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AUG 22, 2012 9:31am ET

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The State of Dashboards in 2012: Pathetic


Over the last several months, my colleague VP and Research Director Tony Cosentino and I have been assessing vendors and products in the business intelligence market as part of our upcoming Value Index.

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Comments (8)
A couple of well made points, most importantly: the current crop of dashboards are generally very poorly designed and ineffectual in effectively and efficiently conveying important business information to the people who need it.

But to propose that because the widespread lack of design skills dashboards are dead and we need to move beyond them to the next thing? That's preposterous. There's no sense or value in throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Ditching the tools that promote bad dashboarding is a good idea. Adopting tools that surface the elements and principles of effective analytic information design so that creating good dashboards is easier than creating bad ones is a good idea.

But the real key is in teaching the people who create dashboards how to do it well is critical. Without this it's impossible to ever address the real problem and abandoning dashboards (in favor of what, exactly?) as a medium for communicating essential business information is a silly idea.

Posted by Chris G | Saturday, August 25 2012 at 10:45AM ET
Great article, Mark. After many years of BI, I am still amazed at how many people still expect the software to replace business acumen, intuition and just plain common sense. Dashboard technology is a tool to quickly and regularly depict the story - but someone still has to author that story. Having a kitchen full of fancy equipment is not going to make you a master chef. Sure a good knife will help you slice and dice, but you still need some idea of what you are cooking up. I think people have lost the ability to be creative and think, and hope that by buying yet another nifty bit of software that they can sit back and watch the insights pouring in.
Posted by Gill S | Monday, August 27 2012 at 6:49AM ET
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