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A growing problem for our users and our organization was the slow development of pulling multiple datasets in one dashboard. Managing changes to workbooks was too cumbersome and slow to develop and test. This caused a loss of interest because development was too so slow, and when a workbook was completed there was a significant hit to performance due to the large amount of datasets in one workbook. To attempt to alleviate this issue, we needed to create dashboards for specific users pulling from multiple datasets across multiple platforms, all in an environment that would allow for rapid development, roll-out, and customization.
This project needed to completely integrate with Microsoft SharePoint, the platform we currently use as our internal and external portal. From the start, the goal was to keep it simple. We began by creating a standard for a single workbook to have multiple dashboard views with a standard set of filters. We then created a database structure to assign and build JS tags with predefined filters to be rendered on a single page. This allowed us to create a shopping cart of data visualizations for our end users to choose from to add to their own custom dashboard, as well as filter down to what they applied to the view. Finally, we built templates for quick roll-outs of dashboards for end users.
Since converting to this dashboard framework, we've seen our adoption increase dramatically. Before the roll out of SharePoint Dashboards, we saw an average of 1,000 views per month. Since implementation of our new Dashboards in February, we are now seeing an average of 14,000 views per month, with a peak of 16,000 in March. Our Dashboard meetings have started becoming more interactive and well-received with our end users. Users are showing more interest in becoming publishers rather than just consumers now. We are seeing early on, company-wide behavioral changes. Workflow is starting to change. More and more, business decisions are being driven by data visualizations, increasing the speed of development. Our users are no longer intimidated by, or uninterested in, the management of data. They're becoming more interested in engaging with the data and have expressed more concern about the data quality. So far we're happy with experience being reported with the new dashboards, and look forward to future development.