If you have recently joined our Community and are new to the world of Business Analytics, you may have noticed the explosion in interest in Dashboard Applications (such as ours). Most people in the industry know that collecting valuable Data is paramount to measuring a company's performance and helping you make sound decisions to meet long-term goals. But is this sufficient enough going forward? Not exactly.
Dashboards enthusiast and author Stephen Few described Dashboards as:
A visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives, consolidated.
If you've had any experience with the traditional Reporting of Data, you would have noticed that they tend to be very detailed and complex, as well as a text overload, albeit with some graphs and charts. Above all the format is displayed as a document or printed for distribution among colleagues. It serves the purpose of turning collected data into useful information, however they drastically differ from Dashboards in functionality and usability.
Firstly, Dashboards are more interactive in the process of presenting Data. Varied information can be displayed through visual indicators and a simplistic interface. As well as this, they focus on the individual user, rather than a collection of people, which makes them even more accessible. Only the information that matters most is displayed and gathered from a given dataset. However, the one downside to them is they aren't as detailed as reports but provide faster answers to more important questions at any given time.
In summary, Reporting still remains an important tool to users looking to go deep into their Data, but given companies look to apply emerging technologies with business, it seems perhaps reporting may become something of the past, thanks to Dashboards.