This is a post about the differences between dashboards and reports, and where they overlap, and how either (or both) can be used to form the foundation of an analytics framework. While most (if not all) of the main points apply across multiple sectors and industries, the focus will be on the use of tools in the rail and also wider transport sectors - that's the intent, anyway!
The first thing is to ask what is the difference between a dashboard and a report - isn't a dashboard a collection of reports or highlights? The answer is, unfortunately, "yes and no": all too often, that is exactly what a dashboard presents, so 'yes'. It is not, however, what a dashboard should be (in my view, anyway): a dashboard should provide, in one place, an overview of the information and facts an individual needs to know at the time they view that dashboard. Not a snapshot, some time-based 'photograph' of how things looked the last time the reports were run, but up-to-date information, and it certainly should not require a full data re-import each time it loads for a specific user. …more