The Dashboard Spy

September 25, 2006

Financial Dashboards – using Crystal Xcelsius to present views of Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — Tags: , — dashboardspy @ 11:17 am

Business Dashboard Design Topic: Embed Dashboard for quick ROI

One of the easiest ways to create a slick dashboard is to use Crystal Xcelsius to portray your data, and the relationships between your data, in an interactive flash movie.  The output is an swf file that you can put on the web or stick into powerpoint, email or a word document. We’ve looked at a range of examples before and continue our tour of different implementations with this look at a Financial Dashboard demo from Previous examples from a multitude of sources have focused on what-if analysis functionality where you use sliders and dials to change parameters to see how that effects the totals. This example is much more of a read-only view where Crystal Xcelsius is used to display data in a usable fashion. Drop downs and tabs are the main navigation features. Visit the demo to experience the interface, but here are some dashboard screenshots for you to study. The main idea of the interface is that the line items in the table on the left can be visualized on the right side. When you click on a row, its corresponding chart appears on the right side of the dashboard. Below the chart are any notes that accompany the KPI.

Profit and Loss Financial Dashboard Xcelsius

Balance Sheet Dashboard Crystal Excelsius

Cash Flow Dashboard

Homework: What is Xcelsius? In a nutshell, it is a tool for the business user to front end an excel spreadsheet with an interactive flash movie. It’s totally drag and drop and produces a very slick interface. My favorite intro to Xcelsius continues to be the Crystal Xcelsius For Dummies book. And if you haven’t tried Business Object’s Crystal Xcelsius yet, go ahead and download the trial. I had some trouble running it on one of my machines, but it really works well on several others. The latest version has greatly appreciated UI improvments such as being able to embed any graphic image into the interface.

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, send an email to info _at_ Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s books on enterprise dashboards. His current favorite is Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT, the only book on actually implementing executive dashboards.


  1. Hello Dashboard Spy. I enjoy your blog about financial dashboards. It is good to see such information. I have been studying this topic for many months now and am glad to see so many examples. I will visit your site often.

    I was very interested in seeing your post about “KPI Requirements for Dashboard Projects – Using the KPI financial dashboards”. Thank you for the information about this dashboard topic. There is a dashboard project at work about this subject.

    The financial dashboards graphic is very nice. I like the colors and the questions are very interesting – What Question? Who’s Asking, Why is it Important, etc. I think it is very good. I also like the layout of the screen. I have a question about the boxes on the right side. Is the user supposed to type the answers to the questions into the boxes?

    Comment by saibaba — November 22, 2007 @ 2:46 am

  2. The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and Business Link are funding Flynet Ltd., the technology partner of Business Objetcs, to do market research into the relevance of business dashboards. Please tell us about your businesses Key Performance Indicators by completing the survey.

    25 companies in the East of England, that have completed the survey, will be chosen to receive a free business dashboard as part of the proof of concept.

    You can take the survey by clicking on the link below:

    Thank you

    Comment by buketaydinlik — May 29, 2009 @ 10:42 am

  3. Hi, your dashboards are really good, I will really appreciate if I can have dashboards which shows Mutual Fund Details & investments of a specific bank?

    Comment by Chaitanya — October 11, 2010 @ 6:07 am

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