InetSoft Webcast: Are there templates for dashboards for a given industry?

This is a continuation of a transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft in September 2017 entitled "Designing a Good Dashboard." The speaker is Mark Flaherty, CMO at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty (MF): It certainly is a big challenge for a company who doesn’t know what they want in their dashboard to start with a blank piece of paper. So it can be helpful to look at examples of ones that companies in your industry have created. So we try to share examples like that. It makes it easier to adopt. Another point about dashboard templates is that sometimes you want to have fairly rigid templates that people use, where they don’t have the data mashup capability, for instance.

Let’s say you have a few thousand sales people. You want to have the same dashboard for each of them. You have to standardize on certain KPI, so everybody is going to see the same thing, and they can talk the same language. That’s not to say the dashboard is frozen over time. It can be refined, but the changes would be the same for everyone. Another example is in a hospital, where you have many physicians. You don’t want a customized dashboard for each physician. You don’t want them to be playing with their dashboard. It’s the roles like business analysts, CFOs, marketing VPs, or financial analysis who absolutely do not want to live with just a single template, and they need data mashup capabilities.

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The reason for this rigidity for when we are talking about thousands or ten of thousands of end users is that management wants to align the workforce with the corporate goals. The story we often hear is we’ve been in to umpteen strategy meetings where we talk about our goals and what we are going to be working on. And then 15 minutes after everybody leaves, you forget about what the goals and strategies are. How do we make those more visible? Being able to lock those down KPI dashboards down and standardize them is crucial.

Now it is conceivable to offer both kinds of dashboards, both static and customizable. One set should be standardized so people keep communicating and collaborating on corporate goals. But it’s just human behavior to want to see what I want to see, so just give me that option as well. It’s not one or the other, it can be both. Such as in sales, you have the official sales dashboard. We are going to use it to talk about performance in the sales meeting. But as an individual, may be I just care about two other KPIs in order to get my job done so I can deliver on those standardized KPIs.

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