Five IS Related Solutions We Use Today

Five IS-Related Solutions We Use Today

Abstract

Five IS-Related Solutions We Use Today

Digital Dashboard with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Digital dashboards are a great asset to modern companies that process a lot of data and require performance updates regularly. In order for a company to keep track of its progress, it will more than likely need some kind of digital dashboard to represent the company’s data to pertinent personnel for each type of data. Not only do digital dashboards help companies organize and display data, they help employees within the company to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to improve in areas requiring extra attention, to continue in utilizing successful methods, or simply eliminate ineffective business behaviors or processes (Karlson, 2019).

“A Digital Dashboard is an electronic interface that aggregates and visualizes data from multiple sources, such as databases, locally hosted files, and web services. Dashboards allow you to monitor your business performance by displaying historical trends, actionable data, and real-time information” (“What is a Digital Dashboard,” n.d., para. 1). The advent of digital dashboards has allowed companies to keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs), which are measurable metrics that evaluate factors crucial to a businesses’ success in reaching goals and maintaining growth (Karlson, 2019). Some KPIs that businesses monitor is revenue growth rate, net profit, project schedule variance (PSV), churn rate, average revenue for each customer, and customer lifetime value (Karlson, 2019). KPIs like these are essential for a business to monitor, making digital dashboards a vital tool for a company to have.

Not all data is important to everyone in a company. Marketing data is useless to the IT staff, just as the computer system data is not very helpful to the marketing team. Each branch of a business is ran differently and thus requires data unique to its line of work. Digital dashboards solve the problem of information sharing by allowing employees to acquire relevant data and share it in a smooth, concise fashion (Karlson, 2019). So, it doesn’t matter what role an employee has in a company, they can still benefit from digital dashboards and KPIs because everybody needs data in order to operate more efficiently and effectively.

Should a company choose to use a digital dashboard, there are plenty of options from vendors. Some providers include: Zoho Reports, Klipfolio, Sisense, and Qlik (“How Much Does,” 2018). The cost for these services varies greatly depending on the size and needs of a company as well as the cost of the vendor itself (“How Much Does,” 2018). When it comes to dashboard pricing, there are three main models (“How Much Does,” 2018). The first is a user-based license model which prices a business dashboard software according to a user-centric criteria (“How Much Does,” 2018). The second is a data source-based license model in which software vendors will license their solution based on the number of sources or connectors required from their dashboard (“How Much Does,” 2018). Lastly, server-based license models (popular among large enterprises) are priced according to the dashboard software’s properties, consisting of the number of processes, speed of the processes or amount of memory needed of the software (“How Much Does,” 2018). Prices across vendors varies from $25 per user per month to $999 or more (“How Much Does,” 2018). Ultimately it comes down to the demands of the business and the quality of the vendor.

There are also different types of dashboards that companies require for specific use. Operational dashboards manage day-to-day business processes, allowing a continual view into what is happening within the business unit (“What is a Digital Dashboard,” n.d.). Another type of dashboard are analytical dashboards, which focus on gathering insights for data over time, usually the past month or quarter (“What is a Digital Dashboard,” n.d.) These insights are then used by business to help understand what happened, why it happened, and what/if any changes should be made to improve performance (“What is a Digital Dashboard,” n.d.). The last type is strategic or executive dashboards. These focus on providing KPIs that business executives are required to monitor on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis (“What is a Digital Dashboard,” n.d.). “These dashboards display high-level summaries of the most important and relevant data on the overall progress of the business, as well as where realistic goals may be set in the future” (“What is a Digital Dashboard,” n.d., para. 26).

Decision Support System (DSS)

In a business there are hundreds of decisions being made every day. Whether one is trying to optimize the company’s inventory or needing to improve sales projections, a decision support system (DSS) can assist someone with making a decision based on information that it provides. Just as someone wants to make an informed decision in his or her personal life, he or she (generally a manager) would also want to make an informed decision when it comes to the company that he or she works for. This is because a company’s management team wants to see their company reach its goals and continue to improve.

A DSS is a knowledge-based system used by senior managers to facilitate the creation of knowledge and allow its integration into the organization. More specifically, a DSS is an interactive application that supports decision-making by manipulating and building upon information from an MIS and/or a TPS to generate insights and new information. (Turban, Pollard, & Wood, 2018, p. 34)

DSS combines the power of human thinking with the power of modeling systems to acquire optimized, informed decisions (Stoltzfus, 2013). Given that, there are many different ways managers can use decision support software to their advantage if they are willing to explore decision support systems  applications and uses (Stoltzfus, 2013). Business planners usually build decision support systems according to their needs and then use it to evaluate specific operations (Stoltzfus, 2013). Some of these operations could include:

  1. Large stocks of inventory, where decision support system applications can support management on establishing supply chain movement that works efficiently for the business (Stoltzfus, 2013).
  2. Sales processes, where decision support systems software provides guidance in helping managers theorize how changes will affect results (Stoltzfus, 2013).
  3. Other specialized processes relating to a certain field or industry (Stoltzfus, 2013).

There are also two types of decisions that managers must make: structured decisions and unstructured decisions (Turban, Pollard, & Wood, 2018). Structured decisions are more straightforward and made on a regular basis, and information systems can ensure that they are done consistently (Turban, Pollard, & Wood, 2018). An example of this would be determining whether an applicant qualifies for an auto loan or whether a new customer should receive extended credit (Turban, Pollard, & Wood, 2018). The other type of decisions are unstructured decisions, which rely on human input/knowledge as well as other data and models (Turban, Pollard, & Wood, 2018). Some examples include determining what kind of product to produce or what type or market to go into (Turban, Pollard, & Wood, 2018). In both cases, the ultimate decision comes down to the human. In the structured decision, the DSS did all the work of computing the worthiness of the applicant’s credit for the loan, but the final decision came from the human portion of the interaction. The unstructured decision involves a lot more human effort and input because the DSS can only provide data on trends related to products and markets. The DSS cannot make a decision on which way to go for a product creation or market type. The deeper, deductive reasoning comes from the human side. In both cases the DSS supported human decision making. This is the ever-important role that they play in businesses and as long as informed decisions are desired within businesses, there will always be a need for a well-suited DSS.

  1. Cloud Computing
  2. Electronic Records Management (ERM)
  3. Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

References

Karlson, K. (2019). What is a KPI dashboard? (The complete guide). Retrieved from https://www.scoro.com/blog/what-is-kpi-tracking-dashboard/ 

Post, T. (2018). How much does business dashboard software cost? Retrieved from https://www.yurbi.com/blog/much-dashboard-software-cost/ 

Stoltzfus, J. (2010). Decision support systems (DSS) applications and uses. Retrieved from https://www.business.com/articles/decision-support-systems-dss-applications-and-uses/ 

Turban, E., Pollard, C. E., & Wood, G. R. (2018). Information technology for management on-demand strategies for performance, growth and sustainability. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

What is a digital dashboard? Definition and examples. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.klipfolio.com/resources/articles/what-is-digital-dashboard 

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