We’re almost halfway through 2015 – hard to believe – and the dynamic arena of business intelligence continues to advance. It’s the vendors that adapt better and faster to this evolving environment that will have the competitive edge. Similarly, the businesses that make the best choice of BI technology, that best fits their operation, will thrive and succeed. So let’s look at the “Big 10” business intelligence trends – the ones that are the most significant and prevalent so far in 2015…
When companies decide to track performance, they invariably begin by measuring results. That’s the wrong approach. Results only tell you what happened, not why. You can choose to measure either the results of your work or the actions that cause the results. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) should be reserved for tracking things that directly relate to specific actions or activities, not the final result. Revenue, profit and number of customers should not be used as KPIs. They are the result of many activities, so don’t identify particular actions to take.
Sometimes, it’s a matter of perspective. The General Manager for a hockey club is interested in results which are measured in wins.The coach needs to make it happen and does that by doing the little things right. Players may be asked to back check more or block more shots, pass more, shoot more. All of these individual actions can be tracked and measured, and if they improve, a better result is likely to follow. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s better to focus on the activities rather than the end result. Wins are the KRIs (Key Results Indicators) and the actions are tracked with suitable KPIs. If you are meeting your KPIs, the wins will take care of themselves. (More…)
Dashboards have become strategic tools for delivering decision making information. And ideally, those dashboards are automatically updated to reflect daily, weekly or monthly trends. Furthermore, much of the information should be KPI based. If properly constructed, the KPIs should immediately inform how things are trending and what action is needed.
To properly deliver on these promises, dashboards need to be visually effective. They don’t necessary have to look attractive, but need to be impactful and allow for interpretation without too much effort. In Stephen Few’s 2006 book, Information Dashboard Design, he stated that: “A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objective; consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance.”
Following on that premise we offer seven ways to make your dashboards as visually impactful and useful as possible. (More…)
Most businesses today recognize that a compelling online presence is critical to their success. Without an effective website, chances are you’re losing valuable business and customers to your competitors who do have effective and active online presences. A successful website should be an asset to your business that more than pays for itself either in the amount of business or customers it converts, or in the amount of money it saves by encouraging self-service. Is your website successful? To determine this, you need to first define what success is for your organization. Then you need an effective web analytics strategy to measure your website’s performance relative to your defined success factors or goals. If you don’t have a solid strategic plan, you can’t expect to achieve your website goals, and if you don’t measure your website’s performance, you won’t even know if you have achieved your goals!
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War (More…)
I would like to extend a thank you to everyone who attended our Tableau Data Visualization & Dashboard Seminar last week in Toronto! With record attendance, you helped to make it our best seminar ever! Held at downtown Toronto’s St. Andrews Club and Conference Centre, the seminar drew 106 people. I believe the increase in attendance (up 55%) reflects the surging interest in data visualization and in Tableau specifically as well as the apparent need for guidance, education and training when building dashboards. (More…)