Xcelsius Present Dashboards Bashed

The battle regarding the value of business dashboard glitz continues with the introduction of the latest BusinessObjects Xcelsius 2008 offering. It’s now easier than ever to create business dashboards with slick visual interfaces complete with shiny reflections and flash interaction.

Is this business charting bling a good thing or a bad thing? It depends on who you ask. Business users and executive sponsors typically love the professional look and wow factor. Data visualization experts tend to shake their heads and cry.

The new Xcelsius Present visualization toolset has received a “few” knocks recently (pun intended – as its detractors include infoviz expert Stephen Few).

Presented as a point and click data visualization tool for creating “stunning and meaningful visualizations”, there is no doubt that Xcelsius can easily produce eye candy crack for us graph junkies. “Stunning” is not in contention. “Meaningful”, however, is what the debate is going on about. Worse yet, as Excel guru and dashboard curmudgeon (just kidding!) Jon Peltier of PTS Blog shows in this pie chart example, the reflections in the slick graphics can interfere with data comprehension.

review xcelsius present 2008 pie chart

Click on the “more” link for the rest of this post about the new Xcelsius dashboard product:

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