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From the Editor

Are we there yet?

If you’re planning to travel this summer, you’re sure to hear that popular question, and probably more than once. With one quick glance at your car’s odometer or clock, you’ll know roughly how far you still have to go. That’s just one of the key pieces of information a dashboard supplies.

In this issue we look at BI dashboards from a variety of angles. Senior editor Hugh J. Watson compares dashboards with another popular BI element—scorecards—and concludes that they are similar in how they look and in how they use metrics, but they are distinct in how they are linked to business strategy.

Dashboards are only as accurate as the underlying data they report, of course. Vikram Ramchandra and Sreedhar Srikant look at the re-emergence of enterprise risk management (ERM) in light of current regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II. Their nine steps to a successful deployment of a data-quality program focus on business initiatives (and treating data as the corporate asset that it is) to ensure high-quality data for ERM and other initiatives.

Go further, three of our authors argue. Gabriel Fuchs notes that traditional dashboards provide only a high-level business overview; users can’t ask new questions or see new relationships between information. Fuchs makes the case for the integration of dashboards and visual interactive analytics. Bennett Indart discusses how to operationalize BI—taking the insights garnered from BI apps (including dashboards) and inserting them directly into business operations. Russell Keziere notes that while dashboards provide accurate, timely depictions of company operations, they still lack the ability to allow you to act on that knowledge, an “execution gap” that hobbles a company’s market agility.

Going mobile is one way to push a dashboard’s usefulness. In our Experts’ Perspective column, we offer two viewpoints on what an enterprise should consider before making its BI available on mobile devices. From security to bandwidth, our experts explore taking BI on the road.

To round out this edition of the Journal, Sreekumar Sukumaran and Ashish Sureka look at how text tagging and annotation can be an effective preprocessing step toward integrating structured (think traditional database) and unstructured (such as e-mail) data. Anupam Manglik discusses factors impeding BI’s adoption in an enterprise.

As always, we’re interested in your comments. Please send me your feedback: [email protected].

James E. Powell is the editorial director of the Business Intelligence Journal.

This article originally appeared in the issue of TDWI.

About the Author

James E. Powell is the editorial director of the Business Intelligence Journal and BI This Week newsletter. You can contact him here.

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