Greetings from the cloud,
Over the past six months, our engineering team has been working around the clock (they still are) to deliver one of our most significant efforts yet: iCharts BI.
iCharts BI is not just an update of the current product our customers know and love. It’s a brand new product, built from the ground up with new technology, design, workflow, and best of all, the help and feedback of our customers. One of the core values of iCharts is understanding our customer’s needs. We went through our notes from past conversations, built something new, and asked for on-going feedback to come up with the best solutions. And our customers love it!
We still have the basic features our customers are familiar with: chart creation, saved searches, View Data, NetSuite custom portlets, mashups, and a simple drag-and-drop UI. However, we wanted to give our users even MORE, but in a way that was obvious, ultra-user friendly, and streamlined. Here are some of the awesome new features we are delivering with this release:
- New Design: We’ve created a rich, yet simple and clean design. We wanted to have everything be a click away as well keeping the focus on the visualization. We kept the drag and drop, increased the studio workspace, and minimized the number of menus to keep everything accessible and clear.
- Dashboards: Publishing a chart into a portlet is great. However, reports have more than one chart, and portlets are hard to manage with different screen and chart sizes. Dashboards in iCharts BI are automatically responsive to the size of the screen or portlet, giving the visualization of the trends the priority. Users can create a full visual report with everything they need to get a quick status check, drill into the data, or make a decision. And it looks great on any screen all the time.
- New Chart Types: As we are focusing on more analytical tools, we are also adding new ways to visualize data.
- Pivot Tables: This is possibly the biggest new functionality, and our users are excited. Even though we pride ourselves in graphical visualization, sometimes, users still want to see a table, and some data just fits better as a table. Pivot tables are a great way to interact with your aggregated data, complete with the ability to drill in and see the fine details.
- Bubble Charts: This is an advanced type of chart that allows you to display multiple dimensions in one visualization, helping you understand the relationship between different factors that run your business. As an example, many folks use bubble charts to understand the ratio of cost to revenue of the items they sell, or to identify the most profitable segment of their market.
- Date Filtering: Another massive addition to the new platform is the ability to filter using dates and date ranges. Previously, we had only a Select Filter, which meant that users had to add a lot of additional formulas and fields to their datasets in order to filter by dates. Now, users can select a single date or range of two dates using a familiar calendar, and even use some common dynamic date ranges like “last 30 days” and “year to date.” These powerful filters will allow you not just to focus your visualizations, it will also allow you to take broader, larger results from a saved search and slice and dice it on the fly as you view your dashboard.
- Mashups: We’ve long known that while NetSuite’s built-in joins are great, they are very limited and can prevent users from cross referencing or segmenting their data. In the old iCharts product, we enabled our users to break free of these limitations with the ability to mashup two saved searches from different records. Our customers quickly learned how powerful this is in NetSuite, and we received many requests for the ability to mashup three or more records. So we built it!
But wait, there’s more! Here is a full list of the features in the new iCharts BI:
Projects and Sharing
One of our missions with the new platform was to improve the ways people can collaborate on their BI. Projects are the collaborative space where teams can work on and share visualizations and reporting in a common area. All your dashboards, charts, and datasets are automatically shared with your project’s users. Create and save calculations and formulas to present your KPIs and analyses, creating a “single source of truth” for your entire organization. Projects can be shared with colleagues in the following ways.
- If you are a consultant or a multi-subsidiary organization, this allows you to create a project for specific groups of users.
- Use your NetSuite ID or Google Groups to provide access to your entire organization.
- Invite individual users that are part of your team or audience for your reports and visualizations.
- Google BigQuery
- JDBC based data sources including Google Spanner, MySQL, PostgreSQL
- Mashup 2+ datasets: Yes! 2+ datasets from multiple records or sources. So now you can compare your oranges, apples, and bananas.
- Dataset Editor: No more back and forth between your Saved Searches to the charts editor. Once you created the dataset, you can do all the formatting, calculations, and aggregations with advanced formulas using native NetSuite Saved Search syntax, while you create your visualizations.
- Data Source Credentials: While iCharts BI typically accesses data as defined by the user’s existing permissions via login, sometimes there is a need to use data that a user might not have direct access to. With credentials, customers can now set up a variety of new data sources that can be used to create/view charts and dashboards.
- Pivot Tables
- Column & Bar
- 100% stacked
- Line and Area
- Slider: Zoom in and out of your chart to explore and understand your trends.
- Data Tips: Hover above the chart to see the details of that column, bar, or point.
- Color By (Compare By): Segment your data with color to get insights.
- Select Filter
- Date Filtering
- Date selector
- Date range
- Rolling dates
- Numeric Ranges
- View Data: This will open NetSuite Saved Search results with the specific data you are seeing in your chart. This is a powerful tool that combines the simplicity of an iCharts visualization with the fine details of your NetSuite records.
- Sorting by Dimension or Measure, Ascending and Descending
- Count Distinct
- MIN / MAX
- In-Chart formula editing: We’ve brought all the power of adding formulas to your datasets from within the chart editor!
- Add multiple charts into a single page
- Customize your chart size and position
- Publish to a Netsuite portlet or view from your iCharts BI gallery
- Preview mode
- Expand charts to the full size of your screen
The team still has a lot of things cooking in the oven, so expect to see new features and improvements coming, each one designed to increase usability as well as productivity. So stay tuned for more release notes emails.
Starting today, iCharts BI is available to all current customers. In order to upgrade they will need to contact their Customer Success Manager for details and to schedule a call.
Last year, we won NetSuite’s SuiteApp of the Year Award at SuiteWorld, this year we’re going big and are a diamond sponsor of the conference. We will be announcing iCharts BI, have customers sharing their success stories, and provide a few seminars about reporting best practices.
Thank you, and we are looking forward seeing you at SuiteWorld!