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Day 1 – 20th April 2010:  Getting ready

I logged into SCN after a gap of a month or so to download Crystal Reports XI and saw the Xcelsius challenge. I had downloaded Xcelsius some months back and installed it but did not get to spend time on it before the one-month period got over.  This time there was a purpose.

I downloaded the software and installed it.  This took me approximately 20 minutes.

Day 2 – 21st April 2010: Taking the plunge

The idea was to spend some time over a few days.  Day 2 was not actually the next day.  I could not get to sleep on Day 1 before pulling out my laptop and roughing-out a solution.  This involved putting the data in, having the basic bar-chart in place, formatting the axes, and looking at appearance options.  Then I had a look at the various components.  Mind you, all this was with absolutely no help, not even Quick Help – couldn’t bother with it.  I lost 25 to 30 minutes of sleep that night.

On Day 2, after getting some work out of the way, I was back at it.  I decided I was not going to spend time with Containers and Sliders, this time around. I checked the internet and downloaded an appropriate background and put that in place.  I did play around with a logo of the Games and a map of Canada but discounted those in favour of the background I got. I polished the look of the chart in relation to the background – this involved removing the rather technical looking axes lines and reducing numeric information.

Then all that was needed to be done was to generate the flash file, to zip it and submit it.    All this took another 35 minutes.

Day 3 – 22nd April 2010: Retrospection

The experience showed that usage of Xcelsius was easy and intuitive to say the least – I did not go to Quick Help. Ofcourse, I have only scratched the surface in terms of possibilities.  I thought about putting in more screen-shots of a technical nature, but decided against it considering how easy it was to play around with the tool.  

It was relevant to my work as we are on the verge of a BW upgrade and adoption of new BI tools.  While Xcelsius is a big ‘X’ in some people’s minds, I can brag about Xcelsius.

Now here I am blogging about it – my first SCN blog.  Last but not least, I thank Jason, without whose ‘Xcelsius Challenge’ initiative all this would not have happened.

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6 Comments

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    1. Jason Cao
      Hi Mathew,
      You did it! You took up the Challenge. You created your first Xcelsius dashboard. You posted your first blog on SCN. You’ve shown the community your ‘no fear’ approach to trying something different, something new…and in the process learning something different, and somethng new. It also sounds like you had some fun doing it!

      Now that you’ve done this, what sort of new uses will you have for Xcelsius? Please feel free to share your experience and creations with the community.

      Congratulations!
      Jason

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      1. Mathew Muthalaly Post author
        Hi Jason,

        Thanks. I am having fun with Xcelsius. I would say, it is only the beginning.  We have a host of business users looking forward to harnessing the power of Xcelsius and other BI tools, moving away from BEx. I see a lot of exciting work for the BW/BI team here.

        Incidentally, I took a peek into Crystal Reports and did a test-drive of Business Explorer on ‘ondemand.com’.  I need to spend some more time on that.

        As I said, we have a BW upgrade project and a BI project on the horizon and are looking forward to getting into the thick of things.

        I will definitely share my experiences on these projects. 

        Thanks again Jason, for being a catalyst in these multiple firsts for me.

        Best regards
        Mathew.

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