The first thing that comes to mind when I think of BI dashboards is the fact that I don’t have to read through 50 page PDF reports or thousands of rows of Excel data in order to try to decipher which information is critical to interpret, analyze and take action on. BI dashboards take those traditional 50 page PDF reports or flat files and transfer them into a visualization environment that tells a dimensional story. The traditional dashboard functionality, including drilling down into information for root cause analysis, pivoting or filtering on various data elements and, of course, the flashy look and feel, are all important factors in a BI dashboard solution.
The one functionality that often gets lost in the mix is the ability to receive real-time alerts based upon threshold values and rule sets. Traditionally, word of mouth in a company was often the alerting mechanism; when something went right or wrong in the business operations, someone was getting praised or chewed out. With real-time alerts in a dashboard solution, many KPIs that may otherwise get missed or come to light too late, are brought forth as the back-end database triggers an event which then alerts the group of users who need to know the applicable information. So when the east coast regional sales office has only reached 62.54% of goal for the month with 1 week to go, or flight delays are increasing throughout the day at a rate anticipated to interrupt several connections for passengers, the proper management needs to receive that dashboard alert, email or text message.
Without real-time insight, how can you stay informed and make better business decisions for the long term?