Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dashboards for Everyone Else

What are organizations looking for in an enterprise dashboard solution?

I thought I’d address this question with a quick list of topics that we’ve seen clients ask for time and time again. It begins with what’s called the fatal flaws of Business Intelligence. This includes the search for that holy grail, aka the single version of the truth and prevailing over multiple iterations of data, departmental driven BI, and a lack of strategic alignment to organizational strategy. Organizations are also usually using multiple BI tools and have issues around skill dependency, cost implications, and again an inconsistent view of the world.

But what about the users, oh the users… how do they get their information they need to their jobs? Typically users don’t understand the data, can’t find information, or find that it is too complex. But what about the people who aren’t users? What about the people in an organization who just have a job to do? How can Business Intelligence impact what is referred to as the other 85%?

Let’s take a look at what organizations are asking for to address their concerns and impact the performance of the “other 85%”:

  1. Is it personalized for them?
    Is the content focused and relevant to each user?
    Is it focused on their customers, their products, their activity?
  2. Is it ready to use?
    Is it accurate & timely, not requiring additional data manipulation?
  3. Is it easy to use?
    Is it intuitive so that no end user training is required?
    Requires minimal navigation to get the information they need
    Absent of all excessive BI functionality
  4. Is it delivered where they work?
    Is it delivered to the places in which they work? In their Office documents, on their desktops, not making them go somewhere else to get their information

These requirements that have spawned the push towards enhanced data visualization and extending the simplicity of Business Intelligence. We continue to see an adaptive transition of traditional BI to meet these challenges and continue to see new technologies intersect to provide solutions. Check out an example of a simplistic visual model that would benefit a particular business area (in this case Human Resources).


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