The Seventh Day of XWIS – End-User Ad-hoc Analysis

Over the last 6 days we have looked at various features of XWIS which dramatically increase the speed at which you can develop connected Xcelsius dashboards.

In fact, Ryan Goodman (who has probably written more Xcelsius dashboards in his time that just about anyone else) commented that, in his experience, XWIS increases the productivity of Xcelsius developers by between 10 and 20 times (i.e. 1000% to 2000%). The videos from the first 6 days of XWIS (particularly days one, two, three and four) demonstrate, collectively, just how dramatically XWIS can speed up Xcelsius development.

Today, on the 7th day of XWIS, we turn our attention to how XWIS brings new capabilities to decision-makers; capabilities which are pretty much impossible to create with Xcelsius on its own.

We start by looking at the “slice-and-dice” feature of XWIS which empowers the dashboard user by letting them create their own view of their dashboard data in a controlled environment … and has the added benefit of eliminating a significant part of the dashboard designers’ workload.

Even with the best dashboards, there are occasions when users need to see a view of the data in the dashboard which is not possible with the existing design. Often these requirements are short term, but important, nonetheless. Without XWIS, the only solution is to go back to the dashboard designers and ask then to add the new view to the dashboard.

Often is not possible to make the changes in the necessary timeframe, but even when it is:

  1. This creates yet more work for the dashboard designers in the BI team
  2. These incremental changes (often for transitory requirements) increase the complexity of the dashboard and add to the maintenance overhead

In the video below, you can see how easy it is to add the XWIS slice-and-dice component to a dashboard and how elegantly it solves the above issues; the slice-and-dice component waits in the background until needed, and one called-upon it allows the end-user to define their own views of the data without having to go back to the dashboard developers.

(for best results, watch this video in full-screen mode)

Remember, in each video there is a “hidden” word or phrase from the previous day’s Xcelsius Fact. Find them all and enter the draw to win your choice of iPad or a Kindle Fire.

History of Xcelsius Fact 8

One of the pivotal points in the history of Xcelsius after the Business Objects acquisition was when Richard Reynolds (at that time a Business Objects pre-sales consultant) proposed a project to the “Labs” development team in Paris to produce something he called the “WSDL Wizard” which would provide a direct connection between Xcelsius and the BusinessObjects semantic layer. Alexis Naibo (the Labs team owner for the project) took the project on but renamed it “Query as a Web Service” or QaaWS … and the rest is history. However, without Richard, Alexis and QaaWS, the evolution of Xcelsius would almost certainly have been rather different.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next installment of the “12 Days of XWIS” – why not subscribe to our blog feed, so you don’t forget!