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Death to Dashboards

October 31, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Brad Scarff, CTO at Yellowfin

In many ways we are living in the future we once dreamed of as kids. While we are all still waiting for our flying cars from the Jetsons, the truth is my childhood dreams are nearly satisfied with the truly futuristic technology of today’s self-driving cars. Of all the revolutionary changes that will come with the technology of self-driving cars, the good old-fashioned dashboard, is one of many things that will quickly become irrelevant. Yet, when it comes to running a business based on a modern, and dare I say futuristic, Business Intelligence (BI) solution, dashboards are where most vendors are trying to innovate and add features. Really, a dashboard? Surely, we can expect bigger things from our analytics solution.

The reality is, modern analytics packages, just like self-driving cars, should be fueled by robust artificial intelligence and the latest in modern computing in order to be constantly alert, watching for changes in your business and bringing data to the forefront. Companies should be able to count on their BI tools to actively participate in the business, by routinely analyzing available data, and looking for trends and patterns. Doing so in order to find correlated information and ultimately send alerts highlighting the pattern so all recipients can determine if the data is actionable. By automating and making this process more intelligent the BI solution helps the busy manager have access to high quality, actionable data, to help them make important decisions. Just imagine, this can all be achieved without scouring through a dashboard.

For all the good that can be done with high-quality data, without the right context, the data might as well stay buried on a dashboard. Information does not meet its full potential until someone tells a story with the data, shaping it, forming it and putting it in the right context for the business leaders to make decisions. While this storytelling effort has always required user input, to provide the “human touch,” analytics solutions should support this effort. By providing tools that facilitate storytelling in a way that pulls data off the dashboard and brings it to life, the information can help improve knowledge sharing, collaboration, and communication within organizations.

When I think about what’s in store for the future of analytics, it’s hard to imagine any dashboard really contributing very much to this vision of the future. No amount of information, no matter how well it’s presented on a dashboard is going to provide active monitoring, alerts and automation that brings data to the forefront, all while presenting this data with a context-rich story. Using modern, automated solutions, organizations will be empowered with data and tools to help them jump into the future with increased data-driven decision making.

 

DATA and ANALYTICS , SOCIAL BUSINESS

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