BI Dashboard News: SAS dashboarder and long time Dashboard Spy, Robert Allison gives us a sneak peek at the upcoming dashboard-friendly features to be found in the next version of SAS (v9.2). Heavily influenced by the trend in business intelligence (BI) visualization towards graphically-rich KPI displays such as sliders, gauges, traffic-light icons and bullet graphs, the SAS dashboard programmer will be able to easily produce such visuals by simply passing parameters to the new functions.
The look and feel of the KPI graphics are clean and professional. They’ll add a nice look to your SAS dashboard for sure. The designs of the various gauges and sliders are thoughtful – for example, the round gauges clearly tell you what color state is indicated (big round color spot in the middle) as well as clearly indicating the actual numeric value of the indicator (bolded number on bottom). Likewise the sliders, dials and traffic lights indicate the state and values both graphically and numerically (a great help when printing to a black and white printer!).
Here is a look at the sample dashboard submitted by Robert:
As Dr. Allison explains:
Hello Dashboard Spy. Just wanted to submit a ”spy photo” of some new dashboarding functionality that will users will see in upcoming releases of SAS/Graph. Based on strong customer demand for more / better / easier dashboarding KPI charts in SAS/Graph, SAS is adding a new Graph Procedure called “proc gkpi”. Gkpi provides an easy parameter-driven way to produce very nice-looking gauges, slider bars, bullet graphs, and traffic lights. In the past, users could do charts similar to these, but they had to write custom sas code using sas/graph the ‘annotate’ facility – now, all they have to do is run the gkpi procedure, and pass it some parameters!
I know, I know … gauges have lots of drawbacks in dashboards. But hey, the other philosophy is “give the customer what they want” … and try to make it work as well as possible. So, as far as gauges go, these are pretty decent — plus, the proc does several other useful kpi’s too (it’s a package deal)!
To show off what the new gkpi procedure can do, a team of us created a dashboard which exclusively uses the new gkpi charts. This dashboard layout was designed by Lee Sullivan, initially programmed by Kathleen Ramage, enhanced by Himesh Patel, and then Robert Allison (that’s me!) generalized the code and added chart tip & drilldown capability. I think it’s one of the sharper-looking dashboards I’ve seen.
Here is the direct link to the sample: http://robslink.com/SAS/democd26/kpidash.htm
Also, you can look on the bottom of my dashboard samples page to see the interactive version (with chart tips & drilldown), and get a copy of the sas code which I’m happy to share: http://robslink.com/SAS/dashboards/aaaindex.htm
Tags: SAS Programming, SAS Dashboards, SAS/GRAPH, SAS 9.2, proc gkpi, gkpi, enterprise dashboards, robert allison, BI Dashboard, business intelligence dashboard, executive dashboards