arcplan: Three Tips for a Modern Management Dashboard

Management dashboards are extremely important business tools. arcplan advises users to check whether they are still capable of fulfilling current requirements.

Langenfeld, Germany / Wayne, PA, May 21, 2014 – Management dashboards help provide managers and other senior staff members with a substantial amount of information at all levels of a company. All important performance indicators, even complex data, can be retrieved in a flash, thus helping speed up coordination and decision-making activities, which is a business-critical factor. As a result of this, arcplan, the leading innovative software provider for Business Intelligence (BI) and Planning solutions, provides companies with tips on how they can design their dashboards to meet increasing requirements.

Management dashboards are subject to a development dynamic that is similar to their equivalents in the automotive engineering sector. In the past two analog instruments showed speed and revolutions, current digital displays deliver a whole range of additional information. What used to be characterized by mechanics is nowadays completed by powerful displays in a much more comprehensive and also ergonomic manner. The same evolution should also be experienced by BI dashboards in companies. If this is not the case, they may no longer be able to fulfill their function as an important tool in the decision making process and in extreme cases they may even no longer be used. Companies should therefore check whether their dashboards still meet the actual demands, or whether there is urgent need for a general overhaul.

Tip 1: Maintain a flexible overview of key figures

In order to consistently monitor company performance, decision makers need constant access to the most important performance indicators. This overview must also be capable of adjustment. Depending on the specific task and function, the amount of information should not become too excessive, as this generally blurs the overview. However, if hundreds of performance indicators really are needed for the decision making process, then it must be possible to retrieve these simply. Ideally, it should be as easy as the process that users are used to with the Google search function. This ability is something that a management dashboard and modern BI system should provide today.

Tip 2: Guarantee mobility

Social or economic developments cannot be conjured up. One incontestable trend, however, is the growing level of mobility in the working world. According to current research, around one billion people, and thus well over one third of the global workforce, will be “mobile workers” by 2015. This group naturally uses mobile devices such as tablet PCs and smartphones. And it is precisely here – i.e. on the go – that BI decisions will be made. If the dashboard has not been designed for mobile usage with regards to user friendliness and technical flexibility, then this is a serious shortfall. Companies currently planning to implement a mobile strategy should, in particular, check whether their BI / dashboard implementations are capable of supporting the widely used industry standard HTML5. HTML5 enables quick deployment on all mobile devices while providing a wide range of functions and simple maintenance. This makes companies less dependent on plug-ins such as Java.

Tip 3: Ensure an appealing layout

Even extremely powerful applications can fail in day-to-day business if they do not provide a significant degree of user friendliness. A modern dashboard should not only offer substance, but also be very clear, straightforward, and comprehensible. Data should be displayed with the most appropriate diagram type, and end users should be able to adjust the layout easily. Colors, warning signals, and fonts must be capable of adjustment by users in an intuitive and individual manner. In order to be able to make fast, accurate decisions, dashboard users need a maximum level of clarity at all times.

“In this day and age, when an ever increasing amount of data needs to be available with ever increasing speed, innovative dashboards represent an important aspect for ensuring corporate success. A modern management dashboard should thus fulfill all of a company’s requirements when it comes to mobility, usability, efficiency and individual adjustability”, explains Achim Röhe, VP Professional Services EMEA at arcplan. “Only this will lead to the acceptance of existing BI solutions on a broad scale while ensuring they are actively used. And this will improve a company’s ability to react, as well as its performance. “

About arcplan

arcplan is a leader in innovative Business Intelligence, Dashboard, Corporate Performance and Planning software solutions for desktop and mobile use. Since 1993, arcplan has enabled more than 3,200 customers worldwide to leverage their existing infrastructure for better decision making. Empowering all users to connect and collaborate with relevant information is crucial for improving business performance. With arcplan – it simply works. arcplan's flagship product arcplan Enterprise® was rated the #1 3rd party tool for SAP BW, Oracle Essbase, and IBM Cognos TM1 in The BI Survey 13 (2013).

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