One of the great inner city public transportation successes of the 20th century (and continuing into the 21st!) is the double decker bus. Their design is unique, accommodating two levels of passengers while remaining compact enough to navigate the small and tricky streets of major cities like London. The most successful model, the “Routemaster”, was introduced in the 1950’s and continued to be used in full service for more than 50 years. Its fundamental design was solid but it also allowed for adaptations, like the open upper deck for sight-seeing and different interior configurations (used by rock bands, politicians and touring marketing campaigns).
Xcelsius (aka SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards) looks like it is well on its way to being the “Routemaster” of Business Intelligence dashboards and I see it as having another 35 years of stellar service still to come. So why would I say this when SAP and others are talking about replacing it?
The main reason is that I am both watching and listening to what organizations really want in a BI solution.
Firstly, they want something solid, proven, adaptable, intuitive and quick to develop and deploy. New data discovery BI tools currently have none of these attributes. Tools that can only be used by Power Users or require programming skills will always serve a minority within any organization. The double-decker bus was not created for bus drivers; it was created as a mass transit vehicle for the masses. Likewise, Xcelsius was created as a Business Intelligence visualization solution for the masses and they are definitely the beneficiaries today and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
So what are organizations doing with Xcelsius today that makes it so popular?
Quite simply, they are building visual, effective and powerful Business Intelligence applications quickly and inexpensively. You can prototype an application in just hours with Xcelsius and see exactly what it will look like and what it will do. You can then develop and deploy it in just days and reap the benefits in just weeks.
You can deliver and deploy in so many different ways. Dashboards embedded in PDF, PPT, Word, Outlook both connected and offline with the data embedded in the dashboard. You can connect to almost any data source and, with third party add-ons; you can write back, embed Google Maps and handle millions of rows of data through caching with super-fast response times. With the new Dashboards 4 version, you can also generate HTML5 dashboards which can be deployed on both mobile devices and web browsers (3rd party add-on).
So, in the first few months of 2015 alone, I have seen the following examples of companies deploying BI dashboards for the very first time and all of them choosing Xcelsius :
- A large shoe company creating a mobile cloud based sales analytics application
- A building construction company create G&A expenses analysis application
- A nationwide food retailer creating a product sales and distribution analysis application
- A metal manufacturer creating a supply chain analysis application
- A healthcare provider creating a self-service operations metrics application
- A transport company creating a mobile safety metrics application
It is for this reason that there are an abundance of Xcelsius Dashboard training and knowledge transfer offerings at this year’s IBIS.
These include a hands-on 1 day Introduction class Introduction to Dashboards – Using SAP Dashboards 4.1 , a 3-day hands-on Iron Chef Boot Camp Xcelsius (SAP Dashboards) Iron Chef, a track full of amazing knowledge transfer sessions on dashboards and visualization BusinessObjects Dashboards and Data Visualization—See What You Speak , a 2-day hands-on training boot camp on mobilizing your dashboards Mobilizing and Turbocharging your SAP Dashboards with InfoBurstand a 2-day hands-on boot camp on how to create scalable and powerful BI dashboard applications Developing Amazing Dashboards Using InfoBurst XDC
If you have not done so already, it’s time to get on board the Xcelsius double-decker bus and see for yourself why it’s the best ride in town and will be for many years to come.