Assembling an efficient, streamlined technology stack can be a challenge. With so many variables in both the number of solutions available and the vast needs of your organization, selecting the best option can quickly become overwhelming. Ideally, a single, end-to-end solution that encompasses all your needs and requirements would rise to the top of the options you evaluate. In many cases, however, there is no such choice.
Fortunately, when it comes to building your dashboard stack, choosing an end-to-end solution is possible. While there are certainly many solutions on the market that perform individual functions, there is indeed a single solution that performs all the necessary functions of a BI dashboard including data management, dashboard creation, collaboration and more. Let’s look at the key requirements of an all-inclusive BI dashboard solution.
Effective data management is the core requirement that enables uniformity across all data sources. Because it is widely prevalent for organizations to work across multiple tools in multiple departments, a comprehensive dashboard stack should bring all sources into one application to create a master data warehouse. Look for a tool that includes ETL (Extract, Transfer, Load) vs. needing a separate tool to complete these functions.
Once data sources are connected, data transformation is key. Bringing everything into a single SQL database, instead of keeping raw data in different formats, enables consistent functionality across applications. For this reason, it is important to find a solution that unifies data tables across all platforms. Be sure that you can combine different sources to manipulate data and create specific calculations when needed.
There are times when you may need to merge two data sources into one. For example, a Google AdWords database may contain spending data but not full budget information. If you have your budget in Google Sheets, you will need to combine those two sources using a data merge so that you can analyze the combined data and get a complete picture of how your Google AdWords initiatives are tracking to budget.
Alternately, you may have occasions where you want to simplify your data. Using Google Analytics as an example, you may receive data that identifies sources from Google UK, Google US, etc. If that level of detail is excessive for specific audiences, you can cleanse the data to show all Google segments simply as Google for simplified reporting.
Dashboards and reports are arguably one of the most valuable aspects of BI. With a user-friendly BI tool, anyone can create a dashboard based on their specific needs without support from the IT team. This ability to create different dashboard variations needed for both business and technical users saves business professionals and IT teams significant time.
In the event multiple users could benefit from an existing dashboard, a replication function makes the process a snap. It provides the ability to replicate templates easily through master templates, greatly minimizing time and effort.
Accessibility is key for today’s mobile workforce. Users need access across devices, platforms and locations 24/7. Full functionality and real-time information that is automatically refreshed is mandatory so that users always have the latest data available right from the dashboard on their device.
The ability to share data and easily collaborate with colleagues based on a single source of truth eliminates conflict and delayed decision-making. It provides the flexibility to share dashboards and reports with other associates that have required credentials.
To ensure proper credentialing, data segregation enables you to set access parameters based on roles, departments, regions, etc. For example, if you have locations in different countries and want managers to have access to all countries but need to limit individual contributors’ access to only their specific country, data segregation is the answer. Another example might be separating access rights by individual franchise locations, etc.
It also enables users to access the same data in different ways based on their needs. For example, technical users will need to perform deep dives, while most executives will want a higher-level dashboard view. Look for a system that also enables automated report generation and distribution.
If you are looking for a dashboard solution that offers all necessary functionality in a single solution, look at ClicData BI tools. These comprehensive solutions were designed from the ground up based on ease-of-use, customer needs and use cases.