Goodbye Death by Dashboarding

Goodbye Death by Dashboarding: Five Critical Outcomes AI and BI can Deliver to the Enterprise

It’s no secret that AI-powered analytics and business intelligence are hot topics right now. A recent Gartner study estimated organizations will shell out a staggering $3.6 trillion for IT services and products this year. But are they spending on the right things?


Today’s executives are more focused than ever on driving performance and results. Yet despite heavy investment in analytics and BI solutions over the last 20 years, we see a widening performance gap atop an ever-growing mountain of data, churning out more questions than answers. In many cases, the abundance of analytics can lead to “death by dashboarding”—just as overwhelming and counterproductive as the data flood it promised to help make sense of.

Unless laser-focused on purpose and outcome, analytics are a waste of time and money. Loosely connecting analytics and business intelligence strategies and platforms to business objectives just won’t cut it any longer.

Focusing on the outcomes of AI can help an organization exploit all that chaotic data in ways that are informative and actionable. Relying on the insights of Ray Wang of Constellation Research, we’ve extracted five critical outcomes AI can deliver to the enterprise:

  1. PerceptionHow am I doing? Am I meeting my goals?How do today’s results compare with those of last quarter or last year? A useful dashboard shares KPIs at a glance, offering a precise snapshot of current performance in a number of key areas.
  2. NotificationWhat do I need to know now? How far to my goal and what’s the most critical information I need?The concept of “what you need to know” notification reduces data overload and focuses the user on what’s most relevant and important.
  3. RecommendationWhat is my best option? Should I go for it?This content should be regularly pushed on a time-relevant basis, relieving the user of having to search for and analyze new prospects and putting the emphasis on productive action.
  4. PredictionWhat can I expect to happen? What’s the best time to act? Who needs to get in gear?A system that can synthesize a variety of input factors, both internal and external, can alert a manager to a possible performance bottleneck, enabling intervention to resolve the challenge ahead of time, forestalling a potential problem or crisis.
  5. PreventionWhat should I avoid? Watch out for this! To succeed, here’s what not to do.Users can be given a snapshot of the top and bottom lines and a warning bell of where those lines will end up if they continue along the current course. Areas in need of critical action are flagged and problems jump into focus, with the suggestion of an action plan.

When analytics effectively answer those two key performance questions of “What do I need to know?” and “What do I need to do?”, users can act with deliberation and confidence through any given process.

With up-to-date, need-to-know information—and recommendations—at their fingertips, employees at all levels can work smarter and better, contributing to more productive work and opening the doors to exponential growth at virtually any organization.

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