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.

I found that I was able to do a great job of replicating core functionality of the original using in cell charting, and most of my individual components were used for the custom column headers with legends. Plus, since I created custom headers, I can’t just allow for sorting by column. This seems like something I might be able to add to make the dashboard more interactive.

Originally, I had tried several different ways to allow the user to toggle through detail for multiple schools or classes. Yet, while it worked fine on the Desktop, the iPad version wasn’t as responsive as I wanted it to be. The reality is that all of the charting (while not many components) is still taking a lot of the computing power from the tablet. As I work on more examples with XML and BusinessObjects connectivity, I’ll revisit this concept. It just doesn’t make sense to push that much data around in the Excel model, which is the same case for the SAP Dashboards Mobile App.

The following image is what it looks like on my iPad thru the Reflector App mirroring, and if you click on the image you can see the desktop version. Without interactivity though, it isn’t much different than the picture. Once the new add-on package and dashboard viewer have been released, I’ll publish these source files for reference.

* Note: I noticed that some of the text header labels are getting chopped in the desktop version, so we will have to look into that.