Main functionality of BI Dashboards
Twenty years of successive evolution
of dashboards have resulted in preparing the almost ideal solution.
If there still were any lacks, they would surely be immediately replenished.
The efforts of numerous groups of specialists have resulted in making business intelligence dashboards as functional as possible which includes:
- The first and the most important of all dashboards' features is a good cooperation
with data originated from diverse and numerous sources. We need to remember that data across departments of a company might be kept
in diverse systems, therefore there occurs a need for having a tool
able to read all of them. Today's dashboards intercept and store data
from multiple sources, so that there shouldn't occur any problem even
within the largest enterprises.
- Pure data usually tells nothing about the real situation of a company. We might count
the number of sold products but it will tell us nothing about its relation
with production. Thereupon, more or less complicated calculations
have been automated and users dont't need to care anymore about how to perform calculations as they're prepared automatically.
The only thing left is to decide which data we want to consider and in relation to which. It must be remembered that even the best dashboard
still is solely a tool, a tool that supports manager, not replaces him.
Dashboards present data but making conclusions still is humans' job,
after all. Beside the tendency to replace humans with computers, we
have to remember that there are also plenty of immeasurable factors
that have enormous influence on business. And predicting them is only
a matter of human, never a computer.
- They say that time is money. And it's true, especially in a case of data flow across
business organizations. We should do our best to ensure our data to
be the most timely as possible. Seems simple, but never truly is - data
flow process strictly must last a while. Whatever we do, it's never
going to reach the zero level, although people pay efforts to minimizing
it. Thereupon, current dashboards have to be as transparent as possible
- this, followed with maximal simplifying the algorithms, might result
in shortening data operating time. We have to realize that business
is incessantly evolving, factors are changing, numbers are growing and
diminishing... And - after all - all these changes have to be considered
in dashboard's readings. Better is the dashboard that can do it faster.
Due to that, quick data processing is probably the most needed
feature of modern dashboards.
- In the traditional approach, the dashboard's aim is to picture company's situation and signalize
what's wrong if needed, however modern dashboards enable a deeper dive into company's data. Seeing what's happening
in company as a whole can give a big picture of the enterprise.
It's easy as it requires only a few clicks - it is also a feature of the newest generation of dashboards. Everything
what is needed is easily-accessible also, therefore we could quickly
change the point of view from general to detailed.
These aren't all, but most important
features. Today's dashboards still are imperfect and the process of
development still lasts. Dashboards are present at every larger company,
nonetheless - thank to more and more numerous free, open source solutions
- they are being used commonly by more and more medium-sized and tiny
companies. People get to realize that they're the best tool for controlling
company's current performance.
It's easy to define the general
idea of dashboards, however everything depends on the point of view, therefore there
is no one common recipe for efficient and usable dashboard. All of them
fulfill the common idea, nonetheless each of them is different and specific for the company where it's used.