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Thursday, November 19, 2009


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Nice overview Bryson. Just a few years ago, you had to pay thsoaunds of dollars per year to companies such as WebTrends for this level of website analytics. The fact that Google makes it available for free is awesome!! We use it for all of our clients. Gotta love Google.[]


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Ahmed,The most important eleenmt of the design is of course the spreadsheet model. The look and feel / the eye candy / the funk comes later so time spent on the spreadsheet is critical. However there is nothing special about the data movement etc. I use a lot of Vlookups() (shouldn't really as they are fat functions) and I use a lot of hidden combo boxes you can use those to move data around a model. It's a clever trick because the default' selection of a combo can be a cell. So if you use some control to set a cell, a hidden combo can pick that value up, set itself to that value and it's FILTERED ROW capability can then move data without the user touching the combo box.Actually just look at this example:You do not need to use the combo box, just the number wheel and you'll that you can move data round a model using any control you want / need. You can get the source here:The XLF is included and shows how this works.RegardsDaniel


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These dashboards are really outstanding but used in the everyday practice, well, I'm rather sure they become annoying.


Hi Glen,

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.

I'm not sure if you are commenting on the quality of the blog entry or that of the Coke dashboard!

I take your point about my blog - sometimes it is hard to avoid superficiality when rushing to get the blog out regularly.

As to the Coke dashboard being gimmicky, I don't necessarily agree in this case. The online example has sanitised data but I can see that there are embedded hyperlinks to further information by product line/country. So there is more to it than we can see directly.

As I replied to Michael's comments, I think that there is more to it than 'fluff' but only the Coke users can tell us the real truth.



Hi Michael,

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I agree with you about actionable intelligence and I can see how the Coca-Cola example may fall one-step short of achieving this. If the Coca-Cola dashboard linked to individual country teams and individual sales people's results then actionable intelligence would have been created.

It is possible that Coca-Cola does this as the online example that I referenced in my blog (here is the link again: http://www.s-v.de/tccc/datavizglobal/) does hint at a hyperlink to further information by product line/country.

I am not sure that the company was only interested in the 'entertainment value'. It is a fine line between that and creating something engaging and analytically useful to a non-analytic group of users. In this case I give the benefit of doubt to the company.

As to the cost, I am not sure, but a short review of the 'digital brand management' company that created the dashboard is that their turnover in 2008 was only 7.7 million Euro in total. So it probably wasn't a huge amount.

I have read the blog entry you refer to and I agree 100% with what you say there. The phrase 'actionable intelligence' is used very loosely. Exactly as is the case when most people talk about business intelligence and analytics.


Michael Ensley via Oz Analytics

Comment from http://smartdatacollective.com/Home/22590:

# | by Michael Ensley on November 20 2009, 12:32

While I agree with you on what you feel makes a great visual display (simple, focused, interactive, engaging, and instant). One of the major problems I have with dashboards is that we spend a great deal of time on making them sexy or informational, not necessarily making them analytical or actionable. What we often forget is that we need someone to actually transform the data into something useful.

Clearly in this case, this is more for entertainment value. I am curious as to how much they spent on what would have been a pretty simple bar chart attached to a report. And perhaps the most entertaining aspect is why are Coke developers working on Dashboard displays? I could see a BI company promoting something like this.

Here is a blog I wrote a while ago on transformation of data into action. I would curious to see your thoughts (and other readers of your blog). http://purestonepartners.com/2009/03/05/analytics-actionable-information/

glen rabie

Hi Steve
becoming a bit of a fan of your blog. Disagree with this though - found it really gimmicky and low in info

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