What is a Business Intelligence Dashboard?
A business intelligence dashboard is an information management tool that is used to track KPIs, metrics, and other key data points relevant to a business, department, or specific process. Through the use of data visualizations, dashboards simplify complex data sets to provide users with at a glance awareness of current performance.
Business Intelligence and Dashboards
Business Intelligence dashboards are an essential part of running a data-driven business, but what is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) is a tech-driven process used to analyze and display data in meaningful and actionable ways. Business intelligence encompasses a multitude of applications, tools, theories, and technologies. The goal of BI dashboards is to help business individuals make more informed decisions by enabling companies to gather, analyze, build dashboards, and create reports on their most important and business-driving data.
Dashboards provide sleek, real-time visibility to your team. Combining business intelligence data with dashboards gives your team the at-a-glance view of their performance that they need to run smoothly. BI dashboards must be designed carefully though. If the data being fed into the visualizations is not reliable, no matter how easy the dashboard itself is to read and analyze, the dashboard will be useless. Connect data sources to your dashboard through integrations, or by uploading a CSV or Excel file. Learn more: Excel dashboard
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Business Intelligence Definition From the Experts
Hans Peter Luhn, an IBM researcher, is credited with coining the term Business Intelligence in the 1985 article A Business Intelligence System. He defines BI as “the ability to apprehend the interrelationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal.”
Even more expert definitions in our What is business intelligence? article.
Reporting with Business Intelligence Dashboards
Business intelligence dashboards help businesses monitor their performance metrics in real-time by providing an at-a-glance view of pertinent data and analytics. Dashboards provide engaging data visualizations that help you present information in a way that inspires action. They can be tailored to answer any question, for any position, and for any department.
To create an effective BI dashboard report, you need to first identify the questions you are trying to answer. If you are reporting to a CMO, the question may be something similar to, “How is our marketing return on investment doing?” This base question will steer how you design your report. The answers to your business questions are hidden in your data, the key is identifying which account holds the data. These important questions are the basis of dashboard definition for your organization.
Once you identify and connect to your account, you are ready to tackle the next step: displaying your data. The visualizations in BI dashboard reports will vary for different departments. In the instance of developing an executive report, you will want to focus on visualizations that directly show results and do not require much time to analyze. You final step is to share the dashboard report with the necessary parties.
View some of our live dashboards for examples of actionable BI dashboard reports