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Xcelsius 2008 Dashboard Best Practices

Book Description


Using Xcelsius, you can create powerful, interactive dashboards, gather data from spreadsheets or databases, and deliver knowledge that can be instantly understood and acted upon. Now there’s a definitive, authoritative guide to making the most of Xcelsius 2008, the newest version of this breakthrough product.

Loren Abdulezer, editor-in-chief of Xcelsius Journal, shares insider’s knowledge that goes far beyond any other book or online help resource. Abdulezer introduces Xcelsius 2008, reviews its core concepts, and demonstrates the wide range of dashboards it can create. After you know what’s possible, you’ll go deep inside Xcelsius, gaining hands-on experience with every feature you need to master. You’ll learn how to quickly represent any data with charting components; use dials, gauges, and speedometers; incorporate multiple layers in your dashboards and visualizations; use Xcelsius to perform more useful analyses and manage more interactively; work with maps, demographics, and segmented data; create “smart data” and alerts; and much more.

Abdulezer offers tips and tricks you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll learn how to work with data that isn’t rock-solid--and even how to create your own custom components that go beyond Xcelsius’s built-in features. Whether you’re a business intelligence or database professional, power user, developer, or consultant, this book will help you create superior Xcelsius dashboards--and make better decisions.


  • Use Xcelsius 2008 to get better answers, identify emerging trends and opportunities, and manage more effectively

  • Learn hands-on, through step-by-step examples using real business data

  • Discover tips and tricks proven in real-world environments

  • Deliver dashboard content in whatever format works best: as HTML pages, PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, or Word documents

  • Fully leverage the information in your Excel spreadsheets--and go beyond Excel to use XML source data, too

  • Implement Xcelsius best practices drawn from the hard-won knowledge of the entire global user community


  • Registered owners of the book can find all this and more online:

  • All sample files used in the book

  • Additional guides and tutorials to help you build dashboards

  • Templates and example files for new dashboard interfaces

  • Introduction 1

    Part I Xcelsius 2008 Fundamentals

    1 Motivation for Using Xcelsius 2008     11

    2 Showcase of Xcelsius 2008 Dashboards     33

    3 Getting Familiar with Xcelsius 2008     43

    4 Embedded Spreadsheets: The Secret Sauce of Xcelsius 2008     69

    5 Using Charts and Graphs to Represent Data     127

    6 Single Value Components: Dials, Gauges, Speedometers, and the Like     157

    Part II Xcelsius 2008 Best Practices and Techniques

    7 Using Multi-Layer Visibility in Your Dashboards and Visualizations     181

    8 Managing Interactivity     203

    9 Xcelsius and Statistics     229

    10 Financial Analysis     257

    11 Maps in Xcelsius     275

    12 Smart Data and Alerts     297

    13 Working with Less-Than-Optimal Data     315

    14 Other Dashboard Techniques and Practices     337

    Part III Advanced Features

    15 XML and Data Connectivity     353

    16 Creating Custom Components for Fun and Profit     371

    Part IV Appendices

    A Supported Spreadsheet Functions in Xcelsius 2008     401

    B Xcelsius Product Family Comparison     415

    C Xcelsius Best Practice Techniques and Hip Pocket Tips     425

    Index     431