The current crop of business intelligence (BI) tools, whether they are desktop or mobile based, seem to be creating an Angry Birds BI experience. They’re more focused on fiddling with data than they are on delivering information. Angry Birds is great for relaxing and having some fun, but when it comes to understanding your business, there’s little fun in trying to play with your data to get to the important insights. Decision-makers don’t want to spend their time pinching, zooming, and swiping. Developing companies are so excited about the technology, they’ve lost sight of its purpose.
Forgetting the User in the Experience
In the classic business intelligence pyramid, only 5 percent of your users are analysts. The other 95 percent merely monitor the results, but based on the design of many BI applications, you wouldn’t think so.
The interactive gadgets and gizmos are pretty—impressive even—but when it comes time to actually use the application, they just get in the way. A cluttered screen makes things blurry for the end-user to a point where they won’t use it. Try using one of those apps for more than two weeks to run your business and then see how they perform.
Don’t Just Provide Info, Drive Action
When we focus on scorecard and dashboard solutions, we are creating KPIs and dashboards for individuals or groups of decision-makers. We focus on KPIs for individuals because nearly 90 percent of our end-users were always in business monitoring mode. It’s not just about providing information, it’s about driving action. It’s like turning on CNBC or Bloomberg Financial—within 15 to 30 seconds you know everything you need to know. That is truly an effective BI solution.
We need to go back to real performance management solutions that give you the “power to know” in under 15 seconds. If your application doesn’t do this, it might be time to rethink or replace what you have.