To decide for the purposes of your business if it is better to set-up a Dashboard or a Business Intelligence (BI) system – it depends on what stage you are at in your data-driven growth journey.
And to assess that, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What and where are my data sources?
- Do I have a data warehouse?
- Can I extract all the data I need and create a report?
- Who are my users and am I doing what they need?
Setting up a dashboard is the final step out of 4 in the data preparation and analysis journey which SeizeBit offers as a SaaS service to our customers.
It is set-up by either using a standard report template from your desktop or by connecting it to a data warehouse. This means that you can either visualize data gathered and prepared by the users beforehand or automate the data gathering process. Either process depends on existing data infrastructure and resources.
While SeizeBit can help customers to improve and build custom visualizations from their existing tools and improve the story behind, in this post we discuss how SeizeBit can automate the data visualization process in 4 steps for the analytics and planning tool.
Neglecting these steps can result in missing insights or producing non-validated data in your dashboards.
Our approach is to follow a step by step 4 stage process that enables us to identify and highlight key data.
1. Data sources for your dashboard
Data is present everywhere but for a supply chain decision it is usually found in different ERPs or planning systems.
It is beneficial to add several data sources to improve the analysis. Depending on the department you work in, you can add many different layers of data, such as CRM data from salesforce to complement missing data, social media, etc.
2. ETL process
ETL process known as (Extract, Transform and Load) is the data extraction process where the data is being transferred from its original location and prepared to be stored or visualized further on in the process.
Depending on where the data is stored it requires different tools and preparation methods. That process allows us to combine data form different sources and improve its quality for the end-analysis while reducing the server processing capacity to a large extent.
3. Data warehouse
There are a multitude of database storage providers and SeizeBit can help customers set-up their database in any of these.
Why is a data warehouse important?
A simple example would be, if you want to follow-up your inventory development you need to log the quantities, or weight of a given product on a specific date.
Once this data is available to be analyzed it is much easier to analyze it and connect other parameters. This is specifically relevant for different time-series data. According to the Gartner Magic Quadrant in 2020 Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Oracle and IBM are the top leaders for DBMS.
4. Visualization of your dashboard
The final part of the process is the visualization process.
Here is where we set-up a dashboard or a report which has a target user group in mind and answers to a set of specific questions. Creating appealing visualizations is in the end an art-form which continues to improve continuously.
In some cases combined report and visualizations are creating just the right value. There are a several visualization tools in the market, either cloud-based or desktop based, with various functionalities. All of them require some specialized competencies to set-up and work with them.
While you have some tools such as PowerBi, Tableau, etc. you have both also an opportunity to develop custom visualization to deliver the story of the numbers in a more effective way. In some cases it is enough to set-up just a single web-based dashboard with special alerts which Seizebit can create, especially for Procurement and Supply professionals.
Contact the SeizeBit team to know more and help you choose where to start.