We have built a lot of dashboards and reporting portals over the years and one thing is for certain. You spend a lot of time training people on how to use the business intelligence portal, where to find dashboards and reports, and how to interact with the reports. I mean, we really spend a lot of time educating people on how to use the reporting solutions. It is not because the solutions are hard to use or have to much on them, it is the delivery method.
Just think of how your end-users get to the dashboards/reports
Bring up the browser, browse to the reporting portal, click on a tab, click on another tab, click on a folder, search through 15 to 25 reports, find the report, click on the report, filter the report. Now repeat the steps x number of times for other metrics they care aboutâ€¦
What if we provided the organization or structure of the reporting solution within a menu item or ribbon bar within the program everyone uses every day? Microsoft Outlook. Then the end-user, the business user, has one click access to their dashboard and reports. Nearly no training!
You still have the responsibility to create actionable and meaningful dashboards, but by providing those dashboards right in Outlook saves time and money and also has the biggest benefit that your end-users have 1-click access to their data.
Check out Extended Outlook, simple add-in to Outlook 2003/2007 and 2010 that can provide that 1-click access to your business intelligence portal right within the program everyone uses every day.