Dashboards - Under-delivered Over Budget
As mentioned in the first article, this series of publications explains some of the pitfalls and challenges related to a “building it yourself” approach in relation to your Property Management Data Analytics.
Building it yourself in this context means buying a visualization tool like PowerBI, Tableau, Qlik, Looker, ZoomData, Yellowfin, SSRS, or any of the other offerings currently available in the market and connecting them directly to your data sources including your property management system(s), financial system, sales system, CRM, marketing, construction management, open house or viewing system, etc, etc.
These articles don’t intend to disparage or downplay the importance and impact of great modern visualization tools; they merely try to educate the user about the actual effort required when you go down the road of implementation. They aim to inform decision-makers so they can make an educated decision on building it yourself versus outsourcing it to experienced experts in the industry.
Modern visualization tools like the ones mentioned above have come a long way and are a great way to visualize and analyze data. In fact, Intrava has one of the leading visualization tools embedded in their platform.
The core value Intrava provides is around all the other hidden efforts that you will face should you go at it alone. They deliver a cloud-based enterprise-class multi-dimensional data warehouse, specifically designed for property managers, optimized for analyses, and accessible by any visualization tool including the state-of-the-art visualization tool they have embedded.
The Road Ahead
Business users who want answers will quickly find themselves frustrated with the ability of these tools to actually deliver on their promises. The advertisements show pretty graphs and dashboards and make it look like this can be your dashboard in a matter of hours with little effort and certainly without the need for technical staff. The reality is quite the opposite!
Some tools come for free as part of common subscriptions or other toolsets making it even more tempting to use them versus using more expensive external services. The challenge is that buyers don't know what they don’t know, garbage in is garbage out and you often get what you pay for. All common overused phrases but all very applicable in this context.
Buyers of visualization tools are usually not experts, they haven’t done this before, but they know they need the insights and they know that in order for them to have the desired impact they have to be able to trust what the tools tell them.
At Intrava, we have been in the business Intelligence and Analytics space for 20+ years, we have seen the growth of the standard off-the-shelf offerings and experienced almost every data scenario.
Before you embark on going at it alone consider some of the challenges you may encounter and how they may affect your likelihood of success. Realize that you probably already use many SaaS systems that hold the key to your ultimate success and that you will want to integrate all of these tools to get a clear picture of your business. If you want to become a truly data-driven organization let low cost not be the main driver but instead focus on the outcome and what it takes to get there as quickly as possible while eliminating the risk of failure and ensure high quality.
The next article will cover some of the challenges you will encounter when combining data from multiple data sources.