Accelerate the Creation of Powerful Dashboards in Xcelsius

  • by Anurag Barua, Independent SAP Advisor
  • November 1, 2008
Get to know Xcelsius, a BusinessObjects tool that you can use with SAP NetWeaver BI to create dashboards quickly. See how to set up a simple dashboard, from preparing the Excel file to customizing the dashboard design.
Key Concept
A dashboard is a visual representation of data either in summarized or granular format in the form of sliders, graphs, maps, and dials. It can have a single source or multiple disparate sources and aids in easy analysis, sophisticated simulation, and effective decision-making.

Decision-makers need to make sense of the huge volumes of data at their disposal, quickly grasp the story that the data is trying to tell them, and react with alacrity. Visualization tools help facilitate this process by providing users not only with information organized in a concise, understandable manner but also the ability to run “what-if” analysis that is so important for projecting and forecasting. They drive analytics. I think of these value-added tools as the icing on the BI cake. Of all the various data visualization techniques that are available today, none is more effective (and attractive) than dashboards.

If your enterprise is running SAP BW 2.x or higher (including SAP NetWeaver BI 7.0) you know that you can create dashboards that are fed data from a BI system. Until SAP BW 3.5 (when the process of creating dashboards was somewhat simplified with advanced controls in the Web Application Designer [Web AD]), creating a dashboard in BI required a lot of manual work.

Anurag Barua

Anurag Barua is an independent SAP advisor. He has 23 years of experience in conceiving, designing, managing, and implementing complex software solutions, including more than 17 years of experience with SAP applications. He has been associated with several SAP implementations in various capacities. His core SAP competencies include FI and Controlling FI/CO, logistics, SAP BW, SAP BusinessObjects, Enterprise Performance Management, SAP Solution Manager, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), and project management. He is a frequent speaker at SAPinsider conferences and contributes to several publications. He holds a BS in computer science and an MBA in finance. He is a PMI-certified PMP, a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and is ITIL V3F certified.

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