How mTAB Dashboards Create Native, Fully-Editable PowerPoint Charts

As more information is being distributed via the web through online dashboards, PowerPoint still remains the standard format for reporting and distribution. The majority of our clients consider PowerPoint-ready deliverables a “must-have” feature and a priority.

Our competitors claim to be able to export reports to PowerPoint. However, that’s not entirely true. Exporting an image to PowerPoint is not sufficient for most customers’ needs. Some competitors export an editable document as a vector graphic, which is better, but still vastly inferior to fully-editable, native PowerPoint slides.

With mTABView and mTAB Dashboards, we have a solution to export online dashboard content, including the underlying data, to native PowerPoint files.

To support exporting visualizations into PowerPoint and Excel, we evaluated several options that included both third-party software packages and developing our own custom features in-house. Of the third-party options, we found that Aspose is the best at delivering a solution that supports exporting native data visualizations into PowerPoint and Excel, while effectively integrating with our own software suite.

Both Aspose.Cells and Aspose.Slides have been extremely valuable in our efforts to provide our clients with native Excel and PowerPoint files that are exported directly from our mTABView software. Our clients use our software to create dashboards and other visualizations from insights gathered from survey research data. After completing their dashboards or report decks in mTABView, the next step would be to export the results to either .xlsx or .pptx formats. However, because of the interactivity and ease of use that our customers have come to expect from years of using our software, simply providing static PowerPoint files of graphs and charts would not be acceptable for our users. The exported visualizations still need to be editable and include the actual data behind them, and not just screenshots of charts and graphs when exported to .pptx. The same is true for our exported spreadsheets. The contents need to be native and editable in Excel.

(Authoring a dashboard in mTABView)

Having the ability to take the data results that are displayed in our mTABView software or mTAB Dashboards and seamlessly create native files in Excel and PowerPoint, is what makes Aspose so valuable to us. Offering native Excel and PowerPoint exports that are fully editable gives us a definite advantage over our competitors. Most other BI applications do not support exporting to native PowerPoint files. They are only able to export their visualizations as images and without the underlying data to accompany those static images.

(Viewing the dashboard online)

We often find ourselves caught between two worlds of moving to fully web-based visualizations, which are more intuitive and interactive, but also having to support traditional reporting where a client needs to export the data from the dashboard to update an existing PowerPoint report.

With Aspose integrated into mTABView, we can continue to push the development of our web based dashboard reporting, while continuing to provide PowerPoint deliverables. We’re able to delight our customers by delivering a product with export capabilities that they are all asking for.

(Editing and/or printing the exported dashboard in PowerPoint)

In terms of allocating our engineering and development resources, we benefit because Aspose products are continuously updated, which provides us with support for the latest versions of Microsoft products. This removes the burden from our engineers, so they don’t have to worry about keeping up with Microsoft Office’s version compatibility. We are saving more time now, since we don’t have to write our own routines. Our engineering team finds the Aspose API to be consistent, easy to use, and well documented. Aspose has saved our engineering team time and development resources this year. As a result of these increased efficiencies, we were able to integrate visualization export capabilities into mTAB, our flagship cross-tabulation product and have scheduled an mTAB release for January 2018. We’re excited for this new mTAB release which includes functionality that revolves around the capabilities of Aspose.

Without Aspose, writing our own custom PowerPoint and Excel native export capabilities into our products would have taken months longer to develop and test, and would have cost tens of thousands of dollars more.

Aspose has enabled us to shorten our development cycles and get our products and requested features released to our customers a lot quicker. We’ve also been able to release new features more cost effectively, and most importantly, our customers are happy. Aspose will continue to be a trusted source for us and I would highly recommend using Aspose’s suite to anyone considering their products and services.

David Titmuss
Global VP of Product, mTAB