Say Goodbye to Excel Spreadsheets

analyticsIBM First came computers, then cell phones followed, then faster computers, then smartphones (I actually don't know if this is a factual timeline) then online shopping became mainstream, then even your dad bought a tablet, then "big data" was everywhere. So what is the state of the technological universe now?

As we all know, data is raw value. The big data wave has been riding on the crest of the digital transformation for a while now as companies are realizing that their data (and propensity for collecting it) is a treasure trove of untapped value, capable of revealing insights into their customers, behaviors, and strategy effectiveness.

So what's the best way to squeeze power out of your data like lemon juice? The keys here are efficiency, facility, and power…and the answer, my friends, are dashboards!


1. Visualizations are the way to go.

Visualizations are bright, splashy, exciting and sexy. But that's not just why we love them. Science has proven that visualizing information helps with cognitive processing, especially when your data and metrics are displayed in a form that makes sense. A mastery of design, a strong knowledge of aesthetic principles (and how they correlate to cognitive processing), and technical expertise can turn a simple chart into an intuitive, manipulable visualization interface. To see some prime examples, check out our Visualization Lair:

2. Managing the three Vs of data

Basically everything about data is big. As the 3 V's go - volume, variety and velocity - there's a lot of it, there are a lot of different kinds, and it gets generated fast. Imagine 100 pages worth of spreadsheets. A dashboard can consolidate and arrange these in a sleek form, on a single screen, side by side to make something super complicated really simple.

3. Going mobile

Everyone uses a tablet these days. They're portable, they're tactile, and they're home to all of your apps. So why have a dashboard on a tablet? You can touch it, pull around your data, and manipulate your visualizations to reveal new insight.

Imagine commanding a meeting from your iPad and showcasing your company's data with the tap of a finger…now that's cool.

4. Single View

A dashboard, by definition, offers a single view of your company's activities. The single view may show different categories of your company: general health, social, KRIs, etc. For example, Captain Dash offers a primary single view with the option to "open" different tiles that will then reveal further information into each "category."

Looking at all information on a single screen helps you mentally grasp pieces of information and understand how they fit together to form a "big picture." The option to delve further into different categories helps us mentally compartmentalize the different departmental activities and accept new knowledge.

5. Customizable

No two companies are the same and their dashboards shouldn't be either. Depending on the industry, the company's goals, the financial situation, and the customer base, a company may have a variety of KRIs that are vital to their well-being. As we already stated, a dashboard is really only a "single-view" screen (with the potential to scroll or expand on certain categories, of course) and so the real-estate on that screen is highly valuable. The information displayed on the screen must be extremely relevant - if a KPI or KRI won't influence the viewer to make a decision or instigate some change, then it probably doesn't belong on the dashboard.


A CMO receives about 50+ reports PER WEEK! The next time you sit down at your desk with yet another report in hand, remember that there is a way out…a sleek, sexy, single-screen dashboard.


Data-Fully Yours,

The Captain