Question: Do companies usually deploy business intelligence dashboards and scorecards only to business managers and senior executives? Or can operational workers get useful information from them, too?
Answer: Organizations typically roll out dashboards and scorecards to managers and executives initially, but we're seeing even the lowest levels of workers utilize business intelligence tools, from call center service representatives to shop floor workers. They also need information to do their jobs, and tools such as dashboards and scorecards are easy enough for operational workers to use.
One of the primary reasons that dashboards are usually deployed to senior management first is that more and more BI projects are business-focused instead of IT-driven and have high visibility within organizations. They're often sponsored by senior managers who are pushing for key metrics to use in analyzing the business. Therefore, dashboards tend to be high level at the beginning – but once the execs start seeing the information they requested, it always leads to more questions about day-to-day operations. If the high-level dashboards are expanded to provide access to underlying detail-level data for regular business users and operational workers, everyone in the company should be on the same page. We’re seeing that much more often as a business requirement, often coupled with adoption of in-memory analytics technology allowing for the analysis of larger data volumes by end users.
This was first published in April 2011