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Dashboards about BO products sales and customers

SAP Community Network (SCN) China holds an Xcelsiusdashboard contest ( and invited me to join in. At first I hesitated forlacking of a good idea, but finally I decided to create one to show how BOproducts are sold in the dimensions of industry, time and product category, andhow the customers are using BO products – for example, how many customersalready have established their Enterprise DataWarehouse (EDW) before choosingBO products and how many have not.


You can view my dashboard at’s multi-lingual – by default it’s displayed in Chinese, while you can switchto English with a Combo box on the top right. If you could do me a favor – your writing a review for it ishighly appreciated!


 Now let’s talk about its content. It’s divided into 4 tabs, as illustrated below.

1.    Market

This tab shows theglobal (and especially Business Objects) BI market values since 2006, with BOmarket share displayed on the secondary Y axis of the Combination Chart, as displayed in Figure 1. Mostdata is cited from Gartner Research, such as

Combination chart for global BI market and BO Figure 1. Global BI Market and that of SAP Business Objects


You can drill downto a certain year on clicking on any of the marker – any of the vertical barsor circles. The Pie chart on the bottom left displays the market share of eachBI vendor in the selected year, such as SAS and IBM. When clicking on a vendor,more information about that vendor is displayed on the panel on the bottomright. Very simply put, in this dashboard the logo, rank, revenue and marketshare are displayed. Here you can see that SAP Business Objects holds the firstposition in market share, while that of Oracle keeps increasing each year.

Figure 2 below showsthe components of this tab.

BI Vendors market share in one year Figure 2. BI Vendors info in the selected year


2.    Sales

This tab intends toshow the overall revenue of Business Objects, divided into industries andproducts. From the combination chart you can see the revenue since 2006 and thecorresponding increase (percentage), as displayed in Figure 3. You can concludefrom the chart that the growth rate decreases in 2007, but keeps high sincethen, when SAP acquired Business Objects.

BO Revenue and growth rate

Figure 3. BO Revenue and growth rate


There’s a Radiobutton group in the middle for you to select how to divide the revenue and customers, asdisplayed in Figure 4: Select a Distribution standard

Figure 4. Select a distribution standard


The default optionis Revenue Distribution, for you to see BO’s revenue from each industry in theselected year, as displayed in the Pie chart on the bottom right. On clickingon some industry, you can see the numeric value from the Gauge to its left.Figure 5 below shows such components. Revenue distribution by industry

Figure 5. Revenue Distribution by Industry


The 2ndoption is Customer Distribution, showing the number of customers in eachindustry for each product. You first select one of BO products from a radiobutton group (BOE, Xcelsius, DI/DQ etc), then you’ll see how many customershave purchased that product(s) in each industry from the Pie chart on thebottom right. Similarly, you can drill down to a certain industry by clickingon the Pie chart, more information (here the No. of customers) of which will bedisplayed in the Gauge to its left. Alert is not enabled for the Gauge, since Idon’t think it’s necessary to warn someone if there’re too few customers insome industry – what do you think of it? Figure 6 below shows such components.

Customer distribution by industry Figure 6. Customer count Distribution by Industry


3.    Customers

This tab focuses onBO customers. The Combination chart shows the total number of customers with anexponential trend analysis displayed in the line.

Customers in eachyear are then divided into categories by some standard such as Corporate Sizeor BI Investment (the company’s investment on BI). From the bottom left youfirst select a standard. If “Has EDW?” is selected, a Pie chart is displayed toits right to show how many customers have established their Enterprise DataWarehouse before adopting BO products (eg. Reporting solutions) and how manyhave not, in the year selected from the Combination chart on the top. This isuseful for a new customer to decide whether to build an EDW system beforebuilding reporting systems or not.

If another standardis selected, a Radar chart is displayed to show the number of customers in eachcategory. For example, when Corporate Size is selected, the Radar chart shows howmany customers with fewer than 100 employees have adopted BO products, and howmany with 100 – 500, 500 – 1000 employees etc, as displayed in Figure 7.

Customer classification by Corporate Size

Figure 7. Customer classification by Corporate size 

This is helpful forthe customer to decide whether he’s suitable to purchase BO products. So it iswith Revenue and BI Investment.

Well, a drawbackhere is the colors of the Radar chart is not clear enough… forgive me J

4.    Help

This tab is simpleenough, just for you to understand my purpose and how to use this dashboard, asdisplayed in Figure 8. The image is a blackboard in a classroom, with a chalk onit.

Help of this dashboard Figure 8. Help of this dashboard.


As to the design, the 4 tabs are in a Tab Set, the titles of whichare hidden by a Background. 4 Push buttons are places on the top left as aselector, controlling which tab is visible.

TheCombo box on the top left is used for the user to select a language. By defaultit’s Chinese, and the user can switch to English from the dropdown list – easy tosupport more languages.

Inthe first tab, clicking on any marker of any series will trigger drill down. However,the Destination of different series cannot point to the same cell(s) in theembedded Excel spreadsheet. This is achieved with the help of 3 Historycomponents – different series drills down to different cell, which acts as the Dataof each History component, while the 3 History components share the same Destinationcell.

Backgroundsand Rectangles are heavily used in this dashboard. Backgrounds are used tohighlight a group of components. Rectangles are used as background images,which has been explained in my previous blog post at Use Rectangle to build backgrounds of SAP Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius).


Well,thank you for taking time in looking at my dashboard. Your feedback, either positive or negative, is warmly welcome and highly appreciated. Please kindly write a review for it, thanks! 

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      Author's profile photo Surendra Kumar Reddy Koduru
      Surendra Kumar Reddy Koduru
      Hi Ray Li,
      This is really good blog on Dashboards.

      Surendra Kumar Reddy Koduru

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      Thank you Surendra for your comment. Appreciate if you could write a review at scn page,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Expect to see more!