Newcomers to the Business Intelligence Dashboard space sometimes get caught up in the nomenclature of the topic. In fact, even regular practioners have trouble with the terms. What exactly makes something an enterprise dashboard, an executive dashboard, a business scorecard, a performance measurement summary, a BI application, or an enterprise reporting system? As you’ve seen in the past year, new versions of reporting products and spreadsheets now offer classical dashboarding functionality.
To confound the matter even further, it is quite easy to mix up the terms used for the technology with the business functionality. Note terms like portals, portlets and widgets. Even the namespace itself is a conflicted one. Enter the word dashboard into a search engine like Google and you’ll find a regular rotation of several different “dashboard” themes at the top of the results listings. Sometimes it’s business dashboards up top with sites like The Dashboard Spy and Dashboards by Example. Other times it’s a rock band named “Dashboard Confessional”. And, yet, at other times it’s “dashboard widgets” as in the desktop mini-application made popular by Apple Computer and more recently Microsoft Vista.
I bring this up because of some work being done by the big brains over at Business Objects labs. Thanks to a Dashboard Spy nosing around over there, we have some interesting dashboard screenshots and even a nice video to check out.
To add to the naming confusion, Business Objects has Business Intelligence Desktop Widgets. Borrowing from the widget school of presenting information in an ambient style – i.e. as part of the user desktop environment, the Business Objects BI Desktop brings information visualization right to you on your desktop. The BI in effect comes up one level closer to the end user – skipping the web browser or rich client.
Let’s have a look at these BI dashboard widgets by Business Objects. If you want a larger view, just click on each dashboard screenshot:
As you see, this opens up a new world of BI information visualization possibilities. In addition to the visuals, you can have alert boxes right on your desktop. Note the alert on the lower right side of the screen.
I mentioned earlier that there is a video available. Let’s have a look:
Actually, I have another dashboard image, so let’s study that first. Note the sales pipeline desktop widget in this screenshot:
Interesting, no? Remember to click on the images above to enlarge the view.
Here is the video I promised:
Finally, here a direct link to the Business Objects Lab page on the BI Desktop where you can even download something to play with. Please remember that this technology is of prototype-only quality and should not be used in production environments.
Related Post: Did you know that Oracle is working on something similar? Take a look at this post to see screenshots of their desktop dashboard widgets: Oracle Fusion Dashboard Widget.
Tags: BI Dashboard Widgets, Business Intelligence Desktop, BI Desktop