Sample Dashboards for Business
Sample dashboards are often collections of reports and charts, displayed in a dashboard style, typically through a business intelligence platform, all designed to provide users with an idea of how to use reporting and dashboards to better understand their business. A sample dashboard can be a powerful tool in helping executives visualize how dashboards will help their business while also serving as a powerful example for IT in determining the installation and deployment strategy. Sample dashboards, however, can also lead to bad decisions and long-term problems and should be used with great care.
Finding Sample Dashboards
The first step in using sample dashboards is to find sample dashboards. The internet, of course, is one of the ideal locations for identifying sample dashboards that might be of use to the organization. Another popular source of sample dashboards, however, are vendor web sites. Business intelligence software vendors often can provide companies with sample dashboards, either from a marketing perspective on their web sites or from a tutorial standpoint with the Bi software.
Using Sample Dashboards
The uses of sample dashboards can be broad and varied. One of the popular tools of sample dashboards is as aids in the process of educating the rest of the organization to the benefits and advantages of dashboards. Sample dashboards can provide a great deal of information and their visual nature lends itself to nearly immediate recognition. A second use for sample dashboards is as training tools. Once a business intelligence platform has been deployed, the sample dashboards that are often included can be invaluable tools for training.
Advantages of Sample Dashboards
The biggest advantage of sample dashboards is that they can be used to sell the concept of dashboards as well as to aid in training for the IT staff and the users. In the training role especially, sample dashboards can be of great benefit since the users of the sample dashboards can rest assured that any mistakes being made are not affecting real company data but are in fact only being used against data that is of little to no value for the organization. In this use of sample dashboards the benefits of sample dashboards far outweigh any risks.
Drawbacks of Sample Dashboards
Another popular use of sample dashboards, however, can also be a risky proposition. Sample dashboards are often used as "templates," tools that are used to begin the process of planning the dashboards that will be used in the organization. This use of sample dashboards is inherently dangerous since it can lead to data tunnel vision. By using the sample dashboards the organization is not forced to think through the necessary performance metrics that will be measured by the dashboards and the tendency will be to s