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IDG Contributor Network: Binding data to UI considered harmful

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One of the common data requests is for the business to ask IT for a dashboard on a certain piece of data. That type of request is usually motivated by a need to understand a certain aspect of business operations more clearly and to act more quickly and with greater confidence when certain conditions occur. For instance, this could be a request to understand how certain rebates and discounts cut into sales revenues, or to analyze travel spend relative to seasonal patterns.

This often leads to a project cycle: The business gets the dashboard prioritized, time is spent on defining the various metrics to be shown, IT or consultancies pick up the task of implementing the tool, and eventually a dashboard is delivered. This process repeats, each step seems good and necessary, many dashboards are delivered — but then large businesses often find that the dashboards proliferate beyond anyone’s understanding.

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