In the last post we looked at the basics of Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence. In this post we are going to look at some Business Intelligence Web Portal basics. By following these practices you can ensure you are designing it to meet your businesses needs. Many of these practices we learned from the book The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Complete Guide to Dimensional Modeling by Ralph Kimball, Margy Ross.
Business Intelligence Web Portal Basics
The BI portal’s main function is to provide a navigation system to the BI application. The BI portal needs to be easy to use and understand, and if possible have a look and feel similar to other applications or web content of the organization. Basically you have to make sure its design is consistent with the other applications currently being used by the organization. It help end users in adopting the new app quickly.
Desirable features to be considered for web portals in general and a BI portal in particular :
1. Usable – User should be able to easily find what they need in the BI tool.
2. Content Rich – The portal is not just a report printing tool, it should contain more functionality such as advice, help, support information, and documentation which in turn will help users make decisions.
3. Clean – The portal should be designed so it is easy to understand and not overly complex so the users are not confused.
4. Current – The portal should be updated regularly.
5. Interactive – The portal should be implemented in a way that makes it easy for the user to use its functionality, and encourage them to use the portal. Scalability and customization give the user the means to fit the portal to each other.
6. Value Oriented: It is important that the user has the feeling that the BI application is a valuable resource. If the end user sees no value, he will not use it.
During the analysis and design phase these key points must be considered so that the system being designed and developed is used by the end users. Involvement is most important thing here, the more the users are involved in the process of analysis and design, the higher the likeliness that you are meeting their business needs.
I will be writing about Dimensional Modeling in an upcoming post, stay tuned.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.