Continuing from my post here. We recently embarked upon a journey of creating some functionally complex but easy to use dashboards. These dashboards are built for a specific user community with only one goal in mind FAST , FOCUSED and EASY.
As executives are very familiar with looking for something like a executive briefing with all the most relevant numbers in one place and also some explanation about what is happening from an Financial Analyst.
We created an dashboard with all the relevant sales matrices and also enabled financial analyst to enter their input about the numbers. For this purpose we have to built custom web services which allows us to write data back to the database and only select analyst will be able to input comments to be displayed to the executives.Also this dashboard is built with a principle that if executives want they can print out the dashboard and take it with them. Here is how it looks like.
In this dashboard it shows all the sales related matrices and shows an map as the focal points showing how the sales are across the globe.It also shows an edit button when a person opens the dashboard who have access to edit comments.For this chart we have purchased a third party component from datasavvymaps and integrated with our dashboards which is quite light weight which costing us around ~1k for enterprise version with no limit on number of users.
Now we have two simple dashboards which are quite easy to understand and use but still users have to go through the BusinessObjects Launchpad using the BusinessObjects URL then find the folder where the dashboards are hosted and then use the dashboard. This process is neither elegant nor simple so we build a custom internal website like http://sales which hosts both dashboard. I have explained how to setup a user focused BI website with all the relevant BI objects in the link below.
As Executives are mostly on move so making the dashboard available in a mobile device is critical. So we have built the dashboard to be completely mobile/Ipad compatible utilizing SAP BusinessObjects mobile application.
In the end from a user experience perspective user will just have to type an URL like http://Sales in a website and he will just get all the BI contents in the same place that is needed. Here is how it looks like in a website.The first tab is Executive Briefing dashboard and the second tab is Executive sales dashboard put together in one website.This is how it looks like.
Here is a copy of the Business Objects 4.1 ( Xcelsius) dashboard template if you are interested in leveraging the design. The template is in .txt format and need to be converted to .xlf before it can be used.