You might think that is a fairly dramatic statement, but I would go further to say that there will come a point, in the near future, when interactive dashboards become the only BI capability organizations will use to deliver information to their end-users.
Just to be clear, in saying this, I am dividing people into two categories, “end-users” and “analysts”. Whilst there are some shades of grey between these two, the advantages of thinking about them separately far out-weigh the disadvantages (I will leave the dangerous idea that “everyone is an analyst these days”, for a future post).
Analysts are really quite easy to identify. Their business card has the work “analyst” written on it (or perhaps data scientist or something like that, but I think you get my point), and although they need access to dashboards as well, they also need more specialized data discovery and predicative tools.
However, if you don’t have “analyst” on your business card, or in your job title, then you are an end-user and, as I said, your entire BI needs can (and should) be delivered through interactive dashboards.
But, these are not the old generation of “a collection of grids and graphs” dashboards. No, these are a new generation of interactive dashboards which go well beyond simply providing an “at-a-glance overview”.
There are five key features which make interactive dashboards such a BI powerhouse :-
- Custom workflows
- Structured ad-hoc
These, together with the ability to deliver dashboards to mobile devices (particularly tablets), turn dashboards into the “iPad-app-like” BI which end-users are coming to crave.
To learn more about these topics, to see how SAP Dashboards and Xcelsius can be used to quickly create interactive dashboards and to start to prepare for this brave new world of dashboard-based BI, watch the recorded webcast of “If you think you know dashboards, think again”.