Dashboards - Under-delivered Over Budget

PART 1 - INTRODUCTION

Having a centralized reporting solution automatically displaying data from disparate data systems in dashboards is a dream to many professionals.

The good news is that all the tech and skills needed to implement such a solution has existed for years. The bad news is that picking the right tools, finding appropriate resources, and creating realistic timelines and cost estimates is very difficult. And though practically no software provider drives marketing and sales with malicious intent, the over-simplification of how easy it is to succeed with a single “drag and drop” tool that any non-tech person can use is not making the process easier.

Building centralized dashboards containing data from multiple software systems is a massive challenge compared to building a pretty dashboard with a simple Excel file on a free version of a BI tool.

In this series of eight short articles we will discuss common challenges and what you should know before embarking on your dashboard journey.

Although it may cause some fear and anxiety these publications are merely intended to make you more educated and consider your next steps carefully.

Buying a data visualization tool and launching a business intelligence project alone is risky, the first month you will be excited as you will likely see some type of result, but quickly you will realize the result can’t really be trusted and doesn’t contain all the elements you need. You will engage additional resources to deliver what you need and you will likely start a data warehouse project of some sort which will be very expensive, take 12-18 months to implement, and still only has a 50/50 chance of making it past the experimental stage.

You will get frustrated that everyone gives different answers to the same question and there is not one version of the truth you can actually trust. You will experience that getting new insights require a lot of time and effort to deliver. If you are lucky enough to get it working you will realize adding new data sources like other property management systems take a monumental effort and after they get added you will realize they have not integrated adequately with the existing ones and still not give you what you are after.

Carefully consider the road ahead before embarking down the road of doing it yourself.

July 5, 2021
by Nikolai Narvestad

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