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Why Facebook Rocks And Your Business Intelligence Dashboard Sucks!

I know the title of this blog post is a bold statement. It probably sounds kind of weird in the beginning. But, moreover, I guess the first thing that comes to your mind is something like: What the heck has Facebook to do with a business intelligence (BI) dashboard?

Of course, we are talking about two completely different things. Nonetheless, I firmly believe that Facebook (and other social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, or LinkedIn) have some aspects in common that make them so attractive. Things that make you spend a whole bunch of time every day using Facebook.

Furthermore, I believe that you should adopt certain aspects to your business intelligence dashboard. At least, inc case you want to enjoy your business intelligence dashboard the way you enjoy social media — just without cat videos.

So let me break it down into four aspects of why I think you love Facebook. Then, in a second step, I will transfer that to your business intelligence dashboard solution.

You Can Access Facebook Everywhere

I’m not getting tired of mentioning that aspect when talking about business intelligence dashboards. You have your mobile, you have a Facebook app on your mobile. And you can access Facebook whenever you want to — regardless of where you are.

You are on the bus in the morning, having lunch, or working out at the gym. Wherever you are — Facebook is just one click away. So that is one super-relevant aspect.

Facebook Provides Personalized Content

Of course, Facebook and other social media platforms use sophisticated algorithms.

The thing now is that Facebook and all of those platforms provide you with relevant, curated, and personalized content. Exactly the content you are interested in. Just think about your business intelligence dashboard — wouldn’t that be amazing?

If you prefer sports content and don’t like videos about cats and dogs, Facebook will recognize that. Accordingly, Facebook won’t show you cats and dogs videos in the future. Therefore, you don’t get content that isn’t relevant to you. On the contrary, you’re only provided with relevant content — a lot’s information about sports.

Facebook Provides Content In An Easy-To-Digest Form

Another very essential aspect is about consuming information and content on Facebook. This is super-easy. You scroll through your timeline and find a piece of content that is interesting to you. You click on it and consume it. And once you’re done, you can continue to scroll through your timeline. Super-easy and enjoyable.

Information Push

Indeed, Facebook wants you to spend as much time on the platform as possible. So what are they doing? They are directly pushing information to your device whenever new and relevant content is available.

Someone is commenting on your post: You’ll receive a push notification. A person posts content that might be of interest to you: You’ll receive a push notification. Somebody sends you a message: You’ll receive a push notification. This list is endless.

All of these functions and all of those push notifications have one common goal. They want to bring you back to Facebook and make you spend time on the platform.

Think About Facebook As A Funnel On Top Of The Internet

You have to consider Facebook and social media —regardless of the platform— as a funnel on top of the internet. They provide you with a lot of information: Written word, video, audio, pictures, etc.

And here’s the punchline: You get everything in a curated form, dedicated to your needs, and easy to consume. And the critical aspect: Everything is only one click away.

Business Intelligence Dashboard And Facebook

Let’s Transfer The Facebook’s Core Principles To Your Business Intelligence Dashboard

Now think about your business intelligence dashboard. I genuinely believe that most aspects I’ve just mentioned do not reflect your business intelligence dashboard.

Contrary To Facebook, You Can’t Access Your Business Intelligence Dashboard From Everywhere

I’m pretty sure your business intelligence dashboard can’t be accessed everywhere. Contrary to Facebook, you can’t access it on your mobile. You can’t access it from home, from the gym, or any other place.

Instead, you have to sit in front of your laptop and dedicated solutions, PDF documents, or Powerpoint presentations. And, of course, it is everything but fun to access this information.

Contrary To Facebook, Business Intelligence Dashboards Are About High-Level Content

Additionally, when talking about relevant and curated information, I’m pretty sure your dashboard is the complete opposite of Facebook. Many dashboards I’ve seen show a whole bunch of general KPIs and a wide variety of KPIs. Not tailored, not curated, and not personalized. And most often, the KPIs relevant to you account only for a small part of the dashboard.

Contrary To Facebook, Business Intelligence Dashboards Are Everything But Easy-To-Digest

In the context of “easy to digest,” I’ve seen so many business intelligence dashboards where you need training first. At a minimum, you need a how-to to be able to understand the content.

Lots of business intelligence dashboards are far away from being easy to understand and easy to digest. That is mainly linked to the fact that companies pay much more attention to the KPI themselves than how to visualize and present the information, which is a complete mistake (have a look here for additional information).

Contrary To Facebook, Business Intelligence Dashboards Focus On Pull Rather Than Push

And finally, the aspect of getting actively pushed to bring back the attention to the business intelligence dashboard is something I’ve seen very rarely.

Just think about alerts that are pushed to mobiles whenever KPIs drop below a certain acceptance level. Or a notification in case the value of a KPI is different concerning previous days. This is simply non-existing. On the contrary, that means that employees have to monitor the dashboard constantly.

If you want to find out more about the possibilities push-notifications provide, head over to this article.

Facebook And Business Intelligence Dashboards — A Summary

I firmly believe that the four mentioned aspects: Accessible everywhere, curated and personalized information, easy to digest, and to get actively alerted are the main reasons why you spend such an enormous amount of time on Facebook.

And those are the aspects that usually do not account for business intelligence dashboards. This leads to your business intelligence dashboard sucking — although you have to work with it. Moreover, it should play a more critical role in your business life than any social media platform.

So the simple advice: Try to copy, try to adopt these aspects from social media. These platforms are successful because they are doing are a fantastic job. Once you start doing this, you will begin to enjoy using your business intelligence dashboard — promised.

Do You Think Your Business Intelligence Dashboard Sucks?

Always happy to receive your feedback and thoughts. Just hit me up on Twitter or get in touch on LinkedIn.

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Benjamin Walther

CEO, Frankfurt

Benjamin is Information Design's CEO and a proven content-maniac. Besides running a successful business and developing pioneering ideas, he's dedicated to writing blog posts and creating content.

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