Simple Tableau Mobile Dashboard

Now that I’m working with Tableau on a regular basis at work, I’ve also decided to recreate my existing dashboard examples so I can better understand the exact differences (pros/cons) between Tableau and SAP Dashboards / Xcelsius. This first posting on the topic covers the simple mobile sales dashboard that I originally posted about here.

The main point of this exercise is to leverage design elements from PowerPoint to create a more polished looking dashboard on a mobile device. I experimented with the new transparency options in Tableau 8.1, but found that my dashboard would crash when trying to layer transparent sections over graphics in the dashboard. Trying an alternative approach, I used version 8.0 and just set the backgrounds of each section to match the image.

mobile_sales_dashboard
Click on the image to seeing the working Tableau Public version. Try it on your desktop and mobile devices!

I had to make a page for each KPI (budget, actual, variance) because putting them into a single table wouldn’t show correctly over the graphic bubbles. Other than that, it was much faster to build this dashboard in Tableau and the separate pages wasn’t much of an inconvenience. I was also able to use the x/y positioning and exact sizing of elements to make sure that they were all aligned correctly and easily.

The ‘sales rep’ quick filter at the top adjusts all of the numbers, and the entire dashboard is mobile ready by default… so I’m pretty happy with the outcome on this one!

Inovista Tutorial – Part 1 (The Basics)

I’ve had a number of people reach out in response to my teaser post about the capabilities of Inovista add-ons. Before I jump into things like the concept of sliding panels, we need to cover some of the basics.

If you are going to invest in the Inovista add-ons, I highly recommend that you get the full developer suite for $999. Remember, this is only required for the developers and not the end users, so it grants a lot of extra features without being a big deal if you have a couple hundred end users. Usually I recommend that organizations have at least 2 licenses because everyone needs a back-up. If you end up building a lot of mobile dashboards with Inovista, they have another option that allows you to package your own apps. I haven’t reached that point myself, but their mobile app reader is a great way to get started.

Here are some of the packages in the suite:

– Advanced Shapes
– Mobile Components
– iOS Components
– SVG / Image Controllers
– Inovista Mobile Charts
– Inovista Grids
– Inovista Microcharts
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Xcelsius Reborn vs. Visualization Best Practices?

Since I’m fresh off of the 2013 ASUG Developer Wars, I felt inspired to build another dashboard quickly. Plus I had hours to kill in the airport while waiting to return to the East Coast. I figured this was a great time to build another sample showcasing our upcoming add-on package and stand-alone dashboard reader.

I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing the entries Stephen Few’s recent dashboard competition. In particular, Jason Lockwood’s winning dashboard entry, so I used that as inspiration for this example.

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Reimagining the Xcelsius Experience

I started this blog several years back when I created my custom Xcelsius theme. But challenges when upgrading versions of Xcelsius and the fact that it doesn’t work in the mobile version has been disappointing. Now I finally have the chance to work with a more reliable solution that can produce lightweight, minimalist charts consistently. Powered by Inovista, this custom add-on suite and super simple stand-alone iPad app allows me to get the visuals I want with the bonus of accessing Business Objects BI services without needing a BI 4.1 environment!

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Balanced Scorecard on Mobile

Recently I rebuilt my Balanced Scorecard in the mobile version of SAP Dashboards (Xcelsius). While I learned a great deal from this exercise, the true lesson is that you should be designing for mobile first! While you can export to both desktop and mobile with the same file, most ‘desktop’ dashboards are over-complicated and overcrowded. Trying to convert those files to mobile will impact both usability and performance.

bsc_mobile_screen1
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SAP Dashboards for Mobile

I’ve been working on converting some existing dashboards and building new ones for SP5 to display in the MoBI app. So far I’ve been able to get pretty far, but I am finding that I need to layer objects differently and mouse-overs work differently since they appear on top of everything and you can’t see values in the bottom layers if you are stacking charts. Here is a screenshot from the iPad of my ‘Infographics Dashboard’ conversion.

Keep posted as I continue to develop for mobile and I will share some of my tips and tricks. I’ve already been able to create a dynamic sales funnel, so I’m pleased by that, but disappointed that there is no XY or Bubble Chart. I also miss the spreadsheet component, which gave me the ability to fine-tune larger visual displays with a single component (instead of numerous shapes and text boxes).

– Josh