Most teams face real challenges continually generating fresh, up to date content. This is a shame because nothing kills an intranet faster than users’ perceptions that the site is stale, that no one is curating it, and that they should probably look elsewhere to find the most current info they’re looking for.
Today we’re going to discuss one of the quick wins that you can achieve within Bonzai. With even a few simple KPIs or an attractive chart we make the intranet more relevant, more “business useful”, and best of all we now have a continual source of self-refreshing content. We can set it, forget it, and the intranet stays relevant without us lifting another finger.
We can do this by leveraging one of Bonzai’s big advantages and tapping into all the available SharePoint functionality that hides behind the scenes. In this case we’ll look at using Excel Services to create a simple KPI board, publish it to a document library and embed it on our home page. We’ll also set a data refresh so that we no longer have to think about this.
What we doing with this example barely scratches the surface of what’s possible a Business Intelligence perspective but it should highlight the power of Bonzai being built on top of SharePoint. All sorts of business useful data can be served up and in another blog post we’ll be looking at using Power BI to pull in our pipeline status from SalesForce and surface that up for the team. Let’s keep it simple today.
We’re going to assume that we have an Excel file, perhaps we open it up and look at it daily and it would be easier if the dashboard was just embedded on our team site. What we embed doesn’t matter. It could be anything, a chart, a table. In Excel, both of these have names. But what if we want to show an area? Well we can:
- Go to the View tab and uncheck Gridlines and Headings
- Select the area you’re interested in displaying
- Now go to Formulas then Define Name then enter a name
We’re also going to want to make sure that the data stays fresh. So go to Data then Connections. Select your workbook’s connection and choose Properties. Ensure that the option Refresh Data When Opening the File is checked.
Now save and upload the document to a library in your Bonazi intranet. Let’s say we want this embedded on our team site landing page. Let’s go to the page, edit and we’re going to edit the page and create a new web part. Select the Excel Web Access web part from Business Data
We’re going to tell the web part what to look for. We’re also going to make sure that it doesn’t look like we’re embedding Excel. In the Workbook field paste the address to your uploaded file. In the Named Item field enter either the name for the section you created above or the name of a chart, or pivot. Change the Type of Toolbar setting to None.
Apply your changes. Check in the page. And there you are:
Now your team can get some operational metrics when they land on the site!