It has been a month since Tableau’s national conference in New Orleans.  There were keynotes, breakout sessions, vendors and even a parade!   Tableau presented several new features for the analyst, and also announced an exciting new developer program.

All of this is meant to ultimately benefit the information consumer.  This is the person who’s job is to run the business, and who relies on data and insights to make the right decisions.  Presently the assumption is that this person will visit a dashboard to get insights. With the proliferation of dashboards, and potential distraction from core business workflows, it is no wonder many business owners are feeling overwhelmed and saying “just give me the numbers!”.  It is not unusual that in any given month Tableau dashboards are used by only 5% of business users on a core license – and a third of those looked at a dashboard only once!

So does that mean that are dashboards dead?  I would not go that far.  While they still have intrinsic value, dashboards are just at a pivotal point in their maturity where the novelty is beginning to wear off and noise has taken over.  It is typical for a medium sized business to have hundreds of dashboards.   So what is a business owner to do if they need personalized insights, that cut through the noise, and keep them in their [work]flow?

The natural evolution is to use intelligent assistance (IA).  Intelligent assistance is the emerging technology that refers to the use of intelligent agents that help individuals perform tasks or services. IA is typically found in smart speakers or chat bots, but apply to any service that uses artificial intelligence to sift though mountains of data to provide personalized information.  This is a perfect solution to the dashboard deluge that business owners face, as it provides prescriptive, precise and personalized insights from existing dashboards.

Winnow Analytics offers a product that allows business managers and owners to subscribe to IA apps that connect to dashboards, identify customized insights and send personalized notifications in a channel of their choice (email, SMS, instant message, business applications, etc.).  This new paradigm flips the practice of a business user leaving their workflow to slice and dice a dashboard for insights, and instead delivers those personalized insights into the business owner’s workflow at the moment when action and attention is needed.  This paradigm will free business owners to focus on the business at hand while extending the value that dashboards provide.

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