side who is respected by end users you could run into trouble even if you build the best dashboard. A business champion can provide gut checks along the way to make sure the dashboard will be generally adopted, and help evangelize the excitement of a new dashboard so upon delivery, you don’t face an angry mob who will block adoption of the new dashboard.

Ryan Goodman is the Founder of Centigon Solutions, an SAP® software solution partner, that is strategically focused on developing add-on products for use with Xcelsius®. To learn more about him, please visit our Gurus page.