In the Driver’s Seat: Dashboards the way you need them
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  cognos ibmsoftware dashboards business_analytics ibmbao
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In this first in a series of posts about dashboards, Jane Farqhuar, IBM Business Intelligence and Performance Management Product Marketing Manager, blogs about the benefits of personalization.
The concept of a dashboard is a familiar one to anyone with a driver’s license. The dashboards on our cars tell us how fast we’re going, whether we need gas, our RPMs, what our oil levels are and if the temperature of our engines is sufficient. The location of this information in the dashboards differ by car make and model, but the information there is basically the same no matter what kind of car you drive.
As comfortable as you are with your car’s dashboard, don’t you sometimes wish that you could control what information you see and where you see it? Maybe you’d like to see information about your last trip or how far you’ve gone on this trip without pressing a button. Maybe you think it would be great if your GPS were right there next to your gas gauge.
The fact is, however, that we don’t get much of a say in what our car dashboards tell us and how the information is positioned. In some cases, we have to purchase a more expensive version of the car we want to get information in our dashboard that we think should be basic to all cars.
The same can be said of business intelligence dashboards. Over the years, there have been articles and papers telling us what dashboards should look like, what colors work best and how they should present information. However, the information they should be presenting has been missing from the discussion. There has been more concern about appearance and how easy a dashboard is to use than what the dashboard is telling us and whether it’s telling us what we really need to know.
So, the result is that most dashboard users are looking at the same information. There might be some variation based on levels of authentication or roles, but the basics are the same. This might be okay in a car, but it’s not as effective in business. Everyone in a business needs to be able to see the information that is relevant to their daily tasks and their long-term goals and presented in a way that makes the most sense to them.
This is why the dashboarding capabilities in Cognos 10 are personalized. We’re doing more than putting you in the driver’s seat—we’re putting you at the engineer’s table so that when you’re in the driver’s seat, everything you need to drive your business is right where you can find it. There are no buttons to push and no graphs or metrics that you don’t need to see unless you want them there.
For example, if you need to focus on performance, you can put together different elements and views of performance and create a dashboard that could look like this:
With Cognos 10 dashboarding capabilities, you can create the dashboard you need depending on your role in the company, your region, the displays you can understand best or even the day of the week. You can see information from the past and in the present and you can even predict what might happen in the future. You can assemble everything in one unified workspace.
Think of it as your dream dashboard in your dream car—only in this case, your car is your business. You can see the temperature of your business, check the direction your business is headed and review what you’ve done over the past few months all without having to do a thing except look. There’s no scrambling for maps in the glove compartment or trying to figure out how much gas you’ve used by doing math in your head. And that makes it easier for you to make decisions and address issues when needed.
For more information about Cognos 10 dashboarding capabilities, you can download our dashboarding white paper or view the demo. You can also follow me on Twitter (JFarquharIBM).