Dashboard Spy Topic: Business Intelligence Dashboards as Tools for Advisors and Other Intermediaries.
When we think of the target audience for our business dashboards, we typically think of end users within the enterprise. For example, an overall executive dashboard would be viewed by top-level executives, a financial dashboard’s audience would be the CFO and others within finance, and a human resources dashboard would be used by HR staffers during the course of their day.
The ultimate end user comes to mind even more strongly when we consider more personal dashboards such as news dashboards, stock portfolio dashboards, customizable portals, etc.
Keep in mind, however, that there are many types of business intelligence dashboards that are built as interpretive tools for brokers, advisors and similar intermediaries. These dashboard users are not the ultimate end users themselves, but serve as filters of noise, interpreters of data and overall trusted advisors to their clients. Typically, we see dashboards situated as interpretive tools for this level of intermediary in markets that are data-rich, fast-moving and too complicated for fast analysis. These dashboards serve as tools to help advisors dispense advice to their clients. The ultimate goal of such dashboards is to help the advisor come off as smart and knowlegable so as to gain the trust of their clients.
You may ask “Why not just let the end users use the dashboard for themselves?” Usually, the data picture is just too complicated for direct end user comsumption. You need that layer of expert interpretation from the advisors.
In today’s dashboard example, we look at an Economic Recovery Dashboard for financial advisors. This dashboard is set up as a tool for the advisory level role. It provides data for advisors to interpret for their clients, but also attempts to provide a level of institutional knowledge and interpretation of the data. Also, it is laden with many “how to interpret this dashboard” type of help to try to make an instant expert of the advisor.
Open the link provided in the last paragraph to experience the many levels of the dashboard and its approach to educating the advisor. You’ll see that not are the frequently asked questions listed right under the dashboard charts, but that there are many links to explanations of the various KPIs and metrics.
Here’s a screenshot of the economic recovery dashboard:
See the “How do I read this chart?” button? When you click on it, you get this help popup:
Check out the dashboard and you’ll see that for its purposes and intended audience, there is a lot of educational material that it has to deliver. Its an interesting case study for us business dashboard designers.
Also, financial advisors like to view dashboard content away from the screen. Perhaps while travelling to clients. To meet this need, the dashboard designers made sure to provide a pdf version of the economic recovery dashboard. It also serves as a great information-based giveaway to the clients or prospects.
The Dashboard Spy
PS. Feel free to find me on LinkedIn and connect to me. Click on my name above and add me to your network as a friend. Mention that you’re a Dashboard Spy reader.
Tags: Dashboard Design, Economic Recovery Dashboard, Advisor Dashboard