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Xcelsius 2008 Dashboard Best Practices 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0672329951
ISBN-10: 0672329956
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

THE DEFINITIVE, COMPREHENSIVE, OFFICIAL GUIDE TO XCELSIUS 2008 DASHBOARDS

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 ofXcelsius 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.

 

THE ONLY XCELSIUS 2008 DASHBOARDING BOOK YOU NEED

  • 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

 

ON THE WEB

  • 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

About the Author

Loren Abdulezer is CEO and president of Evolving Technologies Corporation, a New York-based technology consulting firm that specializes in visual data analysis. He has a long-standing record in the Xcelsius community and has been a staunch proponent of the technology since its early days.

 

Loren is the editor-in-chief of Xcelsius Journal (www.XcelsiusJournal.com), an online magazine dedicated to users in the Xcelsius user community. Loren also started the website Xcelsius Best Practices (www.XcelsiusBestPractices.com). Loren is the author of Excel Best Practices for Business and Escape from Excel Hell. He served as the technical editor of Crystal Xcelsius For Dummies. He can be reached at dashboards@evolvingtech.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672329956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672329951
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kalyan Verma on January 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been working with Xcelsius since 3 years now and I have not seen a book on Xcelsius which is as detailed as this one. Although I learned a lot from Mike Alexander's Dummies book Crystal Xcelsius For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)), this one is different. Learning Xcelsius is different from effectively using Xcelsius. This book will help you understand and implement Xcelsius for your Dashboard Solutions. The humongous list of best practices that Loren put together in this book is very impressive. I thought it would be a skinny book with few best practices, however when I received the shipment, I was amazed to see that it was a pretty fat book (400+ pages). I was so Curious to know how he came up with so many best practices. When started reading about it, I was amazed to know that there were actually a lot of best practices that I didn't knew. Almost 70% of them were new to me.

From Fundamentals to Advanced features, Loren touched every aspect of Xcelsius Dashboard Design. Although there was a Chapter (Chapter 15) dedicated to Data Connectivity to create Live Dashboards, I would have been thoroughly satisfied if it had more information on other types of data connections available in Xcelsius 2008. Nevertheless, this book is a great compilation of Xcelsius Best Practices.

A must have for any Xcelsius Developer (Novice or Pro).

Regards,
Kalyan Verma
[...]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MIco Yuk on March 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is rated A+ by the Xcelsius Guru Network! Business Objects should consider sending it with each Xcelsius license they sell. With such a limited amount of material available surrounding Xcelsius and the 'Best Practices' required to efficiently use the tool, Loren does a great job to serve every level of developer:

1) Beginners - Finally get to understand how to use the cool correctly from the start!
2) Advanced users - Now have the ability to gain step by step instruction on how to clean up their existing models to enhance performance and leverage the softwware for more advanced applications!
3) Gurus - Get to brush on a few tips, learn from a fellow Guru and finally have a daily reference for Xcelsius!

We think Loren did a great job and this book is currently rated #1 in our Xcelsius Guru Network bookshelf. It's simple a must have for the Xcelsius developer.

The Xcelsius Gurus
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dallas Marks on May 27, 2010
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I've spent a lot of time in 2008 and 2009 creating Xcelsius dashboards for various clients. A book that I have found very helpful is Loren Abdulezer's Xcelsius 2008 Dashboard Best Practices. According to the bio on the back of the book, Loren is editor-in-chief of Xcelsius Journal, the online magazine for Xcelsius users.

Loren's book provides a comprehensive view on Xcelsius 2008 functionality including samples, which can be downloaded here from the Xcelsius Journal web site. The book contains 16 chapters organized into three sections: Xcelsius 2008 Fundamentals, Xcelsius 2008 Best Practices and Techniques, and Advanced Features. As an IT professional who didn't use Excel much before Xcelsius, I really appreciate how Loren brings his extensive knowledge of Excel to the material. This includes treatment of statistics, financial analysis and "less-than-optimal" (uh, dirty?) data.

In the "Advanced Features" section, Chapter 15 deals with XML and Data Connectivity. I would have preferred a more robust treatment of Query as a Web Service (QaaWS) and Live Office. But "rather than attempt a cursory across-the-board discussion, this chapter outlines from a hands-on perspective pragmatic issues and techniques for accessing XML data, particularly Excel XML maps". Of course, treatment of QaaWS and Live Office would have required a big investment in sample universes, reports, BIAR files, etc.

The last chapter, Chapter 16, is about "Creating Custom Components for Fun and Profit" using the Xcelsius Component SDK. Many Business Objects professionals don't code applications, but the chapter helps Xcelsius developers stick their toe into the water with Adobe Flex Builder and ActionScript/Flash/SWF development.

The bottom line? If you're an Xcelsius 2008 user, this book belongs on your shelf.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 3, 2009
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Abdulezer's book is an excellent tutorial on Xcelsius 2008. I've now worked through the first 8 chapters and have learned much about how to use the application effectively. Be sure to download the useful example files .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bmore Customer on October 19, 2009
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I've used Xcelsius "lightly" for several years, particularly to build interactive "ValueDialog models" for our business. Several new projects created a need to enhance and extend the use of Xcelsius for interactive, real time analysis. This book lives up to the title claim of Best Practices in many ways. It certainly goes well beyond the User Guide in explaining HOW to apply the components and capabilities. I have not yet tried the download examples, but I anticipate they will take my overall rating to 5.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Nather on July 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have looked long and hard for a book like this, great explaination of the topic and downloadable examples.

Its a must have is you are developing dashboards with Xcelsius. If you haven't tried this product you should, you will be a hero with your C Suite!!
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