Creating dashboards, reports, and visualizations can be a very complicated task at times. In the field of business analytics, we often feel like modeling the data is the most critical and time consuming phase of our projects. While there’s definitely a lot of truth in that, adoption issues often arise when we neglect the proper due diligence of defining what information the users want to see on the actual reports and how they might want to visualize it on the dashboards.
There are several reasons why this due diligence gets neglected at times. First of all, it's hard for users to define how they want to see the data or what information is the most critical, until they have access to that data. Secondly, it’s hard for report developers to ‘fake’ the data in order to produce dashboard mock-ups for early feedback on information layout and dashboard design.
Microsoft’s relatively newly acquired Datazen product is an effective tool for bridging both of those gaps and getting to some early designs to drive feedback and design iterations. If we can get the user requirements for our dashboards and reports defined more clearly and earlier in our project timelines, doing the heavy lifting for data extraction, loading, and transformations becomes a little less risky.
In this Demo Day video, I demonstrate how we can use Datazen’s Windows 8 Publisher application to design a dashboard for a fictional project management team. Part of the requirements that we’re assuming exist is that our dashboard has to look good on desktops, tablets, and mobile. So we’ll use some of Datazen’s built-in features to ensure our design is mobile and tablet friendly.
If your organization would like to get better at capturing user requirements in a more agile manner, this demo is a must see.