A Complete Guide to Business Intelligence Dashboards

Complete Guide to Business Intelligence Dashboards

In this guide you will learn more about BI dashboards, how do they work, what are they used for, and how to plan and build your next dashboard for your business. 

What is a business intelligence dashboard?

Business intelligence dashboards provide information management and data visualisation capabilities that are used to analyse and understand your data.

Interactive elements like filters, animations and actions are applied to combine charts, graphs, and reports into a single screen for a snapshot overview of your data.

 

Dashboards are one of the most popular features of BI platforms because they present easily understandable data analysis, allow you to customise which information you want to view, and provide a way to share the results of an analysis with others.

Example of a dashboard that is used to track the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

How does a dashboard work?

Business intelligence platforms allow businesses to seamlessly stream various data types from multiple sources into centralised data lakes and warehouses. During this process, BI systems can facilitate automated data cleansing, normalisation and transformation, making it instantly ready for exploration, modelling, and visualisation by data consultants and analysts.

The end results are interactive and collaborative dashboards accessible to users of all skill levels within an organisation, providing them with their every day data analysis and reporting needs at the click of a button.  

Modern BI platforms can also provide machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities allowing organisations in identifying trends, and predicting future outcomes.  

Typical setup of a BI platform

Try our dashboard price estimator tool to get a rough estimate of how much it would cost to build your business intelligence dashboard.

How does it differ from traditional reporting?

Dashboards can give stakeholders the overview of status and performance data, while reports provide detailed information that needs to be analysed. Dashboards are interactive and can be updated in real-time, whereas reports are static and complex documents that need to be read and processed by the end user.

 

Preparing traditional reports is a manual process that is susceptible to human errors. It requires dealing with dispersed data sources that will require substantial formatting and transformations efforts, thus making the process time consuming and ineffective in promptly reacting to business changes or in making quick business decisions.

Dashboard vs reports explained by Dubdas BI Platform

Source: dundas.com

Try our dashboard price estimator tool to get a rough estimate of how much it would cost to build your business intelligence dashboard.

Why should you invest in a dashboard?

Dashboards are vital for making business decisions. They need to be purpose-built and able to analyse data from key databases, allowing users within your organisation to make better decisions with less time. Instead of manually building spreadsheets, businesses can use a BI platform to accelerate their business and make it more agile and innovative.

 

With business intelligence dashboards, complex data is simplified to make it easy for non-technical users to work with.  A powerful automated business intelligence dashboard can enable stakeholders to instantly review important data, draw conclusions and act on them.

4 main reasons why investing in business intelligence 

Source: Sage Data

Try our dashboard price estimator tool to get a rough estimate of how much it would cost to build your business intelligence dashboard.

Who needs a dashboard?

data_dashboards_in_business.png

Dashboards can either be built for specific use cases in order to analyse and monitor a certain business activity within a business function, or they can be generally built to monitor and analyse a department and its subdivisions as a whole. For example, the affiliate marketing manager can build a specific dashboard to monitor and control the company’s affiliate marketing program, and on the other hand, the marketing manager can build a general dashboard to monitor their marketing department, its activities and initiatives.

 

Generally dashboards vary in design and structure based on the industry they are deployed in, this is also applicable when building high-level dashboards for different departments. They are typically designed and built based on the key performance indicators that are relevant to the business vertical and function, therefore it is crucial to know and understand the KPIs of your business or department prior to designing and building high-level dashboards. High-level dashboards are common implementations for department heads and high level business executives.

Try our dashboard price estimator tool to get a rough estimate of how much it would cost to build your business intelligence dashboard.

Tips for an effective dashboard implementation

Deep Data Integration

To create a dashboard, you’ll need to input data from various sources and transform it into standardised formats. Remember that data doesn’t always come in the same format, so you may have to replicate and ingest it before transforming it into a clean version stored on a data lake or data warehouse.

Set Your Goals and KPIs

Be clear about what you are trying to achieve. This will guide the steps in your dashboard design and data model building. It is very important that you define your dashboard KPIs, yet make sure not to over complicate things.

Keep it Clean and Simple

Clean and simple graphs and charts are the way to go when presenting data. Spend time on identifying what data is important and choose which type of graph best displays your story.

Entice Data Exploration and Sharing

An effective BI implementation allows non technical users to collect insights and uncover all connections within the data through data exploration and collaboration.

Use Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Modern BI dashboards use augmented analytics, which combines human intuition with machine learning, to deliver insights and analysis through a process of conversational interactions.

Try our dashboard price estimator tool to get a rough estimate of how much it would cost to build your business intelligence dashboard.

Dashboard Examples

Social Media Dashboard

social_media_dashboard.png

Retail Dashboard

Retail_dashboard.png

Sales & Returns Dashboard

Sales_and_returns_dashboard.png

Sales & Marketing Dashboard

Sales_and_marketing_dashboard.png

Supplier Analysis Dashboard

Supplier_analysis_dashboard.png

HR Dashboard

HR_dashboard.png

Google Ads Performance Dashboard

Google_ads_performance.png

Customer Satisfaction Analysis Dashboard

Customer_satisfaction_analysis_dashboard.png

Try our dashboard price estimator tool to get a rough estimate of how much it would cost to build your business intelligence dashboard.

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