Dashboards 101

Collaboration via document management has become a central focus for many organizations, raising the question, how can we expand the concept beyond simple document collaboration and begin to collaborate on the central mission – including the critical metrics and KPIs that should be a focus for a user, group, or department?

Dashboard collaboration is essentially the act of providing business users, analysts, and executives with real-time views of their data, and creating an environment in which they can have discussions remotely as the data is captured. The concept of collaboration includes users working in sync and communicating effectively in real-time. Typically, businesses decide to implement SharePoint for the document management functionality, which allows users to collaborate on team documents. With this in mind, we can take this functionality to the next step and enable users to collectively work together by developing and viewing dashboards in an environment conducive to collaboration. Many organizations have static snapshots of their data in the form of reports, allowing discussions to only take place during predetermined intervals, such as weekly meetings, and not as the data is captured.

A reporting/dashboarding solution may enable features such as sharing developed content in real-time and commenting within the application. This will provide a platform for communication, enabling discussions regarding important metrics to take place, and fosters effective decision making. If these features are unavailable in your solution perhaps there are some workarounds for creating the dashboard collaboration effect. If your organization uses SharePoint it may be possible to embed the metrics within a site and configure the page to allow user comments or discussions within an existing collaborative environment.

Zach Breimayer– Technical Consultant, iDashboards

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