One of the most important aspects of running a successful business intelligence project is finding the right starting point. Now that you’ve started using Sisense, clear starting points can help you launch new projects faster and acclimate to the platform’s tools. This guide gives you a quick and easy cheat sheet to always finding the right starting point for your projects.
Finding the Starting Line
Start by identifying who will be the first groups to benefit from your dashboards
Consider that dashboards generally have two sets of users, who together are dashboard stakeholders. They are the power users and business users, and their buy-in will determine the success of your dashboarding project. Power users are analysts and other data experts who will spend a lot of time using the software. Business users are the end users who rely on the data from the BI platform to make decisions every day. New projects need to consider the needs of these users.
Open with questions to identify opportunities
Your goal is to identify your power user’s low hanging challenges and processes that you quickly and easily use BI to solve or automate. Start with simple challenges like basic analyses and tasks with lower data complexity, such as ratios, top/bottom x items, and data from a single data source. Throughout this process you will test new features and explore relevant data to tackle bigger problems. You will prove value by creating simple-to-use dashboards that both introduce BI into your core group’s workflow and provide a clear ROI in terms of time saved.
Starting Point Cheat Sheet
- Identify primary stakeholders for your project
- Pose questions that need answering
- Evaluate complexity associated with each
- Choose low hanging fruit first
- Complete a planning document covering:
- An outline
- Concrete goal(s)
- Target audience
- Call to action
- Data update frequency
- Define KPIs (Necessary to answer your primary business question)
- Data Requirements
- Security and Additional Constraints (optional)
- Use the agile methodology to create your ElastiCubes towards a small batch of high priority KPIs. Review this article for more information on how to manage an Agile BI Methodology
- Use the inverted-pyramid model starting dashboards with high-level indicators and working down from indicators to trends to details Review this article for more detailed explanation of the 4 design principles for creating better dashboards.
With your project launched, your KPIs will start yielding insights and new questions will begin to emerge. This allows you to start experimenting with Sisense, approaching the same issue from different angles, and casting a broader net in terms of the datasets you’re using and how you’re using them.
Once a model is designed, analyzing the data via different dimensions can yield insights that were not obvious before. For example, if you have data on ad unit performance, analyzing it vs the size of the units could reveal interesting results: does ad unit size influence the click-through rates? What else are you missing?
Combining tangential or parallel data points to your datasets can yield correlations that answer questions you hadn't even thought to ask and present meaningful insights you might otherwise have missed.
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