In this difficult period, companies need more visibility than ever on their activity. Tangible information and consistent data must therefore be at the center of their concerns. In this sense, the dashboard makes it possible to clearly present this data in the form of a decision-making interface.
How to find your way in the plethora of existing offers on the market and tailor-made solutions? How can you be sure to invest your time and money in a solution that can last, without being abandoned by your teams for lack of relevance or interest?
Based on our experience in data and the construction of custom dashboards, we have been able to conduct field observations over the past 6 months. These allow us today to list in a non-exhaustive fashion the trends which are emerging or which are confirmed and which will be, we believe, still relevant for the coming months.
1 – Predictive and prescriptive analyzes
Predictive analytics involves extracting information from already existing data, in order to predict future probabilities. This type of analysis is always based on estimates and therefore always concludes a certain margin of error. However, with an acceptable reliability rate, these analyzes make it possible to provide companies with an assessment of future risks and alternative scenarios not planned at the outset. They can also make it possible to better know your customers and their uses, in order to identify the potential opportunities available to you.
At 10h11, our experience in the development of predictive analyzes pushes us to now offer prescriptive analyzes. What a difference ? Prescriptive analytics take the coaching work further by examining existing data to determine what decisions need to be made and what processes need to be in place to achieve a planned goal. It is then possible to use graphical analysis, simulations, the processing of complex events, neural networks or even machine learning. We are trying to see what the effect of future decisions will be in order to adjust those decisions before they are made. This greatly improves decision making, as future results are taken into account in the prediction. Integrating this type of analysis into your dashboards can help you greatly optimize your planning and production.
2 – NLP
Behind this short acronym lie the most significant advances in terms of data analysis. NLP (Natural Language Processing) allows a machine to read, analyze and ultimately “understand” human language.
Very often linked to Artificial Intelligence, this area brings together many fields of application, some of which can prove to be extremely relevant within a decision-making interface. We will quote for example personal assistants, semantic analysis or chatbots.
Our semantic analysis engine now allows many companies to follow the tone of their customers’ reactions, regardless of their number, directly from a dashboard. The strength of this engine? The possibility of being based on French and personalized dictionaries according to the field of activity of our client, for a semantic analysis as precise as possible.
3 – Mobile use
This third trend may seem obvious and already out of date, as the use of mobile Internet has become more popular in recent years, to the point of greatly exceeding “desktop” use during these last weeks of confinement. A study published by WeAre Social and Hootsuite shows that Internet users have used smartphones (76%) more than laptops (45%) or laptops (32%) to access the Internet (1).
From a business perspective, however, too many dashboards can only be viewed from a computer screen. The figures provided above show it: the recent period has encouraged us to be more agile through telework. If this trend is to continue, it is essential that the decision-making interfaces made available by companies follow the practices of employees.
4 – Security, confidentiality and ethics
81% of French people believe that they are attentive to the processing of their personal data when they browse the Internet. (2)
Professional tools must also respect certain rules for the protection of personal data, the CNIL website provides for this purpose a dedicated page that we recommend: https://www.cnil.fr/fr/travail-et-donnees-personnelles.
Concerning the issue of ethics, it is all the more present when your dashboard integrates complex algorithms or artificial intelligence engines. To learn more about this, we refer you to our series of articles “Towards responsible artificial intelligence”.
5 – Integration in a Data Fabric
Recently appearing, the notion of “Data Fabric” is more and more topical in French companies. The Data Fabric, symbolizes a unified technology or platform that would support the storage, processing, analysis and management of heterogeneous data. The data, currently stored in files or databases, would then all be accessible via one or more interfaces.
For a company, setting up a Data Fabric has 3 main objectives:
- Ability to combine data from multiple sources – regardless of size and future business needs.
- Make this data available for internal or external applications.
- Improve the speed, scalability and reliability of data access by simplifying their management, querying and viewing within a unified data environment.
The dashboard must then be fully integrated into this Data Fabric, in order to provide one or more data visualizations, as may be the case in this case study.
6 – Use of contextual data
In October 2019, despite the legal obligation, only 10.2% of French communities had opened their data to the public. The rate is still higher than at the end of 2018, where only 8% of communities were affected (3).
Despite this low commitment, we can imagine that this rate will continue to rise in the months and years to come. The amount of Open Data will therefore be even greater than at present.
Integrating this additional data into a dashboard is an opportunity to access contextual data that can help you better understand your customers, suppliers or market. An exhaustive search for relevant contextual data requires significant time, but it is entirely justified in view of the gain in information generated by the addition of this data. This search for additional data is a constant in our consultancy work at 10h11, here is for example a complete use of Open Data for a decision interface project.
Like any digital tool, dashboards are set to evolve in the near future, significantly. Their strategic position at the heart of the company, coupled with their role of decision-making interface, pushes us to be all the more attentive to new technologies and new uses which could encourage their adoption and improve their functioning.
(1) WeAreSocial – Le Digital dans le monde en avril 2020 – https://wearesocial.com/fr/blog/2020/04/le-digital-dans-le-monde-en-avril-2020
(2) Ifop – Le regard des Français sur la protection des données – https://www.ifop.com/publication/le-regard-des-francais-sur-la-protection-des-donnees/
(3) OpenData France – Observatoire open data des territoires
Edition 2019 – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YkDHb88kEZra-iSw4EEDIexZ7cQEmLN9/view