By James Smythe | January 17, 2018
The Death of Flash
SAP XCelsius was the Ford Fiesta of the BI industry. Inexpensive to run, simple to implement. Businesses could get dashboards up and running in days or hours. We’ve helped clients design over 1,000 XCelsius dashboards over time, so we know how practical and adaptable they were.
But then the industry went and killed Flash. Old XCelsius dashboards, which worked perfectly well last month and posed no threat to anyone’s IT security, are now downloaded and treated as high-risk by browsers, or blocked outright.
So does this mean we all need to remortgage the business for an enterprise BI system now, or is there a more reasonable alternative? The new HTML5 platforms have taken advantage of the importance of BI to jack up the price tag a bit. Where a business could get XCelsius dashboards out to 100 employees securely, with a single developer licence in the good old days, the market-leading alternative is 50x the price due to per-user licensing.
We’ve been working for a couple of years to migrate clients’ XCelsius systems onto a couple of HTML5 platforms, which keep the simplicity and affordability, but bring the user experience and data handling up to date.
Antivia Decision Point
The first is DecisionPoint by Antivia. These guys were part of the core XCelsius team at SAP until it was “sunsetted” by the corporation. So their solution is as close as you can get to an Xcelsius heir. The designer offers a very similar experience and Excel is still the primary data source. We’ve managed XCelsius to DecisionPoint migrations for companies including BT, the Financial Times and Hearst Magazines, improving the dashboard UX but maintaining the ease of implementation and low cost.
R Shiny dashboards have also offered very cost-effective redevelopment of dashboard systems, powered by the highly robust, open-source (it’s free!) statistical programming language R. While the development of such dashboards is a more technical process, having the programming power of an R back end plugged directly into a Shiny UI is like the lovechild of Alteryx and Tableau, but without the licencing costs! It gives us complete felxibility to build bespoke applications that can deliver the functionality and aesthetics required for any client project. We’ve done XCelsius to R Shiny migrations for News UK, Global Radio and Exterion Media.
Get in touch
Culture of Insight can deliver you a successful XCelsius migration without having to change how you work, or the kind of prices you pay. Check us out at cultureofinsight.com or get in touch via email or twitter for a chat.