Business Intelligence/Evaluate Dashboard Prototype

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  • Purpose: this step requires the analysis of the dashboard to make sure it meets all criteria. The criteria are broadly divided into form and function. A well-formed dashboard presents data that is appealing to the eye and easily understood. A functional dashboard allows the decision maker to evaluate strategic and operational effectiveness
  • Input: Dashboard prototype
  • Activities: Evaluate dashboard prototype
  • Outputs: Acceptable dashboard prototype
  • Documentation: Evaluation of dashboard prototype against criteria

After creating a report the next step is to evaluate its design. A dashboard can be evaluated based on two principles:


Presenting the information in a manner that is appealing and easily understood

  • Exceeding the boundaries of a single screen
  • Displaying excessive detail or precision
  • Choosing a deficient measure
  • Choosing inappropriate display media
  • Introducing meaningless variety
  • Using poorly designed display media
  • Encoding quantitative data inaccurately
  • Arranging the data poorly
  • Highlighting important data ineffectively or not at all
  • Cluttering the display with useless decorations
  • Misusing or overusing color
  • Designing an unattractive visual display
  • Supplying inadequate context for the data


Functionality allows the decision make to answer What?, Why?, How? and What if?’s

  • Granularity

Defined as is the ability of a system to be broken down into smaller and smaller parts. It is measured by the extent to which a larger entity is subdivided. For example, a dollar divided into pennies has finer granularity than a dollar divided into quarter, dimes or nickels. So, a coarse system has fewer and larger components than a fine system. Similarly, a coarse-grained description of a system regards larger subcomponents than a fine-grained description, which describes smaller components.

To drill down through data is to access information at a general category and then moving through multidimensional data by moving from one level of detail to the next. Drill-down levels depend on the granularity of the data. The purpose here is to answer the what question. What happened? Generally univariate, this type of analysis is in the domain of summary statistics.

  • Analysis

Seeks to answer the why question. We are looking for one factor (independent variable)to explain the other (dependent variable). Assume that the part was unexpected closed for two days due to an earthquake and the need to inspect all the rides. We could hypothesize that the loss of two days was the culprit. Developing hypothesis and testing them allows the decision maker to answer the why question.

  • Comparison

Comparison is the act of slicing and dicing data in order to determine how the independent variable caused the dependent variable.

  • Simulation

If we know how the independent variable caused the dependent variable we can model how changes in one or more variables influences our dependent variable

Remember that reports either provide details on dashboard KPI's or verify relationships, particularly those outlined in the causal link map. The reporting system therefore provides the decision maker with the ability to either monitor performance (operational effectiveness) or evaluate positioning and differentiation (strategy effectiveness). This section analyzes evaluating a frame from the standpoint of joint operational and strategic effectiveness.

Monitoring KPI's determines if the company is achieving operational effectiveness. Stated simply, it focuses on the efficient use of inputs. If the company is operating a

Analyzing Joint Operational and Strategic Effectiveness

Evaluating a frame is really about evaluating its ability to provide the decision maker with the intelligence necessary to analyze operational effectiveness (doings things right) and determining if the company is engaging in the right activities (doing the right things). This is based on the assumption that operational effectiveness is necessary but not usually sufficient for sustained profitability.

While companies should be operationally effective competitive strategy is about being different. Companies must choose different sets of activities to deliver a unique mix of values. Operational effectiveness only generates profitability if it is performing the activities that will differentiate the company from competitors. If activities are the basic unit of competitive advantage then the right activities are the basis for profitability.

Evaluating the frame therefore is about determining if the company is engaging in the right activities. If operational effectiveness is not delivering profitability then the company needs to rethink its strategy. However, given that operational effectiveness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for profitability.