By Kurt Dupont
We recently created this data-driven dashboard in PowerPoint by connecting our presentation to a database with our DataPoint add-in. The result is quite astonishing. The database is basically a dummy, where we have a small utility to execute random updates on the data. If you are working for a big company or a big factory, then you probably already have data that is updated extensively. So, here we are simulating updates on the data.
First of all, we drew some nice-looking meters and gauges and lights on a slide. Then, we used DataPoint to connect the presentation to a database and set up a query that refreshes every second.
We made this happen by linking every element of this database.
Let’s start with that large On/Off switch. This was created in PowerPoint by drawing some shapes, and then merging one shape into another so that we have that switch. We the added two text boxes with the text Off and On.
We rotated the switch on the Off position. Then, within DataPoint, we visit Meter options and link the switch to a specific row of the query, where we know that a random value of 0 or 1 is being generated.
We set the connection, chose the column and set the row number. And, on the Property pane of the same dialog box, we set it to control the rotation. Then, within the Rotation properties, we set the value to range from 0 to 1. And, we then clicked the Use current rotation of shape as minimum rotation option. We then hit the OK button.
Then, we rotated the switch to the On position. To do so, we visited the Meter dialog box again, and now clicked the Use current rotation of shape as maximum rotation option. Hit the OK button again to save.
Now, let’s do something more complex. Look at this gauge.
We have 2 images on top of each other, as can be seen, separated below.
- One of them is just the background.
- And the second image is that orange needle shape. This is the shape that we are going to rotate.
Turn the needle to the left, the minimum position and visit the Meter dialog box in DataPoint.
Assign it to the results of the first row. Choose to control rotation. Set the Value range options to a minimum value of 0, and a maximum value of 100. Then, click the Use current rotation of shape as minimum rotation again option. Hit the OK button to close.
Rotate the needle to maximum and open the Meter dialog box again.
Click the Use current rotation of shape as maximum rotation option. Hit the OK button, and we are ready to show this needle dynamically in Slide Show view. Now, you can see it repositioning smoothly to the new location.
Look at different lights that we used to express a given status or database value. To make this work, we placed 3 images in a folder. Insert any of them on your slide, and open the Picture dialog box within DataPoint.
We assign this to row number 5, in our database. We know that this produces a value of 1, 2 or 3. We have 3 images in the folder with the same names, as can be seen below:
So, when we bind and use these images dynamically, the current value of 1 in our database will set the source of this linked image to 1.png, which is the same as the green light image. Hit the OK button in the Picture dialog box within DataPoint to get this done.
Finally, let’s explore some thermometers that will show changes based on values dynamically. Here are two shapes again, one for the thermometer background, and the other shape (a rectangle with rounded corners) placed on top of the thermometer shape or image.
In contradiction with the rotating shapes earlier, we first set the thermometer fluid to its maximum value. We then access the Meter options within the dialog box of the same name in DataPoint again.
We now link to row 14 of our database; we know that we have to visualize row number 14 because we know our factory database; your row numbers will differ: )
Set the Meter Shape property to Height. Then, set the Value range for Height Properties to 0 and 200, and click the Use current height of shape as maximum height option.
That is all we need to do. Let the values in your database change and run your slide show. The output on your screen would be similar to what you can see in this video below.
If you want to play with similar options, get a copy of the DataPoint add-in for PowerPoint. A 15-day trial copy is also available, and DataPoint is now available as a monthly or a cheaper annual subscription.
Kurt Dupont is a solution provider who would go out of his way just to ensure he brings out the best when it comes to issues that has to deal with data-driven presentations, data visualization, and digital signage software.
He started by working at airports worldwide to set up airport databases and flight information screens. This evolved to become the basis for PresentationPoint.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.