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New podcast: Learn how to boost flexiblity during dashboard design

by Scott Wallask

July 14, 2011

By Scott Wallask, SAPexperts

Being flexible is a lifelong lesson many of us learn about starting in childhood. I bet my colleague David Hannon’s father even mentioned it.

Young dashboards under development also benefit from flexibility in terms of what features you offer to users as you create the tool, said Dr. Bjarne Berg, a business intelligence expert and frequent contributor to the Insider Learning Network.

During a podcast interview, I had a chance to follow up on an excellent blog by Dr. Berg regarding Xcelsius requirements and rapid application development (RAD) of dashboards. As I see it, the RAD method embraces flexibility.

Part of the RAD approach is to be visual and interactive in creating dashboards. A good example is to create storyboards on an easel or whiteboard using colored markers to outline desired features and functions.

“When [a user] asks for something, we give them a magic marker and they go on the board and they start drawing,” Dr. Berg said during the podcast. This is often a more effective way to determine the functions users want and what dashboard duties they have in their everyday jobs.

I also enjoyed discussing “analysis paralysis” with Dr. Berg, a common problem that at times has required him to do “rescue missions” to help companies break out of development stalemates.

For example, some project team members find themselves “three months into the project and the only thing they have is paper tigers,” he said. “Nobody is willing to stand up and say, ‘I know the requirements and this is what it needs to look like.’ ”

Check out the full podcast about Xcelsius RAD with Dr. Berg by clicking here.

Follow Scott on Twitter @BObjExpert

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