With the boom of the business intelligence industry in tandem with the rise of big data, catchy terms and keywords are everywhere. Without previous knowledge, most are indecipherable. Understanding exactly what a BI dashboard is and how it has revolutionized the industry is tricky enough. Figuring out what developers mean by terms like ‘intuitive’ is even more confusing. Despite the word’s implications, even the best BI dashboards cannot generate decisions based on what they believe to be true. It’s actually the users who use their instincts to master intuitive business intelligence dashboards.
Dashboards in business intelligence provide a direct, central access point for all the data handled by the system. Most dashboards come with various features, including live tallies, charts, links, and other useful options. Typically, the software developer provides these options, but most dashboards are at least partially customizable. This allows users to gather important, related data onto a single screen. BI dashboards are similar to control panels, but rather than using them to manipulate the system, the system uses the dashboards to communicate actionable information.
Ease of Training
The difference between a dashboard and an intuitive dashboard is all about how naturally the layout feels to users. This begins with training. The more awkward and complex the system is, the less intuitive it is, and the longer it takes to understand. New users have to work hard to understand exactly how the system works.
An intuitive system is easy to understand. The layout follows the natural path of the eye, allowing users to quickly identify critical features. It should follow expected software patterns, making it simple for a new user to find things like the menu, almost instinctively. The less a new user needs to study a dashboard in order to make use of it, the more intuitive it is. In the world of BI dashboards, this means that even customizable options should fit on the screen in a way that feels natural. Different features should be clearly identifiable, and users should be able to use them quickly and easily with minimal training.
Ease of Use
Intuitive dashboards should continue to be easy to use throughout their lifetimes. For example, when a user needs to change something on a BI dashboard, a simple, easy process is best. The user shouldn’t need much if any, further information in order to perform advanced functions. If the dashboard’s ease of use is limited to its initial form and features, then it isn’t very intuitive. Ideally, a BI dashboard features the flexibility and range to remain useful over time, and that demands easy changes and simple modifications.
From the very beginning, intuitive Business Intelligence dashboards need to emphasize ease of use. Even if a user has never used a dashboard-based system before, they should quickly and easily understand all relevant features. The system should maintain this standard throughout its time in use. When users need to make changes, they should not have to struggle. Dashboards’ value is in their data, after all, and a dashboard that makes accessing that data difficult is a flawed tool. This is why the best BI dashboards are always intuitive.