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Barney Finucane

Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK blog. My main goal here is to address hype issues that come up in the Internet, not to provide any overview of the BI market itself. I look forward to any questions or comments you may have.

About the author >

Barney Finucane has extensive experience in the BI industry. As a consultant, he has supported companies in the chemical, energy and manufacturing sector with the introduction of BI software. As product manager for the company MIS, he was responsible for the front-end products Plain and onVision, and kept a keen eye on projects and tools from other vendors. His areas of speciality include tool selection, quality assurance for BI, data warehouse strategies and their architectures.

I had a look at Visual Mining's Performance Dashboards a few days ago. Visual Mining has a product call NetCharts which comes in different editions for different customer groups. The core version is a set of developer tools that allow Java developers to create HTML 5 or Flash charts. NetCharts Server provides additional features for delivering the charts to end users. The NetCharts Performance Dashboards add an additional layer of user interfaces and data access tools to allow users with relatively few technical skills to create their own dashboards.

Strictly speaking dashboards do not include tabular data. Well anyway, that was the original idea, even if most vendors do not stick to it. and most of the presentation I got of the Performance Dashboards actually revolved around the features of the table object that is provided. The tables offer of sorting and filtering as well as conditional formatting.

Each table is made up of a single hierarchy and one or more columns, either taken directly from the database or calculated on the fly as a variances, including simple time intelligence features such as previous year. The hierarchy has good presentation features - it shows children as indented elements, the parent can be above or below the children, level based formatting is available and so on. Furthermore the end user can add or remove levels and change their order on the fly.

The product also has drill-down feature in the tables and the charts, so users can see the transactions the underlie the aggregate data. Navigating in the finished dashboard is relatively simple, and more emphasis is put on creating the dashboards. The end user can be given the rights to modify the charts freely, even changing chart types.

Posted October 4, 2010 6:50 AM
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