Author Archives: @donaldmac

How to get users to use your business dashboards

Interactive business dashboardThe battle for attention is a big part of the success of any dashboard. As Mico Yuk says, “the only metric that matters in BI is user adoption” – if your dashboard isn’t used, it doesn’t matter how good it looks or how efficiently is conveys information.

So how do you design a dashboard that resonates with your business users and increases engagement and adoption?

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How SMEs can maximize the value of business data

Cloud business dataWith the rise of cloud based business systems (accounting, CRM, customer support) smaller organizations now have immediate, easy, low-cost access to the same range of transactional systems that larger organizations have enjoyed for years.

Unfortunately when it comes to getting a deeper understanding of the data these systems capture, the story can be rather different.

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What weather websites can teach you about business intelligence

Weather websites and BIDrawing a comparison between a business dashboard and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Weather page might seem odd, but I’m convinced it is valid.

And, more than that, I think it points a way to the future of dashboards as we use them in our businesses.

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Should sales people use Data Discovery tools?

Too much informationRecently Gartner made a prediction about the BI market saying that “by 2017, most business users and analysts in organizations will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis”.

Given the current heading of the BI market, I strongly suspect they are right. However, I am not convinced that this is a good thing. Let me explain why.

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Data Discovery, data lakes and the need for lean BI

Data LakeIn a recent LinkedIn Pulse post, Bill Nicely expressed frustration with the current Business Intelligence (BI) vogue for Data Discovery, which is being over-marketed as meaning “you don’t need IT anymore” to do BI.

He’s right to be frustrated. It might be convenient to pretend that IT doesn’t need to be involved, but in the medium to long run this just hugely undermines the overall potential of BI, including the valuable contribution Data Discovery has to offer.

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Managing the Internet of Things tidal wave

BI for everyoneWe live at a time where there is vastly more information available than ever before. Tech trends like the Internet of Things are taking us into a world of connectedness, and everyone from Gartner to IDC are predicting big stuff for “the Things” in 2015.

In fact there is already far too much information out there for us to be able to meaningfully take it all in. However it is increasingly important that we use as much of this data as we can to avoid being left behind in both our work and our personal lives.

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Lean BI: Are you doing it every two weeks? Part II

BI for everyoneIt is well understood that information is one of the most valuable assets an organization has and that making best use of it can be the difference between success and failure.

One of the most important things to do with information is to make it accessible right across your organisation in a way that allows users to “just use it”.

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Simplify your business intelligence and increase adoption by learning from Steve Jobs

BI for everyoneWhilst Steve Jobs is rightly most famous for the impact he had on consumer technology, he also had – and is still having – a significant, long term impact on business technology, and business intelligence (BI) in particular.

To my mind Steve Job’s key legacy to BI is not the iPhone or the iPad but rather the mobile apps that they carry, and they are a signpost to how BI is going to change in the future. Let me explain.

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Q: Is analysis just for analysts? A: Yes and no

BI analytics In an article in the Midsize Insider a few weeks ago Shawn Drew wrote that the latest research from Gartner “points out that advanced analytics is the fastest-growing area under the BI umbrella”.

It feels like we are moving towards a “BI for analysts only” culture, so I feel compelled to ask: Is analysis just for analysts?

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