Hierarchical dashboard structures for successful Enterprise Business Intelligence


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People. They are the main reason for Business Intelligence failure in the corporate environment.

Consider three ideas whenever you are planning to involve separate departments in your scorecard/dashboard-driven decision-making scenario:

1. No two people share exactly the same mission in the organization.  As a result, sharing an entire dashboard across all departments is a recipe for failure. Everyone will still be looking to identify the few metrics that affect them directly in his/her day-to-day, while the dashboard continues to grow in both size and ineffectiveness.

2. The dimensions in your segmentation tables or graphs may very well represent top-priority KPIs for people reporting to you. 

Example: Individual Online Sales and Distributor Sales KPIs will reside in the respective dashboards of the E-Commerce and Channel Managers, while the remaining dimensions in the chart that accompanies a Revenue KSI, will most likely reside in your CEO’s dashboard.

3. Do not attempt to control KPIs or tables that are better run by departments or people directly accountable for their ongoing performance. Try linking to them instead. 

Example: If, as a CEO, the need to know how the top ranking product lines are performing on your website is imperative, try linking to the KPIs and tables that your E-Commerce Manager keeps in her own dashboard.

Simple and obvious, of course. But I keep witnessing just the opposite on a regular basis, which I consider a painful waste of time. What is your experience?

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Sergio Maldonado

Founder & Chairman at Sweetspot. Author, speaker on analytics, marketing technology, privacy compliance. JD, LLM (Internet law). Once a dually-admitted lawyer. Father of three. I love surfing and cooking.

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