Creating BI with the End-User in Mind

One trend I’ve noticed while working with customers is a scenario we’ve named “scope creep”. This refers to the tendency of dashboarding projects to quickly get out of range with the target the developer is trying to hit. Something to keep in mind while constructing your dashboard is who will be the actual end-user of this dashboard. Doing this will greatly improve end-user adoption. For example, if I’m a C-level executive, I have a lot of big picture decisions to make. I need to worry about vision & direction. I shouldn’t be bogged down with everyday minutia like whether individual team members are meeting their KPIs or not; that’s for people managers to worry about. What I need to see is:
1) How the company is doing as a whole.
2) If the vision milestones I’ve created are being achieved or not.
3) Sticking points holding back the company’s progress towards my vision.

Creating dashboards that drilldown to individual transactions may be a great feature, but you should remember your audience & consider not burdening people with extra details they may not need. In the example cited above, drilling down to the individual level would detract the Executive from their focus of vision & direction.

Another example, going in the opposite direction, is providing individuals with info that is beyond their level of concern. For instance, if I’m a teller at a credit union, I shouldn’t be privy to the total number of deposits my branch has made that day. I shouldn’t know how much in cash reserves are on hand at any given time. I definitely shouldn’t have access to information about another branch. What I should be focused on is the customer I’m servicing. Should I try to up sell them into a line of credit? A home equity loan? A car loan? Take a moment to step back and consider the KPIs with which the person would like to interact. It might be more of a hassle for someone to comb through a bunch of metrics that doesn’t impact their working life.

Just taking the time and care to remember your core audience members, when constructing dashboards, will definitely help user-adoption rates and make you look like a pro working with the iDashboards software. Not only does this show intelligence, it shows business intelligence.

Matt Crawford– Technical Consultant, iDashboards

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