Dashboard Spotlight: Apple Inc. Earnings Analysis

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dashboard-spotlightApple is one company that has had a significant impact on the technology industry – and the public consciousness – for a long time. With its portfolio of innovative and cutting-edge products, it has managed to garner a vast customer base, and is a dominant player in many markets. In this post, we’ll be taking up various aspects of this company for analysis, and try to correlate specific points of interest with trends prevailing in the general industry, and among competing companies and products. Read more

Just In: Enhanced Look & Feel for Charts, New Import Option, Expandable Shelves and more

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Zoho Reports brought in some new features in its latest update.

Enhanced Look & Feel of Charts
The default chart background color has been changed from grey to white, to give the chart a lighter look and feel. The fonts and styles of the charts have all been made more consistent. The tooltip now sports a new presentation style, and the tooltip border reflects the same background color as the corresponding bar/line/point.

new-enhanced-chart

New Import Option
Before this update, Zoho Reports supported 3 import options – 1) append new records to the end of a table, 2) delete all records and add all records afresh, and 3) add new records and update existing records. Now, there is a fourth option, which allows you to delete those records in Zoho Reports which aren’t there in the incoming import file. This option is most useful when relationships are defined between tables, and you want to delete specific records.

import

Expandable Shelves
Previously, the column shelves in the chart designer were of fixed height. If more than 2-3 columns were dropped, it was a bit difficult to scroll through and drop new columns. It’s become more intuitive now, as the shelf’s height grows, based on the number of columns dropped.

expandable-shelf-designer

More Chart Types
New Area Chart types have been added.

  • Smooth Area
  • Smooth Area with Points
  • Stacked Smooth Area
  • Stacked Smooth Area with Points

chart-options (1)

Other Enhancements

  • Previously, when changes were made to a chart, the chart type reverted to default. But now, the chosen chart type gets retained.
  • When adding a numeric data column in the Graph tab, Add New Range option is available now (previously, the range was auto-calculated).
  • When you do some changes to a chart’s Settings, you can now preview those changes using the Preview link.

Try the new enhancements in Zoho Reports now.

Dashboard Spotlight: US Economic Data Analysis

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dashboard-spotlight We have analyzed many interesting public data sets in the past. And we plan to continue doing so.

With the budget sequestration just a few weeks old, and economic concerns running high in the minds of people, we have attempted to plot selected economic indicators with aspects of everyday life. The goal is to try and see if any interesting connections and insights can be unearthed. Read more

Just In: Customize Charts to your Heart’s Content!

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Yes, Zoho Reports now offers quite a few customization options for a chart. Let’s see how a chart transforms when its settings are customized. Below is the default chart you would get when plotting Apple’s quarterly revenue numbers (from 1Q 2011 to 1Q 2013).

Click Settings at the top-left and it brings you the ‘Settings’ wizard.

In the General tab, you can set the chart’s ‘Title’ and ‘Description’. The next Axis tab will look like the below.

You can change all the values of the Axis parameters.

And you can set the Borders & Colors too.

We will leave out the last Threshold tab for now (who are we to set a threshold for Apple’s sales? 😉 ). Your chart with the settings modified will look like the below.

That’s quite a transformation from what you saw as the default chart, right? Try your own settings for the charts you create in Zoho Reports now.

Case Study: Using Zoho Reports for Strategic Planning

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Zoho Reports is a versatile reporting tool and we keep coming across customers who use it in a myriad ways. One such customer is María Inés Plaza of Envases, a food/industry packages manufacturer based in Venezuela. María Inés uses Zoho Reports for her planning department’s activities. From automated balance scorecards to variable compensation pay for employees to sales forecasts, Zoho Reports does it all at Envases.

Till 5 months back, Envases’ planning department, like any other SMB’s was using the ubiquitous spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel) for the above functions. It took María Inés a lot of time every month to update the spreadsheet, apply the proper filter and share a copy of it with everyone concerned. She realized there has to be a better way to do it and hit upon the idea of using Zoho Reports. Now, she’s automated all data uploads and calculations. And every employee in Envases has live access to interactive dashboards, based on dynamic data.

The biggest benefit? María Inés is now saving two weeks of effort every month. Read more about how María Inés is using Zoho Reports in Envases.

Case Study: Improving Sales and Data Accuracy with eSurvey and Zoho Reports

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How do you improve the sales efficiency of your workforce of around 300 sales people, who document and submit their daily sales activities on paper forms? Simple. By moving them to a paperless system, that involves smart phones, a smart data collection app (eSurvey) and a reporting service on the cloud (Zoho Reports). That’s what the farmer owned cooperative, Southern States did.

Know more about how Southern States achieved an increase in sales of 20% and data accuracy of 100%.

New in Zoho Reports – Combo and Smooth Line Charts

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There are situations when you would want to plot two different metrics over time. Say how your sales have trended against your website traffic or, leads got. Until now, the options in Zoho Reports was to have a multi-bar or multi-line chart. Now, you get the best of both worlds with the Combo Chart (also known as Combination Chart or Bar-Line Overlay Chart). One of the metrics can be plotted as bar and the other can be plotted as line, as in the example below.

The other new chart type that’s been added is the Smooth Line Chart (also known as Spline Chart). This chart comes in handy when you want the data plotted to look continuous or when there is some data interpolation involved. Instead of the data points being connected by straight lines, a smoothened curve results.

What scenarios will you be using the above two chart types? Do leave your comments.