energage is a human resources metrics measurement company. We measure and present important HR metrics captured from employee surveys and other sources.
We present our client’s metrics using a sophisticated online charting web application. The web application presents the user with a lot of different ways to compare their data, benchmark their data, and drill down into their data.
Through usability research, we found that we were not appropriately serving a subset of our users in a manner in which we wanted to serve them.
That particular group of users was not interested in exploring their data using our web application at all, but they simply wanted our metrics summarized so that it can be presented to others. They did not have the time or interest in learning how to use our tool.
The requirements for this project were:
- Must be able to generate multi-page presentations displaying elaborately formatted text and images in a commonly available and reasonably sized file format.
- Must be able to use templates and fill in dynamic text and images to reduce the amount of coding and to allow non-coders to tweak presentations.
- Must be able to do this in a highly scalable way from a web server.
- Must be able to reuse our code for generating charts in our web application.
After researching the various alternatives available, we decided to use Aspose.Slides for .NET to generate PowerPoint presentations. We found that it was well-reviewed by other companies who already used it and we liked that it was written in .Net and did not require COM.
We were able to write an application that took charts that we previously displayed on our web application and collected them along with helpful text into a PowerPoint template, and then they were easily distributed to our clients via email.
The benefits of this project have been enormous to us.
Many of our clients preferred opening an email attachment against signing into a web application. They greatly valued the data we were able to capture for them, but they were uninterested in the many “power user” features that our web application provided.
Previously, we either lost sales to such clients, or we spent a lot of time helping them to understand the use of our tool. However, while using Aspose.Slides for .NET to generate presentations, it allowed us to make more sales and allowed each of our expert staff members to support more clients.
Following the success of this project, we have planned to add functionality which will help another underserved subset of our users. Currently, these users enjoy using our online results tool to explore their data, but spend a lot of time copying and pasting the results of their exploration into presentations.
We plan to allow users to “tag” charts as interesting as they explore their data, and then at the end export all of the tagged charts to a PowerPoint. They can serve as a starting point for creating a presentation.
We have found Aspose.Slides for .NET to be easy to use and to work nicely on our ASP.Net servers. We have found they fill an important need for dynamically generating files to expand our reach beyond the traditional web application. Aspose is the first place we will look for any future file generation needs.