Straight Talk

I travel to consult on-site with various industries. It is interesting when someone at a company asks, “Do you have any pre-built dashboards for me?”. These can be all kinds of companies (like manufacturing, finance, government, healthcare etc.) with different roles (like CIO, Finance Manager, Energy efficiency manager, CEO etc.) in various departments with various functions. You get the picture. People may be looking for pre-built dashboards that are exactly the way they want. But the question still needs to be answered.

There can be pre-built dashboards for a specific company/role/function and for a specific application. However, almost always one would find that the dashboards will need to be customized per the needs of the end user(s), even if it’s the same function and the same application at different companies. It’s the nature of the business, in which different strategies and procedures are adapted at different companies for similar goals. The next question is often, “Can your dashboards display the story in a way I would like it to tell?” I do my job certain way and I would like to track my indicators (or KPIs) my way, but I would not like to spend weeks or months building these dashboards. “How about a dashboard tool that allows quick data-to-graph conversion?” Once I have gotten my dashboards I might like to change them. It, thus, becomes important for a dashboard product to allow for easy and quick changes to the dashboard with minimal resources.

There are now dashboard tools available in the market with varying degrees of ease-of-use, interactivity, plug-and-play design, IT involvement, SaaS and other factors. There are also dashboard tools, which you can use to create dashboards in days and change them on-the-fly with very limited involvement of IT. Find a product that suites your needs.

Happy dashboarding!

Zahid Ansari – Technical Consultant, iDashboards

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