Beyond the Dashboard: Re-Imagining your Relationship with Big Data

"It is YOUR responsibility to build and monitor dashboards, and YOUR duty to sift through the noise in your big data and pick out the anomalies and outliers."

Sound familiar? Does this describe your current relationship with your organization's analytics or business intelligence strategy? The purpose of this article isn't to bash dashboarding. Rather, we'd like to highlight some of the limitations of the current business intelligence paradigm that treats dashboards as the end-all be-all analytics and big data strategy. The dashboard is, after all, simply a reporting tool.

These reporting tools are sleek, interactive, and visualize data in an easily digestible fashion, but they have two very serious inherent flaws:

1. The dashboard places the burden on you to identify which metrics deserve attention.\

2. The dashboard must be routinely monitored.

You've read the myriad of "Top 10 KPI's you can't live without" articles, and built an analytics dashboard that tracks the most essential KPI's for your specific organization. After carefully studying the indicators, you make important decisions.

But, let's be real. You're a busy business professional, not a data scientist. Maybe you employ an entire team to monitor your data but how efficient or responsive are they to your business and customer needs?

With thousands of metrics to choose from, how do you identify the most important ones for your unique situation, and why is this your responsibility? The dashboard is inherently limited in space, forcing you to narrow your analytics coverage to just a few KPI's. Even after you've dialed in your "Top 10" and are making your best effort to keep a watchful eye on them, how do you monitor that one elusive indicator that may only matter once a quarter, or once a year?

Well, with most customer relationship management (CRM) reporting tools, you may not yet be able to. Because you are limited to whatever you can fit on your dash, and because you have much better things to do than navigate sleek data visualizations all day, you are only accessing a tiny slice of your big data – data that could mean the difference between mediocrity or an outstanding quarter.

Dashboarding was an important stage in the evolution of business intelligence tools. Graphical reporting technologies granted the executive leadership visibility, but what about the rest of your organization? What is the benefit to the individual contributor under your current BI strategy?

We live in an era of increasingly intelligent automated systems, from Google's self-driving cars, to the advanced efficiency systems used on GE's jet engine's and industrial processes.

Imagine if your business intelligence solution also worked smarter, automatically monitoring and alerting you and your sales team to important trends, like shifts in momentum within your sales, marketing, or customer service data. Imagine if it could seamlessly connect to multiple big data sources (CRM, ERP, etc.), and automatically monitor, analyze and prioritize the indicators that matter most. Instead of only reporting, these next generation tools would automatically recommend action based on the insights gleaned from a high definition analysis of the root cause, or causes, of an issue.

Those 10 KPI's you were formerly required to choose and then monitor? An automated alerting solution watches those 10 and thousands others, in high definition – alerting you not only when a certain threshold is passed, but the instant your business demands attention.

Suddenly, you can forget the burden of monitoring the dashboard, and turn big data into big opportunity.

As the hype around "big data" grows, will you become overwhelmed with the task of monitoring complex analytics data? Or, will you realize the value in an enterprise alerting solution that has evolved beyond reporting-automatically monitoring, analyzing, and prioritizing the insights that matter most to you.

At Alpine Metrics, we're all about healthy relationships. That's why we challenge you to question your relationship with your big data, and start demanding more.

By arming your sales operations and customer support team with an automated monitoring and alerting solution, you are empowering them with a robust, data-driven business strategy – the kind that produces tangible results across your organization.

Want to experience these results right now? Click here to download our Free App, Intelligent Forecasting for Salesforce.

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