Is the Dashboard Dying?

Is the Dashboard Dying?

While dashboards can be used in many ways, there are times when a dashboard is the best tool to help you make the right decisions.

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Dashboards can be associated with analytics. It helped us move away from the days of legacy reporting, when IT was the only data specialist. They also created a multitude of corporate problems.

Dashboards can be frustrating because they are constantly evolving user processes, learning new skills, digging through extensive data too often with too many unconnected insights, and changing user process. And how about those executive meetings where the dashboard is an ineffective tool?

Is a dashboard a waste of time or not?

As a consequence, analytics are moving away from dashboards. Apps allow us to respond to emails, find new music and monitor our health goals and plans. Software is designed to predict cancellations and no-shows using past data. Gartner predicts that these dashboards may become obsolete in the future. Automation will take over, and they’ll create dynamic insights that can be adapted to the user’s needs. This allows anybody in the company to get insight from data professionals.

What if the issue with standalone dashboards is that they are merely an app? We could give dashboards a curated mix of data insights that are practical and useful — to users at their point-of-use?

A new way of thinking about dashboards and analytics.

The user’s workflow and context must come first, followed by the insights required — and their presentation. Dashboards are one way to communicate data insights to knowledgeable workers. A dashboard can still be a powerful tool for helping employees and leaders make the right decisions.

Quick decision-making knowledge

The dashboard in our cars is one of the first instances of a dashboard, and it does its function well.

Why? Drivers constantly evaluate speed, braking, steering, road conditions, vehicle condition, and even the vehicle’s condition. These judgments can have devastating consequences if they are based on intuition alone. A vehicle’s dashboards are essential. It provides several parameters that drivers can quickly assess and use to adjust the vehicle in real-time.

In many other real-time business situations, the dashboard is the best way to incorporate data insights. We see great dashboards for utilities that want to measure usage, emergency departments that need to monitor supplies and patient diagnosis, warehouse coordination of thousands of goods, truck deliveries, and customers.

In each case, we need a selection of specific insights to take action. Dashboards can be used to allow employees to quickly access real-time information, make decisions, take action, and repeat business processes.

Assisting teams in dashboard action

Before COVID, many business people passed by TVs showing firm KPI dashboards. Many organizations are returning or planning to return to the office, but others will be using online conference rooms, collaboration tools and corporate portals to communicate. These shared workspaces can be used to add data insights to dashboards.

Shared dashboards are ideal for group analytics for two reasons:

First, dashboards show the same stats regardless of the viewer. This keeps everyone on the same page. Employees can monitor their progress together. The same measures may be used by boards to advise CEOs. Public corporations must provide specific quarterly figures (typically in raw table format) so that public investors can compete.

Second, asynchronous shared dashboards keep teams aware of vital but less urgent information depending on their particular processes. This allows teams to act as one in a meeting. Others who only need to be informed can focus on their task and not be distracted. Everyone works at their own pace and stays on the same page.

Using analytics at work

With each new generation of analytics and business intelligence, we grow closer to using data to make choices. This is why it is important to focus on people’s workflows, and not the other direction.

Analysts are those who interpret data. It’s their primary application, not another. They should use analytics and BI tools. A dashboard can give salespeople a quick overview of their quota progress and which accounts they should follow up with when they log in to their CRM.

Dashboards can be very useful for facility managers, mechanics, and physicians. The dashboard can provide valuable information depending on the user’s environment and workflow.

Finally, it is up to the user to decide how they want to display data insights. However, just because the dashboard is not sufficient, it doesn’t mean that we don’t require IT-led reporting in certain cases.

Simple Future: Find out where knowledge workers work, and then offer ideas to help them. We’ll know if the dashboard is the best option for certain situations because people will use it and make better judgements. This is common sense for our unusual times. Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Josh Sorenson; Pexels; Thank you!

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