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Netsuite Dashboard for Wholesale Distribution Operation

Dashboard Spy Topic: Distribution KPI Dashboard powered by Netsuite.

Financial KPIs and Sales Funnel Metrics lie at the heart of this wholesale/distribution dashboard example. This was featured on the JCurve Dashboards site.

netsuite dashboard

The yellow boxes with the red numbers lead to explanations when you click on them at the demo at JCurve Dashboards.

Here’s some info:

NetSuite’s AJAX-powered, patent-pending Dashboards are customisable for each employee in your company, allowing you to maximise productivity across your entire organization.

The Dashboard offers instant snapshots of your designated key performance indicators (KPIs), and provides real-time trend graphs and ad hoc reports appropriate for each role in your
business. With direct drill-down capability, you can move from a summary level directly to greater detail, and you can see real-time information to proactively manage for better results. Employees can select their content and simply drag and drop their choices for their own optimal layout. With all the information to do their job at their fingertips, you’ll quickly realise increased productivity and greater employee satisfaction.

Select a business type and role and see why executives and employees work better and smart with NetSuite Dashboards. Simply roll the cursor over the highlighted numbers on the screen to see descriptions of NetSuite’s Dashboard features.

Restaurant Performance Dashboard

Dashboard expert Robert Allison created this Restaurant Performance Dashboard using SAS GRAPH:
restaurant dashboards

As Robert explained:

This is a SAS/Graph imitation/enhancement of one of Charles Kyd’s Exceluser dashboards.

In the top section, the very dense yearly charts are created
using “proc gplot” with the ‘needle’ interpolation, and the
4-bar current-month charts are created using “proc gchart”.

All of the commentary text, and tables are created using annotated
text in a “proc gslide” – this is a bit cumbersome, but it gives
you total flexibility (and that’s pretty much the way you have to
do it, if you want to put multiple graphics on the same page with
“proc greplay”).

For this example, I hard-code most of the numeric values.
In a real-life version, you’d want to make those macro variables,
so that you can canculate the values on-the-fly (since I don’t have
the original data these values were calculated/derived from, I didn’t
think there was much point to setting them up as macro variables in
the proof-of-concept). I did set up all the numeric variables for
the “Sales and Expense Analysis” section as macro variables, just
to show how it could be done.

In the “STORES” section (2nd from bottom) the charts in the
original graph didn’t make much sense to me, so I replaced them
with something that (I think) makes more sense – a chart showing
the growth “Target -vs- Actual”. This is a bar chart with an
annotated target marker — if you meet the target, then the marker
is green (if you don’t meet the target, it’s red).

Also, I changed the order of the columns in several reports.
Since the graphs at the top of the page had the year on the left,
and the month (ie, most current values) on the right, I ordered
the columns in the table the same way.

In the bottom section, I changed it so that the % shows the difference
in ours and the competitor’s price, and if the competitor is cheaper
I make the price red.

And, the final improvement over the original – I added html charttips
and drilldown capability to the bar charts, and a few pieces of text
(such as “Mel’s Diner”). I don’t have any detailed data to actually
drill-down to, so I just have it drilldown to itself (but this gives
you a jump-start on adding drilldowns, since you have the code ready
to go).

Grammy Bump Infographic in Excel

Very interesting infographic from the data wizards at the Washington Post. It’s made even more interesting by the conversion of the infographic into Microsoft Excel by Chandoo.

Here’s the Washington Post version:

The Grammy Bump

The Grammy Bump

And here is the fascinating story of how Chandoo converted the Washington Post infographic into an excel file.

Be sure to visit because you can download the excel file itself.

The Grammy Bump Infographic in Excel

grammy bump infographic

Here’s what inspired Chandoo to create the chart in Excel:

I really liked this chart. This is what I liked about the chart:

It tells a story. [why charts should tell a story]

It is an ego chart. We would all instantly search for our favorite artists and learn about how Grammy award changed their album sales.

It is a simple chart. No clutter, no gaudy colors, just a bunch of lines and the story is out there.

It lets you play. You can hover your most over an artist to see their sales before and after the award, and how much % bump they got.

In fact, I liked the chart so much that I wanted to make it in Excel.

If you like Chandoo’s work in Excel – be sure to check out his Excel School for Dashboards:


Excel School for Dashboards

Project Management Dashboard in Excel

Dashboard Spy readers looking to use Excel Dashboards for project management are encouraged to check out Chandoo’s Project Dashboard Excel Templates.

Further information is available at this link: http://budurl.com/projectdashboards

Click on that link and then on the Project Management Templates section.

