Flash-based dashboards provide great interaction between the user and the data. Technologies such as Xcelsius easily allow us dashboard designers to mix view (read only) modes with what-if analysis modes. In today’s dashboard example by Ryan Goodman of the Interactive Data Visualization Blog, we see this to great effect.
I’ve always liked Xcelsius for dashboarding and the new version, Xcelsius 2008, makes it even more compelling with it’s new Adobe Flex IDE. Take a look at the top 10 new features of Xcelsius 2008.
Ryan’s Xcelsius 2008 Dashboard examines a subject of great concern today: the price of gasoline. As Ryan explains:
With gas prices being a hot topic, I decided to put together a dashboard that illustrates the power of simple data visualization with Xcelsius + runtime calculations to provide additional utility not possible with static reports or dashboard technologies. The data is fed from AAA.com.
Here is a screenshot of the gas dashboard. Click on the “more” link to view the rest of the post. You’ll find a video summary that you can view if you don’t have time to visit Ryan’s Xcelsius 2008 dashboard right now.
Ryan explains the dashboard:
The daily gas price dashboard was assembled using Xcelsius 2008, to provide
a rich interface to visualize and navigate gas prices across the united
states. A point and click tool like Xcelsius, provides visual components and
connectivity to XML and an web services without writing a line of code. The
result was an interactive snapshot of daily gas prices that enables a viewer
to consume a large amount of information quickly to answer the burning
question: “How much am I spending at the pump given the current price and
possible increase for gas?”
The data originates from the AAA.com daily gas price reports available to the public as tabular reports. The data is scraped from the AAA.com web site and temporarily stored as XML for the
Xcelsius dashboard to consume. The daily AAA.com data was combined with an Xcelsius runtime calculator to indicate what you pay at the pump per month and per year.
This dashboard exemplifies the power of interactive data visualization. The
ability to visualize and navigate large volumes of data to drive action
attracts businesses to dashboards technologies like Xcelsius. Though we are
guilty of breaking some design rules along the way, the dashboard designer
is ultimately responsible to ensure that end users get what they need (not
always what they want).
About the designer: Ryan Goodman is the founder of Centigon Solutions
(centigonsolutions.com) and continues to evangelize Xcelsius on his personal
Here is a Dashboard Spy video of the Gas Price Dashboard:
Be sure to visit Ryan’s blog and check out this Xcelsius 2008 dashboard for yourself!
Tags: Gas Price Dashboard, Xcelsius 2008 Dashboards