Vityl Dashboard: Want Your Dashboard Strategy to Win Big? Here's Everything You Need to Make it Happen
Business value dashboards (BVDs) are necessary for staying in complete control of complex IT infrastructures, but one device alone can’t deliver on that promise — only an end-to-end metrics strategy guarantees success.
They say that wars are won on the homefront — no matter how much we glorify the hero, that single person’s success is due in large part to the massive, complex support system that is built upon the work of thousands of others. It takes a lot of intense effort and diligence to keep this humongous clockwork ticking.
Similarly, Business Value Dashboards (BVDs) get much of the credit for insights that they simply cannot accomplish on their own. Recognizing the increasing complexity of modern IT I&O, many companies purchase BVDs in the hopes of gaining visibility across the length and breadth of IT. Most of the time, it doesn’t pay off because dashboards aren’t actually the source of the information you’re looking for — they’re simply the screens on which that info is displayed.
What really determines the strength of a BVD is its support system, or the “plumbing” underneath. Such a system depends on an end-to-end metrics management strategy, which requires careful research, testing, and implementation in order for it to make a meaningful impact.
Dashboard strategies are proven to win big — they’re the heroes, after all — but you need to cross your t’s and dot your i’s to grant them that power.
Audience, IT Maturity, and Exception Management
Every IT system is unique, with varying levels of maturity across departments, hardware setups, software suites, and strategies. Your metrics need to account for these differences, aggregate their trends, and report the result simply and with sufficient context. These are the three categories that every metrics strategy must cover:
1. IT Maturity: The ability of IT to keep operations afloat, respond to problems, and allocate workloads efficiently and economically — that is to say, its maturity — depends on multiple factors, each of which must be quantified:
- Processes, such as the efficiency of routine operations and demand management.
- Technology, in terms of the cost-effectiveness of a given software or device over time, accounting for market changes.
- Resources and their ability to maximize capacity, man-hours, and budget.
- People, or the basic effectiveness of your team, their skill levels, and certifications.
These categories must also be weighted appropriately — which areas should be improved first? What specific improvements would result in the biggest efficiencies? Which goals should be met next week? What about in three years? Here, no question is rhetorical.
2. Business Level Exception Management: Companies are now expected to be both stable and agile, but the growing complexity of IT environments has made traditional reporting and problem-solving tools too labor-intensive and inaccurate to be worthwhile.
Analytics that are powered by intelligent, evolving algorithms should take the place of manual reporting, alerting IT staff of issues well in advance of service interruptions — or better yet, resolving them automatically, notifying IT professionals via their dashboard.
3. Report to a Business Audience: It’s not enough that dashboards simply report IT metrics; they must simplify and translate data into a business context. A good dashboard turns information into insights by providing meaningful, at-a-glance insights automatically, clarifying complex issues, and lending context to all scenarios.
Data Isn’t Meaningful Until It Is
Companies should give careful thought into these categories before, during, and after implementing a dashboard solution. Without a fully fledged, data-driven support system, your BVD will tell you almost nothing — after all, if your business were that simple, you wouldn’t need a dashboard.
Moreover, metrics management doesn’t just mean collecting boatloads of data. Most departments use dozens of varying software applications, each churning out data with different objectives and standards. At the end of the day, choosing the most relevant metrics can mean the difference between rigorous business prediction and pure astrology.
(Main image credit: tookapic/Pixabay)