Leading BI & Analytics software vendors have leveraged custom visuals as a means to extend the capabilities of their tools and empower third party vendors to address functionality gaps and customer needs. Specifically, Microsoft Power BI has had an excellent SDK/API framework from its initial launch and has continuously matured its API that we have over 300 Power BI Visuals available in the AppSource.
Since 2010, Lumel Technologies – has been successfully delivering custom visuals in multiple BI tools to address gaps and deliver features most sought after by customers. The launch of their latest product Inforiver – a powerful and end-to-end solution for BI + Analytics + Performance Management – packaged as an importable custom visual – is a testament to the robust SDK/API framework offered by Microsoft Power BI.
The journey of Inforiver has been made possible by strategic early investment into SDK/API framework , and by continuous nurturing and maturing of the APIs by the Power BI visuals team.
Inforiver is already generating a lot of excitement with the Power BI community and here are some testimonials from Customers, Partners and Power BI MVPs.
We will take a quick look at the wide range of capabilities delivered by Inforiver.
Inforiver Premium Edition – A Case Study
Inforiver recently launched the Premium Edition which addresses the following key use cases.
- Data Provenance/Audit
- Forecasting & Simulations
The product features an in-built toolbar consisting of three (3) tabs that help deliver a wide variety of features in a few clicks.
The five key use cases delivered by Inforiver Premium are as follows:
- REPORTING (Watch here)
Enterprises looking to build reports principally expect flexibility in layout, presentation and formatting. Inforiver delivers this using a combination of features as listed below.
- Pagination (Jump to the highlight in the video -> (8:19): Create reports with First-Previous-Next-Last navigation, with the ability to insert page & section breaks
- Header/Footer Formatting (8:45): Configure report header and footer, with the ability to insert logos, KPI cards with conditional formatting using a no-code editing experience. Inforiver also delivers a list of header & footer preset layouts.
- Navigation Layouts (1:45): Toggle between Matrix, table, stepped or drilldown navigation options for your table/matrix style reports anytime in a single click.
- Business Templates (2:34): Switch amongst any of the following nine (9) business templates, including
- five (5) International Business Communication Standards (IBCS) compliant table templates
- Grid-style Default & Spreadsheet templates, and
- Simple & Standard financial templates
- Expand/Collapse Row & Column Hierarchies (3:11): Manage your row & column hierarchies using expand/collapse capability, or by using the context menu with more elaborate options.
- Reorder / Custom Sort Rows (3:51): Click-and-drag to reorder rows with ease. You also have the option of reordering an entire branch with descendants in a hierarchy.
- Manage Columns (4:05): Show/hide required columns and manage their properties like width and aggregation types with ease.
- Cell / Row Formatting (4:33): Apply borders, font & background colors at cell/row/column levels; Align text; Show/Hide Rows; Resize row height; Copy and paste formatting, with the option to paste a format to all rows at a specific hierarchy level
- Number Formatting (5:46 and 10:01): Apply one-click number formatting options at a table, measure or cell level (respectively Uniform, Measure or Auto options); Manage decimals, prefix, suffix at row/cell/column levels
- Manage Totals / Subtotals (6:22): Configure various row & column subtotal & grand total options; Includes option to freeze totals
- Group Rows / Columns (6:53): Group rows & columns visually as done in spreadsheets. The values are automatically aggregated at the parent level when you group rows.
- Undo / Redo / Reset (7:31): Perform undo/redo actions or reset all your changes
- Other: Inforiver includes additional capabilities such as autofit columns & rows, resize row height, support ragged hierarchies, and more.
- VISUALIZATON (Watch here)Inforiver delivers a variety of in-cell visualizations to build graphical tables (table/matrix with charts). While other BI software products deliver this to an extent, they typically require extensive scripting for advanced chart types or for delivering customizations. Inforiver delivers its entire set of customizable in-cell charts using a 100% no-code report development experience.
- Blend KPIs/Columns (11:27): Merge two columns into one, so that the second KPI can be viewed in the context of the first.
- In-cell Visualizations (12:14): Create the following chart types inside your cells, without having to write any code. Each chart is highly customizable.
- Variance charts, including absolute & % variances (for comparison)
- 5 types of bullet charts (for performance)
- Spark Line, Spark Column, Spark Area, Win-Loss and their variants (for trends)
- Stacked Chart, Waterfall (for distribution)
- Dumbbell Plot, Dot Plot, Arrow Plot and Range Plot (for changes)
- Bar & Lolli Pop (for Magnitudes)
- ANALYSIS (Watch here)It is not often enough that data is cleansed, aggregated and presented in a visually engaging report. Often users would like to interact with it and analyze further to enrich their decision-making and the ability to formulate their own insights. Inforiver’s abilities to edit cells, insert rows, columns and measures at the visual level, and formatted export to PDF/Excel are some of the most powerful capabilities seen in BI toolsets.
- Top N + Others (16:21): Perform a quick Top N filtering and group remaining values as ‘Others’ in a few clicks.
- Omni search (16:46): Find values & categories in your visual across pages (pagination)
- Nested Filters (17:18): Use a combination of AND / OR filters and nest/group filters within one other for a flexible and powerful filtering experience. Such filters can be applied to both categories and measures.
- One-Click Conditional Formatting (17:48 & 10:49): Perform positive/negative, color scale, segmentation, icon/rating based formatting in a single click. Segmented rows can also be grouped in an additional click to create hierarchies at the visual level.
- Export to Excel/PDF (19:14): Export your table/matrix reports to Excel, including your structure, notes & annotations, and formatting and in a pivot friendly format. The PDF export supports charts as well.
- Smart Analysis (20:42): Insert variance and contribution analysis relative to a single row in a single click.
- Manage Accounting Signs +/- (21:19): Manage signage for financial / general accounts (e.g., Expenses). This is extremely helpful for building financial statement reports.
- Insert Calculated Columns (21:52): Insert calculated columns/measures at the visual level by using the intuitive formula editor or one-click preset formula options (e.g., running total).
- Insert Calculated Rows (23:02): Insert rows at the visual level by using the intuitive formula editor. You have the option ton include template rows that replicate across hierarchies.
- Edit Cells (24:18): Double-click any cell to reveal a spreadsheet-like formula bar and start editing the cell value or formula. The formula bar also supports calculations that include references to other cells.
- Change Aggregation Type (24:37): Change aggregation type of measures at the visual level
- DATA GOVERNANCE & AUDIT (Watch here)
My organizations like to keep a track of changes to a report once the data has been retrieved from a query. Especially when Inforiver allows users to edit cells, hide values & columns, and insert formula calculations, auditing such changes may become important to some enterprises. Recognizing these needs, Inforiver has delivered an interactive audit log, and a powerful notes & annotation feature that adds additional context for both governance and user communication purposes.
- FORECASTING & SIMULATIONS (Watch here)
For the first time in any BI tool, Inforiver offers both manual data entry as well as a visual simulation user experience – unseen even in leading planning platforms.
- Data Entry / Manual Input (29:41) : Create visual-level columns/measures that support manual data entry. E.g., If your report has sales data, you can enter your targets manually and instantly analyze variances.
- Spread/Allocate/Distribute values (29:41): While using Manual Input columns/measures – you can also spread/allocate/distribute values from parent categories to descendants across rows & columns. E.g., You can enter a $2M goal at the company level and spread it across regions or products, in the same proportion as prior year’s actual sales performance.
- Simulations (32:43) : Use simulation-enabled columns to forecast outcomes in a couple of clicks. Simulation can be done using (a) a visual slider that appears on each cell, or (b) In-cell formula editor (by appending +30k, -2% to the values)