icCube dashboard tips

to get your audience on the edge of their seats

Below a weekly growing set of video tutorials giving tips in creating dashboards with the icCube analytical dashboard software. Each video focuses on a certain micro goal in creating web based analytical dashboards.

Enjoy.

background info
what is icCube?

icCube is the underlying software that is required to create interactive dashboards, and everything you need to support that. Meaning, it also allows you to process and combine data from all sorts of sources into a user-secure data environment. For those that are familiar with classical business intelligence; it is an all-in-one anlaytical platform with ETL, MDX++, analytical cubes, hosting server with monitoring, user access and dashboard publisher, including a dashboard editor.

icCube has been specifically created to be integrated into other software systems, to give these “built-in” analytical dashboard functionality to their user audience. But you can perfectly well use icCube for your own internal reporting needs.

icCube highlights, read here or visit the icCube website.

get your audience on the edge of their seats?

That should be the ultimate goal of any data analyst/ dashboard builder. Not to just show fancy widgets and meters and create complicated stuff for your users. But instead, create a data insights source that is tuned to the needs of your audience and that supports them with data-insights to take the next best step in their day-to-day operations.

Creating dashboards is not easy. First you need to combine all sorts of data and logic into a comprehensive analytical model. You need to take measures for security and data access. You need to group your audience into specific avatar users, in accordance to their needs. And finally build insight giving dashboards for each of these.

The major challenge in this area of analytics is to hide all this complexity for your audience: it takes an expert to solve complex things in a complex way but it takes a master to translate this into easy-to-understand solutions.

And you know you have reached this level when you see your users “sitting on the edge of their seats”.

how can I start using these tips myself?

In short, you will need the icCube software and the underlying demo model “Adventure Works”. You can get these on our website using this link (If you want the icCube software with a temporary license that gives you access to all functionality you can request that in the same form as well). To get the icCube software (community edition), you can use the icCube download page form here.

request the AdventureWorks model, including the icCube software

If you want to learn more on the data cube Adventure Works: more on AdventureWorks in icCube.

tips

Each video has been set-up in such a fashion that you can copy the steps as displayed on your own.

tip 03 – how to link colors to specific items

Have you ever tried to use colors for specific items in a chart, to assist end-users in easy-to-understand dashboards? It can be a pain-staking exercise if not done correctly. This video will show you how to attach specific colors to items displayed, in the correct way, so your audience will learn that when they see a certain color, the underlying item is referenced.

tip 09 – how to make a 2-axis chart

ometimes you want to combine two values in one chart that have a completely different size range. If plotted against the same y-axis, one of the values will disappear as it is too low to become visible. The solution for this is a double-axes chart.

This video will show you how to make such a chart in icCube. It starts of with the chart created in tip 08.

tip 10 – how to add a click-details table

Just showing a nice interactive chart, is mostly not enough to get your audience excited about their data. One of the possibilities to increase user involvement is to add additional details that will be displayed on the user’s request. A very good practice is to add a “click-event” to a chart that will trigger another chart/table to display this additional information.

This video will show you a very simple set-up in which the chart from tip 09 will be made “clickable” on the period (columns) to trigger a details table that will show the Top 5 Internet Sales for that specific period.

tip 12 – how to fix category label length (improve design)

Having specific functionality in a chart, does not mean that your dashboard is ready to publish it. It is important that all elements are placed in such a way that you improve the overall user experience (Gestalt Design Principle). The chart form the previous tip (tip 11) had a vertical axis that “moved around” as the user pressed different buttons. It just did not look very nice.

This video will show you how to fix the “moving vertical axis” by using one of the more advance features of the dashboard editor in icCube.