27 May 2007

Crystal Xcelsius Rocks

Upon returning from a recent analytics event, I took one valuable piece of information with me which I wish to share. During one presentation, an individual was describing a way to win internal support for analytics and communicate the value to the company through a visual and dynamic means. In and through the presentation, though I know the person worked for another company, much ado was made about a software called Crystal Xcelsius.

Crystal Xcelsius is a data driven application building module making use of the same principles which allow charts inside of Microsoft Excel. It uses cell ranges and attributes visual cues to numerical data. In comparison to how the charts and cues look in Excel versus what is output in Xcelsius, it seems like alien technology got its start at Business Objects. This is good and helpful, and attractive in itself, and probably worth the $300 price tag on its own. However, it is only the beginning of what an analyst is capable of with the software.

Xcelsuis has taken me a couple days to figure out and there are certainly things which I haven't explored completely, but its astonishing to uncover the value of the tool. In a weeks time, I will have created a full scale, completely operable tool to report on all aspects of business at our offices. I've been able to integrate data from numerous sources, and measure performance on each of these provided in a single interface for the stakeholders driven by subordinate interfaces through which to have other managers and reporting parties input their data with relative ease.

I'm able to report on traffic and commerce KPIs, SEO and SEM, Internal Search Performance, Key Page performance, marketing, and other online metrics while simultaneously producing relevant reporting on things like our Customer Service and non-internet performance without skipping a beat or opening new software. Further, I can integrate and report on things like our analytics tool performance and compare to determine where collection may be over counted or no populating correctly. The best part about this, and I mean this as serious as sincere, is that the most annoying part of the reporting, the collection and input, is done a little bit a day by responsible parties and collected in the tool for analysis. I can see and analyze all my data in one place and push that along with these wild graphics.

I'll input screen shots and 'snags' when I get chance to. If you have any tips or experience on Crystal Xcelsius or questions on how to perform what I have described, please feel free to email me or leave a comment. When I'm not on the clock or have a moment to respond, I will with any information I can provide.

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