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Dashboards

For years now I've been hearing from vendors about "dashboards." (I think the first time I heard the term was in 1998.) And I've seen some VERY slick dashboard tools, most recently at Protech's first Customer Conference. But I can honestly say, with the hundreds of associations I've worked for, worked in, and know of, I can count on one hand the number of associations that actually use dashboards.

Am I simply missing those associations that are using them, or is my experience "typical" ? Are there assocations out there using dashboards (specifically dashboards driven from their AMS or a data warehouse)? Or is this all talk, now going on ten years? I'd love to hear from anyone who has even seen dashboards in action, much less uses them.

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4 Comments on "Dashboards"

Holly - 8 May 2007 Reply

Hey Wes - We actually use a dashboard here at NTEN. We track all member data over time, registrations, various revenue streams, site traffic and a couple other small things. It's fascinating stuff, but requires a lot of discipline to pull off. We had several false starts before we really got ours going.

Wes Trochlil - 8 May 2007 Reply

Hi Holly, If I had to guess which of my clients had dashboards, you would have been at the top of the list! ;-) You hit it on the head with "discipline." I think too many of us (vendors included) see this as a "plug and play" tool, when it really isn't.

Dan Shenk-Evans - 9 May 2007 Reply

When dashboards first came out, they were pushed as an early form of business intelligence, which in some instances they approached that lofty goal. Unfortunately, too often they become just eye candy that is no longer useful because by the time the implementation is really rolling along 6-8 months after go-live, staff (and consultants)have moved on to other focuses or issues, so this is a good reminder for me to re-visit this as part of "user experience". Dashboards do work great if used well, and most people like the "my home page" favorites capabilities. Dan

Wes Trochlil - 10 May 2007 Reply

Good thoughts, Dan. Like any technology "solution," there should exist an actual problem that needs to be addressed. I suspect that often dashboards look cool but most don't know how or when they should use them.

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