A picture is worth a thousand words, or? : Individuals use of visual dashboards

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen; Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Purpose – The increasing amounts of data has become an important factor for organizations. A visual dashboard is a BI tool that can be used for communication of insights from big data. One way for individuals in organizations to get insights from timely and large data sets is through visualizations displayed in visual dashboards, but studies show that most of them fall short of their potential. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine how individuals make use of visual dashboards. Design/Methodology – To obtain this understanding a literature review was performed, followed by a study conducted in two phases. Firstly, a multiple-case study of four organizations was performed, which included interviews and the think-aloud technique. Secondly, the findings from the multiple-case study were tested through interviews with experts in the BI area. Findings – The findings indicate that low democratization, scarce effects, and simplicity are reasons for why the use of visual dashboards is not fully exploited. Low attention and understanding combined with a lack of timely information means that data-driven actions are not taken. The phase of predictive analysis has not yet been reached, rather organizations are still using the visual dashboard for descriptive analysis, which in turn hinders the possibility for effects. For these reasons the use of visual dashboards does not meet the often described purpose to make better and faster decisions, and organizations are still to take steps in that direction. Research limitations – The sampling of industries in the multiple-case study could affect variables as number of KPIs.

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