Data can be collected from sources where the data is entered manually. Generally, this includes spreadsheets and forms. These are not technically interfaces, but the data can be read and displayed visually by Visual KPI.
Three possible sources for manual data entry include:
- Visual KPI Designer (Microsoft Excel with Visual KPI addin)
- Microsoft Excel spreadsheet updates
- Forms data entry stored in another location
Regardless of the manual data entry option you choose, the interface is managed via Visual KPI Designer.
Visual KPI Designer (Microsoft Excel with Visual KPI addin)
You can create KPIs that allow manual data entry from the Web interface. You construct the KPI in Visual KPI Designer, but rather than connect the KPI to an interface, you configure a manual data entry. Manual data entry might be used for KPIs that are infrequently accessed or that require observation, such as data entered once daily, or data that requires a person to observe some instrumentation that is not connected to modern data collection software.
It is possible to establish a connection to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet as a data source (install the Access Database Engine for the correct driver (2007, 2010, and 2013, 32 or 64 bit); however, Excel files are notoriously fragile “databases” because the file name can change, the format can change, column names can change, the worksheet name can change, or the file can be moved. Any of these changes are enough to break the interface.
See Prerequisites and Software Downloads for Installation for links to the vendor drivers.
An interface can connect to any data storage used for online forms completion. The interface is not a connection to the form URL, but rather it is connected to the underlying database/data structure. For example, Microsoft InfoPath uses XML, so an interface could be established to the XML files used to records such things as inspection reports.