Dashboards are a mainstay in today’s enterprise-class Business Intelligence 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 tracking of data.
Now that you’re up to speed on what Business Intelligence dashboards are, here’s how organizations are using them in practice:
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.
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.
Most of the dashboards you’ll see in the top BI solutions of today offer analytical capabilities. These are used in mass by those who want to have their questions answered right away without having to go elsewhere and plug all of the data into another interface. The analytics solutions of today can connect with dashboards that offer various functionality such as heat maps, drill down, data analysis, data mining, predictive analytics and more. Coupled with analytics tools, dashboards can act as a powerful feature to empower stakeholders and enable them to make even better decisions.
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