Here’s a video that shows the project status dashboard kit. It’s an informative video that shows a good layout for an excel dashboard for project management. It’s supposed to be viewed only by buyers of the templates so let’s keep this on the download (shhh. don’t tell Chandoo!!!)

Some info on the excel templates from Chandoo:

Here is what you will get with the Project Management Templates for Excel:

* 24 ready-to-use Excel templates for project management
* 1 Special Bonus on Making Beautiful Charts
* Free updates for 6 months

Here is how each of these things work.

About the 24 Project Mgmt. Templates

These templates include ready to use gantt charts (in 7 varieties), time sheets, issue trackers, risk management logs, task lists, milestone timelines, status reports and 2 plug-n-play project dashboards. They are split in to 19 different excel workbooks and you can download all of them in one zip file.

I have made these templates based on 4 years experience of working in various projects and using excel. I started working on these templates in early June, 2009 and finished them in October. It took me that long because I wanted to give you the best and most practical set of templates that you can readily use & succeed.

Evolution of Data Reporting

Data Dashboard Topic: The Evolution of Data Reporting

Dashboard Spy here with an interesting diagram for you data reporting professionals out there. Take a look at this graphic. I find it helpful to think of the move from Operational to Executive to Departmental to Enterprise Wide views of data reporting.

Evolution of Data Reporting

I would say that these divisions still hold. Even though dashboard reporting is now embraced by all levels of the enterprise, real funding for dashboard projects don’t occur until the initiative is thought of as “enterprise wide”.

Hubert Lee
The Dashboard Spy

Education Dashboards

Dashboard Spy focus: Education Dashboards

The Montgomery County Public Schools of Rockville, Maryland are doing a fantastic job of tracking student metrics with business intelligence dashboards. In particular, Elton Stokes, the Director of the Department of Information and Application Services is really embracing enterprise dashboards and using them to great effect.

Take a look at this pdf:

Data Modeling in Montgomery

Here is the mission statement from the document:

The Montgomery County Public Schools enterprise portal will provide an integrated personalized web environment for staff, students and Parents allowing them to interact in a seamless, secure environment supporting teaching and learning. Role-based access to content management, applications, reports and communication services through a single sign on atmosphere will foster creativity, self-reliance and the development of online professional learning communities for academic success.

And here are some screenshots of their education dashboard:

education dashboard

student dashboard

graduation requirements dashboard

tags: Student demographics dashboards, student dashboards, education dashboard

Forrester Ranking of Business Intelligence Platforms

In a recent Dashboard Spy post, we provided a highly sought after link to download the 2011 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms report.

Many readers wrote in asking for the Forrester review of business intelligence vendors.

You can get that here:

2011 Forrester Wave Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms

forrester business intelligence platforms report

Here’s their version of the Magic Quadrant diagram:
forrester wave business intelligence platforms

The Inmates Are STILL Running the Asylum

I’ve been rereading the Alan Cooper book, “The Inmates Are Running the Asylum”. It’s about how high-tech product and software designers drive people crazy with the way they go about trying to satisfy their users.

Do you ever wonder if a software developer is just built differently than most people? Well, according to the book, the answer is a resounding “definitely”!

In the chapter on the Homo Logicus, that special breed of human (well, maybe) that is so often found in the role of application developer, we are told that the key to a successful user experience is not only to understand the psychology of the user, but also to include the understanding of the psychology of the software engineer.

Tidbits from the book:

Nothing will change unless we can influence the software developers. Even when the programmers agree that the user should be better treated (and they usually do), that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will do what is necessary to actually accomplish that goal.

Programmers are somehow different from ordinary people.

A Behind the Scenes Look at Creating Dashboard Pie Charts

Dashboard design teams using enterprise dashboard software packages such as Xcelsius don’t get under the hood and create their own graphics. The idea of most dashboard frameworks and applications is that there is a pre-designed library of graphics for the dashboarders to use. In the case of Crystal Xcelsius by Business Objects, there is a palette of graphics such as sliders, dials and charts. You simply choose the control you want, wire it up to your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (in the case of an Xcelsius dashboard) and publish it as a SWF flash file.

The point I’m trying to make is that you consume graphic styles that are designed by a graphic design team.

When you have the luxury of building a custom dashboard, you get to dictate the styling of every part of the dashboard system. Take a look at this graphic:

Making Pie Charts using Illustrator


Baffling Flow Chart

Earlier we looked at this amazingly complex new health care flow chart.

I’ve looked into the history of this flow chart deeper and found that it is an amusing and interesting tale. It’s literally been a political football.

The intent of the Republican creators was to scare constituents by the complexity of the Democrats’ new health care plan structure.

Here’s a look at an earlier version of the diagram:

Click on this link to see a larger version.

new health care flow chart

And here are some links about the history and political intrigue: