Global’s Executive Dash Gets Closer Hooks to Excel
October 28, 2008 Alex Woodie
Global Software last week unveiled a new version of its Executive Dash reporting tool, which is used to create dashboards for consumption by managers and executives. With version 12.1, Global Software has overhauled the product to make it more like Excel, and easier to use.
Executive Dash is an Excel-based tool that enables users to create dashboard interfaces that graphically depict key performance indicators (KPIs) based on financial data pulled in real-time (or near real-time) from a variety of ERP systems. Global Software calls Executive Dash (which is often deployed with Global’s flagship Spreadsheet Server) a “buffet-style” analysis tool, a reference to the product’s capability to process data from disparate systems.
Global says it has made Executive Dash easier to use and deploy with version 12.1. New pre-built queries get the product up and running quicker, while the capability to share queries by e-mailing or sharing a single file will empower users to explore the product’s capabilities.
Version 12.1 also bring a new “ribbon-style” menu to the GUI that’s similar to the one Microsoft introduced with the Office 2007 family of products. Building, saving, and executing queries is made easier as a result of this ribbon-style menu, according to Global. Users also gain more precise control of complex calculated fields as a result of the interface overhaul.
Customers using the product with Excel 2007 will be able to directly reference and populate a new table structure on a spreadsheet. Global says this single enhancement turns Excel into the user interface for Executive Dash. This has long been the case for Spreadsheet Server, which functions as a plug-in to Excel allowing users to view and manipulate ERP data from within Excel (although Executive Dash is restricted to read-only access of ERP databases, Global says).
The new release of Executive Dash also gains some of the other capabilities of Spreadsheet Server, such as accessing external storage, like invoice imaging systems. This will enable users to drill down to see actual business records from simple queries results or directly from within Excel.
Harry Powell, director of spreadsheet automation technology for Global Software, says he’s very proud of the new release of Executive Dash. “The enhanced portability of this version of EDASH, coupled with the intuitive distribution of pre-built queries, makes this application the ultimate spreadsheet automation solution,” he says.