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We ask Ville Vanhala, Senior Vice President of Research and Monitoring Services at GIA, for his thoughts. Vanhala is also the presenter for the upcoming webinar "Using Market Intelligence Dashboards to Communicate Key Intelligence and Build Your Company's MI Network" on Wednesday, November 2, 2011.
“Traditionally, dissemination of market intelligence within a company has often leaned heavily on email communication and a document-centric approach to sharing analysis. Market intelligence teams may have published email newsletters with the latest market news headlines or provided users access to document folders related to different intelligence topics. For example, these could include competitor analysis documents made available on the company intranet. It has not been common to create customized intelligence screens for different user groups or bring user generated insights to the forefront of the information flow. All that is changing with the use of online dashboards.
Today, market intelligence professionals can serve different user groups in their company with dedicated visual dashboards that combine text, information feeds, images, video and interactive elements on a single screen, with the help of intelligence solutions such as Intelligence Plaza® by GIA.
Users are attracted to appealing visual formats and compact presentation of interesting data, and are also more inclined to share their own insights and opinions when they see other people in the company doing the same. After all, people have become accustomed to posting personal views, as a result of the widespread use of social media in general.
In addition, users are used to seeing dashboards in other contexts, both in the corporate environment such as business performance dashboards based on company sales data - as well as in consumer services like iGoogle where each user can combine different elements on a single screen. Users are beginning to expect similar at-a-glance displays from their company’s market intelligence function as well.
Intelligence teams themselves also find dashboards to be helpful and powerful tools for versatile communication to specific target groups. For example, one dashboard can be created for sales, another one for top management and one more for product development etc.
We have witnessed how the adoption of Intelligence Plaza dashboards are energizing intelligence teams to become more active in communicating with their internal audiences. In turn, these dashboards have attracted users to become more active consumers of the market intelligence that is presented. In many companies we have seen a surge in user traffic to view the data available online.“
“Companies that use Intelligence Plaza are able to easily create many different front pages that pull out key information from the different content repositories and feeds in the background.
When market intelligence teams ask for guidance in good dashboard design, we often suggest that a few things must be in place. First, the target audience for each dashboard must be well defined, and the purpose of each dashboard well considered and linked to a certain business process or decision making context. Including several different perspectives will lead to interesting and informative user experiences.
In addition, providing a way to measure some key metrics over time, that are not only based the latest data points, will add valuable context to the value of the system.”
How can intelligence teams use dashboards to facilitate interaction between users?
"There are several ways to encourage an interactive process.
One example is to bring user comments and ratings to the forefront. Users will more easily share their own views, if they see other users’ contributions displayed as part of a landing page, for example in sections like “latest comments”, “top rated items” and “most read articles”.
Another example is to create an easy-to-use “shout box” into the front page that enables users to quickly insert their views and opinions on topics discussed on the page.”
*Please click on image to enlarge
“The webinar will go into more detail about how technology is helping market intelligence professionals serve decision makers with visual screens that track different parts of the business environment. For example, we will demonstrate how latest key financial data from competitor profiles can be automatically pulled up in summary charts of industry development on the front page.
We will also look at a few examples of how some companies have structured some of their market intelligence dashboards.”
Watch the Using Market Intelligence Dashboards to Communicate Key Intelligence and Build Your Company's MI Network webinar recording.
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