Xcelsius Dashboard Maintenance – Best Practices – Using Labels in Excel

In this post I will share with you a sample of what I consider to be one of many “best practices” to help in the ongoing maintenance of Xcelsius dashboards; Using labels in your Excel Spreadheet.  Some of the content in this post is extracted from the Excel for Xcelsius course offered by InfoSol

 Whether you find yourself having to update one of your own dashboards after a period of time of not working on it, or having to hand off the maintenance of the dashboard to a colleague, the initial effort of good documentation will save valuable hours and ensure continuity and success.  In this post some of the graphics will speak for themselves – you know the cliche of ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. 

The graphics show examples of: 

  • good labeling,
  • use of color to enhance visual cues
  • and the use of comments within Excel. 

Use of Color and Labeling

Below are samples of Excel spreadsheets that incorporates the use of visual cues like color coding with simple, clear and easy to follow labels showing where components derive their inputs.

Using Excel Comments

Another helpful option is to use the built in Excel feature of Inserting a Comment.  This leaves a small red triangle in the top right corner of a cell to indicate that a comment has been added to that cell. When the mouse hovers over the cell, the comment pops up. 


Helpful tips can be included within the comment.

Comments can be added to any cell by right-clicking on a cell and selecting “Insert Comment”.  Once a comment has been added to a cell, the small red triangle will appear.  A comment can be edited or deleted by right-clicking on the cell.

Using a Legend

There are many ways to document your Xcelsius Dashboard Excel Spreadsheet. 

I would love to hear about your “Best Practices”.

There is an Xcelsius Bootcamp being offered in Track 4 of this year’s IBIS 2010 event June 6-9 – Seeing Beyond Business Intelligence. 

About Roxanne Pittman

Roxanne Pittman is a Senior Business Intelligence Technical Consultant for InfoSol, providing consulting and training for BusinessObjects. She is a certified Business Objects Instructor for Business Objects, specializing in Web Intelligence, Desktop Intelligence, Dashboard Manager, Universe Design, Xcelsius Dashboards, Xcelsius Data Connectivity, and Knowledge Accelerator Customization. Roxanne has specialized in Xcelsius connected models, with extensive experience in using XML, Web Services, Live Office and InfoBurst-XDS and XDM to create dynamic dashboards. In addition to being a multi-certified instructor, Roxanne has experience working with Fortune 500 companies as a consultant in the deployment of business intelligence solutions.

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