Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Stephen Few Inspired Dashboard using SAP Business Objects Xcelsius 2008

Having been exposed to Dashboarding for a few years now, and having understood the mechanics of creating a dashboard in detail along with linking it into an overall Business Intelligence (BI) strategy, it was impossible to ignore that fact that there were some real design disasters that were out there.

I have created a few myself to be fair. The kind that when you see them results in a sharp intake of breath and raised eyebrows by just about anyone. Adding to that an inability to really understand what some of those dashboards were trying to tell the consumer made for a real problem that needed to be addressed.

So, for my inaugural blog and after reading Stephen Few's Information Dashboard Design, I was inspired to see if I could create something similar to his example Sales Dashboard using SAP Business Objects Xcelsius 2008.

Click the Play button to see it in action.

The data is mocked up and is not connected (but very easily could be) whilst the extra components; Sparklines and Bullet Charts, are drawn from Donald MacCormick's Blog at xcomponents.blogspot.com

In future Blogs I plan to share my thoughts on why some of the design methodologies present here are indeed very powerful, how I have seen them received in the sphere of BI that I work in, and that reception at a variety of different levels of BI Maturity found in the field.

I also plan to discuss my thoughts (and invite yours too) on the input to this field from the many shining lights in this area including Wayne W. Eckerson and of course, Edward Tufte.

Varik Torsteinsen, February 2009

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