Video on the What, Who, How and Why of Enterprise Dashboards

An Enterprise Dashboard Video! This just out –  a Cnet news enterprise dashboards video segment by Shadan Malik, in which he white boards and discusses the basics of the what, who, how and whys of enterprise dashboards.

Well worth the 3 1/2 minutes to watch, this video provides a quick grounding of business intelligence dashboard basics. It’s a great shortcut to getting someone up to speed on the topic of enterprise dashboards or to someone on the IT side who needs to quickly articulate the business value and benefits of enterprise dashboards. The video explains the rationale and advantages of dashboards as well as a look at some implementation issues. I would rate this video as a “much-watch”.

This blog has long mentioned the Shadan Malik book, Enterprise Dashboards, Design and Best Practices for IT, as the only book available that focuses on the implementation of enterprise dashboards. The author has an excellent explanatory style that comes across both in the book and this quick video.

I’m excited by the growing exposure that enterprise dashboards is getting. I strongly believe in the visual orientation, user-centeredness, and business value of dashboards and look forward to their mass adoption as the face of business intelligence. Let’s all do our share in promoting the use of enterprise dashboards.

Shadan Malik Video on Enterprise Dashboards on CNET

Note: If your organization realizes the value of presenting metrics through dashboards but lack the in-house dashboard development knowledge, why not look in to the concept of OEM Dashboards?

Dashboard OEM is a concept where you simply use an off-the-shelf dashboard product such as that from Klipfolio to power your own dashboard project. Think of it as simply “embedded dashboards“.

Homework: Want to see a random sample enterprise dashboard screenshot from the largest collection of dashboards? You sure do!

Also: Who is Shadan Malik?

This from a profile found on the web:

Shadan Malik is the writer of the book Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT and an architect at iViz Group. WIth 12 years of experience implementing, architecting and deploying business intelligence solutions and a breadth of experience in advance analytics, data warehousing and data visualization, he has worked with dozens of companies to architect and envision dashboard solutions such as scorecards, finance, operations, customer service, quality control and supply chain. He has two pending patents in the area of data visualization for dashboards, and he frequently speaks at various forums on the topic of best practices for enterprise dashboards.

Here is a sample of Mr. Malik’s thinking regarding the use of the “cockpit dashboard” metaphor:

David Nortonand Robert Kaplan draw the analogy between an aircraft dashboard and anorganizational need for similar information tools in their landmark book on the subject of Balanced Scorecards: Skilled pilots are able to process information from a large number of indica-tors to navigate their aircraft. Yet navigating today’s organizations throughcomplex competitive environments is at least as complicated as flying a jet.Why should we believe that executives need anything less than a full batteryof instrumentation for guiding their companies. Managers, like pilots, needinstrumentation about many aspects of their environment and performance tomonitor the journey toward excellent future outcomes.2If we agree that effective management of organizations requires informa-tion tools similar to those required by a pilot for flying an aircraft, we havea useful starting point to describe the basic characteristics of an organiza-tional dashboard. Contrary to the evident simplicity of an information dashboard, deployingan effective dashboard for a large organization is usually no less a complextask than doing the same for a jet. By no means do I mean to undermine thechallenge of developing cockpit dashboards handled by aeronautical engineers, but it would be fair to assume that all aircraft dashboards display the same set of key performance indicators (KPIs), such as the aircraft speed,altitude, direction, wind speed, humidity, fuel status, engine temperature, lat-itude, longitude, and so forth. The various aircraft manufacturers may havedifferent ergonomic designs for their dashboards, but essentially they allhave to deliver to the pilots the same set of KPIs critical for a successfulflight. The same applies to automotive dashboards. This leads to the ease ofreplication whereby an aircraft or automobile manufacturer may replicatethousands of dashboards in an assembly line to equip their aircrafts or cars,as the case may be.However, in contrast to an aircraft or automobile, each organization hasa set of KPIs that differs significantly from those of another organization.Even if two organizations are within the same industry or are close com-petitors, they rarely share an identical set of KPIs. Each organization’s busi-ness and organizational management has evolved differently, and eachdivision within a given organization has separate sets of KPIs relevant toitself. Finance, Supply Chain, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing—they all have their own set of KPIs that result in different types of dash-boards. Although many KPIs are commonplace and standard by definition,such as gross revenue, net profit, gross margin, asset turnover ratio, and soon, each organization has unique nuances of self-management. This diver-sity in evolution and need necessitates conducting a thorough and individu-alized requirements analysis in order to build customized and effectivedashboards for each organization. This provides a sharp contrast to the man-ufacture of thousands of cars and aircrafts with identical dashboards in an assembly-line process.

So who is the Dashboard Spy? No one really knows, but his growing collection of enterprise dashboard screenshots has captured the imagination of the executive dashboarding community. From excel dashboards and custom-built business scorecards, to xcelsius and flex-based visualizations, the dashboard screenshots at serve both as nuggets of inspiration and warnings of what not to do on an enterprise dashboard. These hits and misses will enlighten and entertain. Technology-neutral, and always business-driven, the Dashboard Spy website is the place to go to learn about the latest enterprise dashboard implementations.

2 thoughts on “Video on the What, Who, How and Why of Enterprise Dashboards

  1. This is a very well done intro to dashboards! (informative, and easy to watch) – as the dashboard spy says “well worth the 3.5 minutes”.

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