Are dashboards dead? Yes. #analytics

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I was reading a blog posting about are dashboards dead and I have to agree.  For 10+ years, I’ve been building dashboards for customers only to see those dashboards never used.  Sure, the week you launched them they are highly used because everyone got the email.  But after that, you see the Daily Active Users metrics drop like a bad date.

Was it the data maybe being off?  No

Was it the wrong information on the dashboard?  No

Was it poor design on the dashboard?  No

Was it the expensive self serve data tool we bought?  No

Sure, dashboards are great for the report developers that have to create them. They might even be good for a data scientist that has to troll the information. But for everyone else in the organization it was a big waste of time and money.

That is because dashboard do not work the way we work in the workplace.  We are active and communicative creatures of habit in our workplace and we are seldom sitting at a desk talking about a dashboard.  The big data vendors would make you believe that you need to also cram that dashboard onto your phone.  That’s just plain dumb…

You can disagree with me, but I believe numbers need to be instant, to the point and need to be wherever I am.  AND…  I’m not sitting behind my desk trolling the intranet looking for another dashboard that might have the information I want that probably has old data.  My data is real-time, instant and mobile on any device I may be carrying.  My data happens to be the 7 things I care about this month which is probably going to be 7 different things next month.

How do you feel about dashboards?

3 comments

      1. Since MS has just now commoditized web dashboards with PBI, we’re going to be seeing a LOT more of them.

        I think a good dose of data, analytics and yes dashboards getting into whole new domains is probably a net benefit as the world spins.

        In the old world you needed to be a “BI Pro” to build useless dashboards. Now ordinary joes can build useless dashboards. But even here being a little more data driven & less gut driven could theoretically give reason a little more weight in the decision making process.

        Perhaps every online flame war should be required to have data, analytics and pretty dashboards before the aggressive/hateful ad hominem attacks begin 🙂

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