The Visual KPI Designer allows you to configure Visual KPI in an easy and intuitive way by leveraging the power of Microsoft Excel.
The Visual KPI Designer works inside Excel as an add-in for defining Visual KPI metadata or attributes (essentially, creating and editing Groups, KPIs, Charts, Tables and more). For this reason, you’ll need to have version 2007 of Excel or newer when you install Visual KPI Designer. We recommend using Excel versions 2013 or 2016. See the system requirements and software prerequisites.
How the Visual KPI Designer Add-in Works
When you open Visual KPI Designer, Microsoft Excel will open followed by the Visual KPI Designer add-in on the right (Document Actions pane). You’ll use the Visual KPI Designer tools within the add-in to define, configure and edit objects and features that are used in your Visual KPI sites.
The Document Actions pane is where you’ll find all of the tools in Visual KPI Designer. These tools interact with the Visual KPI database, but Excel and the Designer are not used at runtime. No matter what you do in Excel, nothing happens to your Visual KPI sites until you save your changes in the Document Actions pane, which packages up your changes and sends them to the Visual KPI Server for active use. (See Connecting Visual KPI Designer to Your Site)
Note: Always use tools in the Document Actions pane to configure and save your data to the Visual KPI Server. Microsoft Excel’s save function does not save your data to the server (it just tries to save a spreadsheet locally).
How Visual KPI Designer Works with Microsoft Excel
Using familiar Excel actions, you can perform tasks such as creating a new KPI, copying/pasting an existing Group, or configuring your Visual KPI sites.
It’s important to understand that Excel is simply storing information while you work. Excel is not used at runtime, and neither is the Visual KPI Designer. It’s simply a tool that exports configuration information from the Visual KPI Server and lets you interact and make changes to it statically. When you save your changes or new items, the information is packaged and uploaded to the server for use at runtime.
Even if you delete worksheets in Excel or uninstall the Visual KPI Designer altogether, nothing happens to your data and configurations saved on the server.
Good news: While you configure and edit your Visual KPI site using the Visual KPI Designer, your site is never down. Real-time data that has already been configured is still being read from your server and data sources.
How the Visual KPI Designer Works with Your Sites
Think of the Visual KPI Designer as a curator of your data.
The raw data that appears in your Visual KPI sites is read from your data sources on the fly, but what data to read and everything else about your system (hierarchy/groups, KPI definitions, and everything else) are configured using the Visual KPI Designer (or can be automated using the Remote Context Server).
Essentially, the Visual KPI Designer does not store or produce your operations data. It tells the server what to look for, how to retrieve data, and what to call it when it appears on your site.
Let’s say you have a KPI that allows users to see sales data for a specific product. Using the Visual KPI Designer, you configure the default behavior of the Visual KPI site to show one week of sales in a Trend chart. In the Visual KPI site, a user can make selections to see a trend for one month of sales data for this product. This selection is temporary (although the user can add a custom trend to the Dashboard). The default action is one week of sales data.