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computer science crazy
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Joined: Dec 2008
08-04-2009, 10:23 AM


Originally a board used to stop mud from being dashed inside a vehicle, the word dashboard has evolved to mean a user interface that organizes and presents information in a way that is easy to read. Your Blogger Dashboard is your control panel, your main editing interface to Blogger.

The goal of the dashboard is to automatically show a user useful files and other objects as he goes about his day. While you read email, browse the web, write a document, or talk to your friends on IM, the dashboard does its best to proactively find objects that are relevant to your current activity, and to display them in a friendly way, saving you from digging around through your stuff like a disorganized filing clerk.

Dashboard basics

Dashboards have emerged as the fashionable term for easy-to-digest, customised views of BI software applications that aggregate and analyse data from disparate corporate sources. Yet a standard definition has yet to gel among the user community and vendors. Michael Smith, senior product marketing manager for Cognos, sees the dashboard as "a compound visual report that elevates the nitty-gritty of business reporting to a graphical level."

Chris Caren, VP of corporate marketing at Business Objects, argues that dashboards represent a new paradigm for getting data out of BI systems that radically differs from traditional BI reporting. "Dashboards are a strong indication that BI is now evolving towards a metrics-driven style of management," he says.

Meanwhile, Eugene Blaine, managing director of Atlantic Global, sees dashboards as a relationship enabler: "If a dashboard is deployed and used properly it's a powerful way to demonstrate that users are listening to the organisation and influencing it."

John Kopcke, chief technology officer at Hyperion Solutions, believes that dashboards will eventually replace traditional query and reporting tools as an entry-level interface for BI information consumption. "IT got it all wrong when they looked at what was needed for the first-level of information delivery," he says. "What users should get is a dashboard as opposed to a mountain of reports."

Dashboards are all about measurements. The centrepiece of any dashboard design is its metrics and KPIs and how they are captured and combined visually in graphs to reflect the health of the business.

Key Performance Indicators, also known as KPI or Key Success Indicators (KSI), help an organization define and measure progress toward organizational goals.
Once an organization has analyzed its mission, identified all its stakeholders, and defined its goals, it needs a way to measure progress toward those goals. Key Performance Indicators are those measurements
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