When Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint graphing capabilities aren't enough, you turn to graphing software, which are mostly available as open source software. One of the most powerful software out there is Crystal Reports, which can provide you with 36 different charting templates and can even allow you to create your own charting templateJust last year, the new version of the software caused rave reviews from users because of the addition of new technologies like Adobe Flash and Flex and BO's own Xcelsius technology which will make graphs and reports more showy and flashy, a need in this day and age
"While reports are good, we wanted to change the way people interact and consumed reports," James Thomas, vice president of BI content and tools for Business Objects said to InternetNews.com. "So we put a lot of work into the consumption of the report itself and added features that make reports much more visually appealing."
One of the add-ons to this version is the Xcelsius technology which allows users to change variables and do hypothetical or "what-if" projections. This is done within the report itself which minimizes multiple projections of the different variables
The Flash Support also provides much needed backup to the upgraded version. Mr. Thomas explained that they wanted to tie the reports to more of a business process so that the users can take action.
Another bonus feature is that the layout isn't just restricted to the standard 8.5x11" canvas but since the software is available online, the report can be resized to any dimension.
Charting and reporting can never be boring with all these new technologies at the tips of our fingertips.