What is a Customizable Dashboard
A customizable dashboard is a collection of charts, reports and other graphical representations of data typically arranged to provide instant visual feedback to users on company data, company performance and the state of the business in relationship to pre-determined qualifiers. Customizable dashboards have gained in popularity over the past few years and in recent time have begun to push beyond simple customization into the realm of real-time agile business intelligence. This new concept dictates that the customizable dashboard should be in the hands of the user, giving business users the power to work and control their dashboard in order to provide an optimal representation of company data, based on that users' instant needs.
Traditional Means of Building a Customizable Dashboard
Traditionally, the customizable dashboard has been a relative term. The reason is that a customizable dashboard in the past has meant working with IT, providing specifications and other documentation to outline the requirements of the "custom" dashboard. Upon receipt of this type of request the customizable dashboard would then be created in time and deployed by the IT department to the user. The reason for this limitation for this customizable dashboard has been in the business intelligence platforms that were used for the customizable dashboard and their need for script-based dashboard creation.
The Modern Customizable Dashboard
The modern customizable dashboard puts the customization powers into the hands of the business user. This self-service model is designed to take the building requirement out of the hands of IT professionals and puts it int he hands of the users who will need the data. This customizable dashboard relies heavily on ease of use and intuitiveness in order create a customizable dashboard that any business user will be able to adopt, customize and begin to operate with minimal IT involvement.
Sharing a Customizable Dashboard
One new aspect of the customizable dashboard is the concept of "sharing." A shared customizable dashboard is a dashboard that has been created by one user and has been distributed in some means to other users. These users in turn create their own customizable dashboard that they can also share with other users, creating an expanding cycle of users creating dashboards and customizing them based on their needs and the needs of the business. This type of customizable dashboard begins to accomplish the ultimate goal of placing the dashboard into the hands of the end user alone, enabling real-time business decision making.
Security and the Customizable Dashboard
When creating a customizable dashboard one issue that is of critical importance is security. Not only should the author of the customizable dashboard be given the ability to create secure access to their customizable dashboard, but the administrators of the BI system should also be able to create a cascading security model that restricts the use and publishing of a customizable dashboard based on profiles and group membership in the BI platform. This mixed-model of customizable dashboard creation and deployment can satisfy both the users as well as the needs of the administrator.