“The process of creating a BI Dashboard for your company starts with choosing the right Dashboard technology,” writes Dave Lavinsky in Entrepreneur, 2013.
Certainly, the platform on which a BI Dashboard will be viewed influences its design. Technology innovations over recent years have completely changed the way in which Dashboard information can be viewed, with developments such as smart phones and tablets making it easier to access data anywhere in the world.
When designing a Dashboard, it is important to take into consideration the advantages and limitations of certain technologies.
This blog will look at three of the most common platforms on which a BI Dashboard can be viewed.
Before the rise of the internet and web servers, this was traditionally the most common way of viewing Dashboards. However, it often involves extensive software requirements that can be costly both to purchase and maintain. Yet this viewing platform is still extremely common today, particularly with businesses which prefer to keep their intelligence operations on-site through fear of security attacks. Designing a Dashboard for use on desktops or laptops can involve fewer constraints than other platforms.
As technology has advanced, data has more frequently been hosted on servers and Dashboards accessed through web browsers. This has brought about numerous benefits including increased accessibility, ease of maintenance and the reduced cost of deployment. However, in the past this platform has often imposed restrictions on rich dashboard development, limitations which have constrained the functionality and interface of Business Dashboards. These problems have gradually been overcome and web-based Dashboards are now a much more viable alternative to the traditional platform.
The emergence of Cloud BI as an increasingly viable alternative to on-site intelligence operations has meant that BI Dashboards are more frequently being accessed through web browsers via Cloud technology. This not only makes it easier to use, but is also a more effective solution.
“Through the use of mobile devices, the need for Dashboards has become critical in companies large and small’,” writes Kevin Lindquist in Venture Beat, 2013.
With the advances that have been made in smartphones and tablets, it is now important to consider whether or not to make your BI Dashboard available across these devices.
To do so can improve accessibility, and be a great selling point for your Dashboard, but it can also be both costly and time-consuming to make your Dashboard available across a large number of supported devices. You must also take into account the screen size and resolution of individual devices in order to optimise your Dashboard’s display.
Despite these challenges, there seems to be a great amount of support for mobile Dashboards. A recent survey by Jaspersoft found that 85% of respondents recognised the advantages that could be gained from accessing BI tools on their mobile.
Furthermore a recent Gartner report found that 50% of mobile BI users will rely exclusively on mobile devices for insight delivery by 2015. With such a rapid rise in mobile BI users, it is more important than ever that a BI Dashboard can be accessed through these devices.
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