Everyone uses Excel and PowerPoint. Everyone's charts and presentations look mind-numbingly identical. If you need to present business data, that gives you a huge opportunity for competitive advantage. Use Business Objects' Crystal Xcelsius to visualize and present Excel data with stunning clarity, creating on-the-fly dashboards that deliver actual insight, not just data. And use Crystal Xcelsius for Dummies to master Crystal Xcelsius in next to no time.
Data analysis and visual modeling have never been the world's most intuitive subjects. So they're perfect candidates for the For Dummies series treatment. Author Michael Alexander comes through, demystifying everything you need to know to get great results.
You'll start with a quick look at how Crystal Xcelsius works, and an even quicker walkthrough of the three-step process involved in creating a simple dashboard: importing, building, and publishing. Next, Alexander drills down into Xcelsius' core features, teaching you how to build interactivity, alerts, charts, and filters into your dashboards.
You'll walk step-by-step through creating dashboards that use geographical maps. Next, Alexander shows how to use Dynamic Visibility to control which components appear in your final presentation, based on the values of a specific worksheet cell. While most of the book applies to all versions of Xcelsius, including the $99 “Standard” version, Alexander also presents a chapter-length introduction to Xcelsius Professional's enterprise features.
Finally, a dirty little secret: Many business users don't really know how to create effective Excel models. Realizing that, Alexander presents a bonus chapter of best practices for Excel modeling. So your data won't just look great and be comprehensible: It'll actually make sense. Bill Camarda, from the May 2006 Read Only