Designing Dashboards

Analytics: More Than Just Pretty Pictures

By Michelle Gardner
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Whether you need to improve the dashboards and reports in your application, or want to drive adoption of analytics across your organization—the business intelligence buying process can be a complicated maze.

Do you need to be able to integrate analytics in existing user workflows? Is it crucial to have self-service capabilities so your users can work with information even if they’re not data pros? What about scalability: Does your solution need to be able to extend to meet new users’ needs and more complicated requests down the road?

These criteria aren’t mutually exclusive. But the fact is, there’s a huge variety of BI solutions on the market today—and with more choices comes more obstacles.

One of the biggest traps that many BI buyers fall into is getting caught up in beautiful visuals. It’s easy to get distracted by a dizzying array of shiny charts and gorgeous graphs.

And don’t get me wrong: A beautiful user interface can be critical to getting users to adopt the solution.  In fact, visually pleasing products are often seen as more effective than clunky ones—even when they offer the same level of functionality. In the end, though, you need to bring the most value to your customers and end users. And that takes more than pretty pictures.

Analytics buyers have many criteria to consider when evaluating a BI partner—all of which are outlined in Logi’s BI Buyer’s Guide. It helps to start by focusing on the most important evaluation criteria, which fall into three categories:

  • Embeddability is how tightly you integrate analytics into the overall user experience, the existing application security, and the application workflow.
  • Customization is your ability to white-label and control the look and feel of the application to make it your own, and tailor the functionality so every user has access to the capabilities they need.
  • Extensibility gives you the ultimate flexibility to create a unique application experience so you will stand out from the crowd, as well as the ability to future-proof your solution so you can tackle any new requirement.

All three of these should come above beautiful visualizations—and the good news is you can have your cake and eat it too. The right solution for your organization will not only support the latest visualizations like a D3 visualization, but will also encourage user adoption and scale to meet your future needs.


Originally published September 30, 2016; updated on August 9th, 2017

About the Author

Michelle Gardner is the Director of Corporate Marketing & Communications at Logi Analytics. She has over a decade of experience writing and editing content, with a specialty in software and technology.