The Role of Dashboards in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics

The Role of Dashboards in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics

Business intelligence dashboards are a mainstay in today’s enterprise-class data analytics tools, and for good reason. Business users regardless of skill level can use these capabilities in order to better understand what is going on inside their organization. Dashboards make it easy for a company to visualize their data by displaying metrics, graphs, gauges, maps, percentages and comparisons of all the information that is streaming in and out of the company. By viewing data this way, the learning curve and time-to-insight are shortened significantly, allowing executives to act on findings sooner.

Dashboards help IT to quickly convert and communicate complex corporate data into meaningful visualizations, revealing key performance indicators (KPIs). Thus, executives are given all the tools they need to drill down even deeper into the analysis so they may reveal what’s really going on. Dashboards have, in effect, eliminated the need to sift through multiple reports, and in some cases, the data is updated in near real-time. Users also have the ability to custom-fit each dashboard with predefined metrics which allows for even faster data tracking.

Now that you’re up to speed on what dashboards are and how they can be of service, here’s how organizations are using them in practice:

Strategy

Organizations develop strategies, plans and tactics all the time. Dashboards can help users map out these plans so executives can track the progress of their goals, or convince them that they need to take an alternative route. Key performance indicators will stand out to anyone who works within company dashboards, so they can even be used as tools of guidance to help stakeholders brainstorm new ways to achieve business goals. Dashboards can also help companies keep employees focused on the goals by showing them which indicators create the most change.

Planning

Dashboards allow organizations to display, analyze and compare historical data with up-to-date budgets, forecasts and targets. They can also be used for monitoring and sharing strategies across departments; an ideal feature for keeping management afloat with what’s going on in IT, and vice versa. When fully integrated with other business systems, the possibilities are essentially endless.

Analytics

Most of the dashboards you’ll see in the top BI solutions of today offer analytic capabilities. These are used largely in scenarios where real-time insight generation is an imperative. This helps users avoid the unnecessary step of plugging the data into a secondary interface. Modern data analytics tools can connect with dashboards that offer various feature capabilities such as heat maps, drill down, advanced analysis, data mining, prediction, and more. Coupled with these tools, BI dashboards empower stakeholders and enable them to make better decisions.

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Timothy King

Editorial Director at Solutions Review
Tim is Solutions Review's Editorial Director and leads coverage on big data, business intelligence, and data analytics. A 2017 and 2018 Most Influential Business Journalist and 2021 "Who's Who" in data management and data integration, Tim is a recognized influencer and thought leader in enterprise business software. Reach him via tking at solutionsreview dot com.
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