Dashboard Spy readers know that I have one particular worry that always keeps me up during a business intelligence dashboard project. What if I built a dashboard and no one cared? I mean that literally. What if the only ones who ever visited the dashboard, or clicked on the data drilldowns, or looked at the charts and graphs were the project sponsor, the programming team, the data analysts, the user interface designers and myself? No business users at all. The business dashboard itself might be a thing of absolute perfection with just the right nuances in the data visualizations, all the best factors in information architecture and usability, stunning graphic design and intuitive navigation, etc, etc. – But so what? In other words, we threw the best damn party in business intelligence reporting and no guests came at all. What a waste of money and talent that would be.
Others have been thinking about similar scenarios as well and trying to solve this challenge in innovative ways. Alan Wille, President and CEO of Serence Inc has been passionate about the idea of where to place business KPIs, dashboards, and reports so that users can’t avoid the message. As reported previously by The Dashboard Spy in the post titled The 3 Rules of Dashboards, Mr. Wille has vigorously promoted the idea of The Rule of Placement. As he likes to explain, the key to user adoption is location, location, location. Mr. Wille is advancing the bold idea that the user’s PC desktop is the right place to put KPIs because that way they are always automatically presented to a user, who may often be too busy to ask for the business metrics.
Allan has kindly submitted a great article on the subject for Dashboard Spy readers entitled “Drive Adoption and Performance from the Desktop: Innate awareness of performance hinges on unavoidable KPI reporting“. You can click on the “more” link below this dashboard screenshot to access the rest of this post for the content, or, if you prefer, click on the link to access the PDF version for printing.