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Increase Dashboard User Adoption through Enhancements

Increase Dashboard User Adoption through Enhancements

Oct 07 2015

BI Reporting & Dashboards


Most people using dashboards may be line managers or busy executives, who need information quickly just when they want it. Moreover, dashboards enable drill-down analysis for power users. A 2013, Garner news flash stated that on that particular year, businesses spent $14 Billion on BI systems. A BI Software Insight prediction forecasted that by 2018, the annual BI spend by businesses will balloon to $114 Billion. As the world’s data continues to double every two years, the popularity of BI tools will also rise on a galloping rate. Without proper BI systems and tools in place, businesses will never be able to make sense of petabytes of data for a competitive advantage. However, the interesting point to note is that according to this study, the BI adoption rate among employees is only 22%.

The biggest reason behind the slow adoption rate has been pointed out as lack of ease of use and keyhole dashboards.

Impediments to Dashboard User Adoption

In this 2013 Gartner Report, one of the two key trends that have been identified as the main drivers for the growth of BI:

The holistic comprehension of decision makers is enhanced with data view from multiple sources that provide a broad view. This report also points out that by 2016, more than 50% of real-time dashboards will enable a panoramic view that presents information from multiple sources. Today, most real-time dashboards provide only a narrow “keyhole” view of situations.Another serious impediment to user adoption is the cluttering of information through confusing gadgets like gauges and dials—their effectiveness is diminished and user adoption lags.

Thus two major drawbacks in modern business dashboards can be summarized as:

  • Limited view of application or operation-specific information. The situational awareness of decision makers is greatly hindered by the keyhole view.
  • Overuse of dashboard features can actually hinder understanding instead of aiding understanding.

Some Strategies for Dashboard Enhancements

During a Tech Target Interview with Steve Putnam, Senior Consultant, Baseline Consulting, Putnam point out that the collective experience of dashboard users have given birth to the following practical, dashboard design strategies. Putnam is a recognized leader in data technologies and has extensive experience working with front-end tools and tool users.

So here are the tips for enhancing business dashboards:

  • Add a dashboard Editor – An editor can help streamline the design elements in a cluttered dashboard.
  • Build Cloud-based BI dashboards – No technical skills required
  • Pay attention to ease of use – user-friendly interface, prebuilt analytic tools, and pre-built reports.
  • Pay attention to faster loading time – Highly focused metrics aligned with specific goals
  • Create clutter-free screens – Display of limited metrics
  • Provide extensive user documentation (online)
  • Enable more interactivity (personalized experience for users)

And, the most important tip: Build a panoramic dashboard, the importance of which is discussed in the following section:

Panoramic Dashboards

According to 2013 Gartner Report, the most sought after feature in a modern dashboard is the panoramic view, which facilitate the concurrent viewing of diverse interfaces, each of which may be using a different programming language and communication protocol. Panoramic dashboards are enabled through real-time operational intelligence systems that monitor other applications and devices.

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