Defining the Drill Down Dashboard
The drill down dashboard is simply a description of a collection of charts and reports, typically arranged in a dashboard style, that provide some form of reporting capability along with intelligent means of "drilling down" on key data elements in order to get a more narrow view of a particular data set. Business intelligence platforms are necessary to implement a drill down dashboard like product from Cognos, Business Objects and EMANIO. The drill down dashboard provides users with access to important company data and gives them a way of understanding how that data impacts company operations.
Planning a Drill Down Dashboard
The process of creating a drill down dashboard begins with the planning process. Planning the drill down dashboard begins with understanding the key metrics and charts that the drill down dashboard will need. This type of information is often varied by department which means the business intelligence software should provide an easy and flexible means of creating a drill down dashboard for each part of the organization that requires one. The planning of the drill down dashboard should also account for the users who will have access as well as the resources necessary to create the drill down dashboard.
Creating the Drill Down Dashboard
Creating the drill down dashboard will depend on the business intelligence platform being used. Traditional systems like Cognos or QlikTech require the drill down dashboard creator to use a dedicated application to create charts as well as the drill down dashboard. Creating the drill down methodology can also often become complicated with some of these platforms involving script writing and complex languages. New tools are now available, however, that make creating a drill down dashboard significantly easier and make it essentially a point-and-click process.
Working with the Drill Down Dashboard
Once a drill down dashboard has been created the next step will be to provide the interactivity for users that will use the drill down dashboard. It's important when creating drill down dashboards to understand the relationship a user will want to see between data elements. For this reason, new platforms like Context! allow the actual user to be both the creator and the user of the drill down dashboard.
Updating the Drill Down Dashboard
Updating the information behind a drill down dashboard is one of the most critical elements of working with a drill down dashboard. The update process should be seamless and work in the background, hiding the complexity of data structures and data sources from the drill down dashboard user. The process of creating these "pipes" of data can be complicated and time consuming in many BI platforms. Newer ones, however, provide easy to use drag-and-drop data design environments that cut the development time of drill down dashboard creation down considerably and provide for a clean, seamless updating methodology.