What Makes up an Intelligent Dashboard?
An intelligent dashboard is simply a business intelligence dashboard deployment that provides a certain degree of automated notification and interaction to provide users with automatic feedback on key areas of the dashboard that need further investigation. Through an intelligent dashboard an executive can rely on the dashboard itself to provide feedback on the data being presented through systems like conditional alters, giving the user instant information to make more informed business decisions. The power of the intelligent dashboard gives companies the ability to make decisions quickly.
Aspects of an Intelligent Dashboard
An intelligent dashboard can be made up of a number of different elements. Some of the basic parts of an intelligent dashboard include interactive charts in the form of drill down and drill-through charts. These types of charts are ideal in an intelligent dashboard as a way of giving managers and executives a means of gaining a deeper understanding of the underlying data. In an intelligent dashboard a click-through chart of sales by territory might pass the variables of sales quarter and territory to a margin chart. In this example, the intelligent dashboard has given the manager a single click means of looking at not only sales by region, but also profitability by region.
Advances in the Intelligent Dashboard
New intelligent dashboard advances focus more heavily on the ability of users to interact with the intelligent dashboard passively. An example of this is contextual highlighting. This form of intelligent dashboard enhancement allows for chart elements to be color coded with specific values based on reaching key conditional triggers. For example, in a contextual intelligent dashboard a bar chart might have some of its bars color-coded in green when sales reps are over 80% of quota and in red when they are under 50%. This type of intelligent dashboard gives instant information to the business user on the state of sales.
Creating an Intelligent Dashboard
The process of creating an intelligent dashboard can be relatively easy or very complex, depending on the platform in use. With traditional systems like Cognos and business objects, creating an intelligent dashboard can be a rather lengthy and convoluted process. The reason for this is that these systems were designed with the assumption that IT people would be using the system, creating the intelligent dashboard. More modern platforms allow for intelligent dashboards to be created in more seamless ways, giving business users the ability to create their own intelligent dashboard without IT involvement.
Drawbacks of the Intelligent Dashboard
While the intelligent dashboard provides a great deal of benefits for users, there are drawbacks. Among them the biggest one can be over reliance on the intelligent dashboard. When business users rely on metrics too heavily it's easy for them to make decisions in a vacuum. A company might have good metrics in its intelligent dashboard, but the market conditions they live in might be changing at a rapid pace in ways not reflected in their intelligent dashboard.