Data, the primary key to everyday business opportunities, has gotten complex over the years due to technological challenges like data blending and data wrangling. The numerous complexities are a result of the scope and variety of big data and the integration of visualization and analytics tools. These glitches have not only slowed down data preparation but also affected the analytics stage. The effective use of data preparation tools can reverse the cycle of 80:20 ratios for data preparation and analytics into 20:80 proportions. In order to bring about this reversal, and accelerate the data preparation process, reduce waste and rework, and minimize complexity, data dashboards – the center of all data compilation and extraction- have to be effectively organized.
A data dashboard is the core information management system that helps to visually track, analyze and display the metrics of your business, key performance indicators, and other tandems that constitute the health of a business. These dashboards are customized according to the workflow process, and it is a superfluous system that connects all your data in the backdrop but presents it in the form of gauges and interpretable data. While the use of this system ensures real-time management of a business with integrated technology, most businesses fail to use them to their maximum potential because of inefficient structuring or organizing.
Three effective ways to prep your data dashboard for better productivity within a business are:
1. Streamline the right metrics: Most times, businesses just load up all their data and pick only the flashy appealing numbers and leave out the gruesome details. This is because the data entered is having too many metrics to filter out. The best strategy would be to set up only the crucial metrics for your business and streamline the rest of the data around these core metrics so that data inputs are the same but only better. Marketing data is the core of operations for an advertising company. If this company has finance at its core and marketing aligned as a subset, then the data generated will be drastically different from what is really required.
2. Don’t bog down with vanity metrics: A services related business does not require a crucial input from social media score, so, moving it to a different composition can ensure that sales are the prime focus and marketing is a secondary focus. All irrelevant metrics are crucial to a business and cannot be ignored, ensuring that all these dashboards are separately set up, monitored, and then integrated into the core reports can dramatically double up data efficiency.
3. Integrate into the open: Every department in a business is overprotective and keen on not opening their books to other departments. Just like a business needs open channels between all departments, the data on the dashboard should be open to the crucial analysts of each department and not restricted to a narrow channel at the end of the line. Allowing branching out ensures that some key factors can be interchangeably used by the unrelated department to identify crucial problems.
How Can you help?: While the above factors can benefit across the business, individual analysts too should help to de-clutter and effectively streamline data on the dashboard. The best ways to regulate the effective prep data for the dashboard would be to:
- Focus on what task you have been assigned so that too many people do not enter irrelevant feeds into the dashboard. Organize your team to handle each metrics individually, and streamline the dashboard.
- Don’t focus on dolling up a visually appealing end report. Set data as your priority on your dashboard and use the actual data to finish the end reports. This will ensure a solid output rather than just figurative numbers.
- Stay away from data that is beyond your scope. Feeding on data through automation tools can help avoid human errors.
- Do not dissect the data till you have integrated them across all metrics of the business. Instead of trying to break down data where and how you want, categorical logging will ensure the data is recorded at every required base and not lost in transition through channels.
- Follow the business’s categorization protocol, remove duplicate data, and scrub out both the dirty data (useless data) and outdated data.
- Lastly, don’t try to fit the data from the board into the wrong puzzle, sort it and match it. Also, ensure to check, revise, and update any misconnecting data that can churn out inefficient results.
The constant up-gradation of algorithms will require the analysts and users of a data dashboard to think on their feet and adapt clear-cut methods to align the dashboard to generate utility value. Every business has its own needs, but if they reorganize and simplify the collection of data, then there could be no hurdles to insightful analytics.
Author: Nagraj Rao
Nagraj leads the BI practice at Sigma. With over 12+ years of experience in the Services Industry, he has in-depth knowledge on many diverse technologies, Implementation Services and Practice Management. He is passionate about BI & Open Source technologies and loves sharing his views around them.