Having access to Big Data can give your business a crucial edge in today’s competitive marketplace, but sometimes Big Data becomes so big it becomes unmanageable with your current IT systems. Sometimes data management difficulties come from your hardware; not enough memory, or too slow a processor. More common, however, are limitations with your data analysis software.
User Experience and Ease Of Use are key factors when people make a decision to purchase software (data analysis or any other kind of software), and software developers and marketers are well aware of this.
That is why developers have created a wide variety of user interfaces specialized enough for specific jobs, but that are still customizable to fit individual user preferences. These user interfaces are commonly called dashboards, and are typically designed so that nearly all key functions of the software application can be managed from this single location (this design philosophy is called “single pane of glass”).
Dashboards are particularly important for analytic software suites, as a well-designed dashboard allows a less technically savvy person to perform complex, multi-level analysis as well as compare unlike data sets. Given that Big Data today includes a broad range of data sources and types of data, user-friendly dashboards are going to be in increasing demand for analytics.
Dashboards Are a “One Stop Shop” Expediting Use of the Software
Dashboards allow users to quickly and easily take care of all aspects of projects in-app. Using a dashboard typically cuts out multiple steps in completing a specific task, saving both time and system resources.
When you become familiar with a dashboard, you can often accomplish recurring tasks in just a fraction of the time it used to take. Most dashboards permit some customization, so you can set up graphics to display data in real time or monitor specific operational processes or workflows.
Dashboards Tools Allow Users to ‘Mine” Insights from Big Data
The statistical and graphical tools built into most dashboards make it possible for users to compare or visualize their data from a variety of perspectives, which can lead to totally unexpected and potentially valuable insights. Most dashboards today include a variety of sophisticated visualization tools, and visual data discovery based on seeing data from a different angle can lead to a variety of actionable insights for firms.
Customize Dashboards to Drive Desired Outcomes
Dashboards are not just about discovering insights from Big Data. Thoughtfully structured analysis of Big Data drives useful “business intelligence”, so you should keep the desired outcomes in mind when designing dashboard functionalities and the metrics you plan to use. For example, a metric showing how many sales of x, y and z are needed for a group to hit a monthly quota is going to be more useful to a sales team than total monthly sales numbers.
Remember that data is essentially meaningless without context. Your goal in setting up a dashboard should be for the data to tell a “story”, a story that gives valuable, actionable information to users. A well-designed dashboard is about more than just keeping employees updated about sales, etc., it should also drive specific actions/outcomes.
Working with analytics software that allows you to create your own custom dashboard can pay big dividends. If you take the time to fully customize your dashboard(s) around your business operations and goals, you not only have a tool to help you derive valuable insights from your data, you also have a powerful tool to help users reach desired outcomes.