It's here! We're pleased to say that today marks the release of Zebra BI 2.0, the most revolutionary software for finance professionals since the launch of Zebra BI in June 2014!
We worked hard to add several exciting new features and also made some key improvements to existing features. So without further ado, here's what's new:
Insert charts from multiple ranges
This is a feature that advanced Excel users have been eagerly waiting for. For example, here's some feedback from one of our users from just a few weeks back:
It would be nice to be able to select series which are not organized side by side. In Excel, you can insert a chart from such a selection, but not in Zebra, so there is more effort needed to organize the data in the way Zebra wants – copy to separate sheet, organize, etc.
We're pleased to say that Zebra BI 2.0 allows you to do exactly that: insert charts from data that is not necessarily in a single block.
To insert Zebra BI charts from multiple ranges, just select all desired ranges by holding Ctrl key between selections and then insert a chart normally.
Watch the animation below to see it in action:
Now you don't have to create separate tables for Zebra BI charts. Just Ctrl+drag desired ranges in your main data table and insert!
The only thing you have to remember here is to ensure all your ranges have the same length, otherwise the charts can't be inserted.
The Data Editor
This is another important new feature: in Zebra BI 2.0 we introduce a Data Editor - a new button on Zebra BI charts that allows you to change the source data of inserted charts. This is what you see when you click on it:
There are two main uses of the data editor:
1. The first is the ability to grow or shrink the chart. If you want to add additional data category to the chart, for example years, months, business units, etc., simply click on the < and > buttons in the data editor to decrease or increase the number of data rows.
With the check mark below you let the chart size adjust for the new/removed categories or keep the chart size fixed.
2. The second use of the data editor is to change the chart data to a different series (that can even be on a separate worksheet). Here's what it looks like:
With Zebra BI full-screen "presentation" mode exporting your reports to PowerPoint is a thing of the past. Now you don't have to leave your Excel - not even for presentations.
In "presentation" mode you can present your reports directly from Excel. The main benefit of this is that you can present dynamic reports - the ones that have pivot table filters and slicers on them.
Not having to deal with those extra PowerPoint files of all your presentations is a nice additional bonus. 🙂
This is the new "presentation" mode in action:
New Style Editor
The Style Editor has been completely rewritten. Now it's easier than ever to create and manage your design styles.
The leading motivation behind the redesign of Style Editor was to make it more intuitive to use. This is how the new design looks like:
The Style Editor has the following 4 tabs:
- COLORS; here you can change the colors that will be applied to charts and reports
- SHAPES tab contains options for shapes used in the charts
- ALIASES tab lets you assign or change the data labels for business scenarios Actual, Previous Year, Forecast and Budget
- FONTS section lets you define font-related options
Here you specify the default color scheme within the selected notation. You can customize the default (neutral) chart color, the color for "good" and "bad" KPIs (e.g in waterfall charts), variances, highlights, lines and markers.
If you click on the "+ More Colors" button on the bottom right, additional advanced options will be revealed:
In this tab you specify the shapes that will be used in the selected style:
You can change the shape of any element by simply clicking directly on it.
Advanced options in this tab include:
- specifying a different marker shape for each scenario (click on the ">>" button to reveal these options)
- setting semantic axis patterns for each scenario (by default these patterns are the same as patterns for Lines)
Aliases are labels that represent a particular business scenario in your source data. By default, Zebra BI will understand standard data labels, such as PY, AC, FC, BU, PL, etc.
Adding and deleting aliases is now much more intuitive. You simply edit the following table:
The fourth tab lets you specify your desired fonts, font sizes and colors for all different kinds of labels.
- Improved difference highlights. Now you can insert difference highlights to "dynamic" categories: First, Last, Next to last, Min, Max.
- Improved parsing of chart data. Zebra BI is now much better at recognizing what the data is representing
- Added support for date categories.
- Added support for Chinese language.
- Improved debug logging.
About Zebra BI
Zebra BI is the IBCS certified Excel add-in that helps create best-practice business reports, dashboards and presentations in just a few clicks. Zebra BI makes financial reports crystal clear to all levels of management in real working conditions where reader's available attention is limited.