Dashboards 2.0 closes gap between ideal and reality

BI players have been talking up dashboard-driven simplicity for years now, but--as many would-be dashboarders have discovered--there's often a gulf between a vendor's ideal and a customer's reality.

Come this time next year, however, dashboard kludginess could well be a thing of the past. That's because a new generation of dashboards is in the offing. And while rolling out these next-gen dashboards won't be as easy, the dashboards of tomorrow will be easier to configure and deploy. Call them Dashboards 2.0.

Dashboards are becoming richer, more functional and more valuable, at least with respect to their ability to deliver timely, accurate data, says Sanju Bansal, COO of MicroStrategy. Of course, you'd expect a vendor like MicroStrategy to say as much--but to a large degree, Bansal argues, MicroStrategy and other BI majors aren't ahead of the market on this one.

"We saw dashboards a few years ago as the provisioning of data to corporate executives, and they were all happy to see the same data," he comments. "But in 2005, we found that customers were asking for something subtly but profoundly different--that is, they wanted 10,000 personalized, individualized dashboards with their own metrics and their own data feeding them. That's a BI infrastructure problem rather than a dashboard problem."

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a contributing editor for Enterprise Systems. He can be reached at [email protected].