I’m sure I’ll get a few rocks thrown my way on this posting, but I wanted to express some thoughts about the current crop of business intelligence tools whether they are desktop or mobile based. When we are focused on scorecard and dashboard solutions, we are creating KPIs and dashboards for individuals or groups of decision makers. We focused on KPIs for individuals because nearly 90% of my end-users were always in monitor mode. I think the best way to think of it is when you turn on CNBC or Bloomberg, within 15 seconds, you know everything you need to know. That is truly an effective business intelligence solution.
When I look at all the cute interactive charting solutions or several of the new mobile business intelligence solutions, where they are saying BI for everyone, I really think they are creating an Angry Birds for business intelligence interface. (see sample below) Don’t misunderstand me, Angry Birds is a great game for relaxing and having some fun, but when it comes to understanding your business, there’s little fun in trying to play with data to get to the important insights.
Have we truly forgotten the classic business intelligence pyramid where 95% of your users are the “monitor” type and the 5% remaining are “Analyst”? Did we forget that the Analysts are power users and do that analysis work during the day at their laptops with powerful software clients for that extreme drill down and drill across functionality? Really? Did we forget that? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good graphical interface that is clean and appropriate for my business use. But we can also clutter up the screen and make it blurry for the end-user to a point where they will not use it too. When I look at all the interactive mobile business intelligence applications, from a sales person position, they have a lot of eye candy. But I dare you to use it more than 2 weeks to run your business and then see how they perform.
Again, I go back to CNBC and Bloomberg. Within 15 seconds, what you need to know, you know! NO business decision maker is going to spend the time pinching and zooming and swiping and holding and blah blah blah. I think we got SO excited about the technology and forgot how a REAL business user is going to use these solutions. Again, a true Analyst will not be doing this on a media tablet. They’ll be on their laptops.
I think we need to go back to real Performance Management solutions that give you the “Power to Know” in under 15 seconds. If it doesn’t, I think it is time to rethink or replace what you have.
I look forward to comments