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EX3 - Multi-Monitor Charts and Data

We think multi-monitors are going to be great for people who are always working with charts and data. Now your charts can be on one screen and the data can be clearly visible on the other.

The example below is actually one workbook with two windows sized and positioned to fit correctly on monitor1 and monitor 2. The windows are sized and positioned by automation. This is a very sophisticated workbook application designed for a production and process control analysts in a chemical plant.

This workbook is designed to allow the user to switch between the three modes below :
  • Charts on one monitor and and data on the other (see print below)
  • Data spanning both monitors (ie. no charts - see middle print below)
  • Charts spanning both monitors (ie. no data - see bottom print below)

Below is the workbook in the "Charts and Data" mode.

Dual Monitor Screen Print: Production Management Tool - Charts and Data View





















There are a number of different data sheets in this workbook drawing information from production, traffic, laboratory, engineering and shop floor ODBC databases. The analyst can ask for data spanning over any time period. It constitutes a good example of what we call an “analytical environment” where all the data merges to a single platform. It is an environment where managers, engineers, and technical analysts can go to see what’s happening. Below is the same workbook in the "Data Only" mode.



Dual Monitor Screen Print: Production Management Tool - Data Only View





















The workbook contains an automated chart manager allowing the user to save chart settings for data elements he selects. He also manages and changes these settings via automation. Charts are arranged into chart groups so managers can also quickly be presented with a standard slide show without having to find the data references on the individual sheets. The slide show controls and synchronizes the data window with the chart window so the manager can see both the charts and the underlying data. Below is the same workbook in the "Charts Only" mode.



Dual Monitor Screen Print: Production Management Tool - Chart Only View





















Interestingly, there is only one chart object in this entire workbook. Automation basically controls everything about this chart including the data source, chart type, series colors, individual datapoint colors, trend type, trend attributes, X and Y scales (when applies), chart titles and fonts, chart size, etc. When the user selects a cell anywhere on a data row, the chart automatically picks up the history of that data element and displays it. It also changes the color of the chart data point that matches his selection in the series. Users are always seeing something in charts and wanting to find that point in the data. The latter speeds that process immensely.

Excel, when opening this particular workbook, calls the windows operating system to detect the users screen resolution. It then adjusts all windows calculations to give a pleasing view to the user for a wide array of standard monitor resolution display settings configurations.

Workbooks like this are perfect places to give users several blank worksheets that they can use as scratch pads to reference the data displays and make adhoc calculations, correlations, notes, etc. Again, Excel allows this with no effort. You could say it excels at it.

Without multi monitors the results are similar. In this case (actually also in the multi mon case) the user has the option of seeing only the data, only the charts, or both. Obviously in the show “both chart and data” case, the result, although effective, is far less pleasing in a single monitor environment.

For roughly an extra $800 per person, your power users and managers can operate in a dual monitor environment from now on. How can anyone pass up an opportunity like this ?



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