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Today’s Student Dashboarding Club Session: What-if Scenarios

Last week, I discussed the lecture I did before the pilot of the Student Dashboarding club.  Kumar Subramanian gave today’s lecture on What-If Scenarios using Xcelsius Engage.  Kumar said to have the data model ready before designing the dashboard.

He suggested when building your dashboard, you debug as you go.  For instance, hard code the figures in the target area to ensure your values are correctly being calculated.    You should display the spreadsheet as a component table when building the dashboard.  He dragged a spreadsheet table component to the canvas. 

Some other quick tips:

1) Give components name as you are building the model

2) Send the background to the back

3) If you have several components to display on your canvas copy them.  They first appear hidden but you have to drag them.

4) For the divide by zero display issue put in a conditional IF statement in the spreadsheet, and then the divide by zero is fixed

 

Student Q&A:
Q: How change back to default?
A: Select other components Others->Reset button

Q: When using gauge is there a way to show existing value – from and to?
A:  Place the original values in a separate cell, create a text label and bind to original value

Q: Is there an optimal number of gauges on a dashboard?
A: In the real world, you may want to manage gross sales by unit.  The dial may lock up most real estate space.  Kumar suggested maybe using the horizontal slider as it uses less real estate.  In advanced topics we look at  dynamic visibility.  Kumar suggested dragging components and look at properties; do it on paper and whiteboarding.  Get model right first, and then build.  I wanted to mention Ryan Goodman’s blog about the The Slow Death of a Gauge but I forgot.

 

Q: Shifting industries – what KPI’s are required, dashboards are required?
A: Check out kpilibrary.com – it is free.  Also many industry associations have key performance indicators and standards.

 

Q: What is the basic qualifications to obtain a job in dashboard creation?

A: You need additional skills in addition to the technology.  You need to learn how to fetch dynamically, this data is from the data warehouse – web services, xml, rss feeds, webi, crystal reports.

 

Thanks to Kumar for a great session and Kirby Leong, SAP, for hosting.

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