Adding A Dashboard For Business Indicators
I have recently been looking at the 30 day evaluation version of Klipfolio Dashboard for Business as a potential project to raise the visibility and impact of information in our business, including business metrics and key performance indicators.
Klipfolio Dashboard is currently at version 5.1 and is offered either either on its own or with pre-assembled Bundles including Dashboards specifically designed for the Sales Department, Marketing Department, Supply Chain, Help Desk, and Internal Communications.
For this project I am aiming to look at specific information extracted from our in-house developed enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. To help get started a handy wizard appears asking which particular areas you want to cover which can then be fine tuned to give the information you really need.
The Supply Chain Bundle seems a good place to start to get a feel for what Klipfolio can do. The Bundle consists of the following sample Klips: Volume, Monthly Key Performance Indicators, Products and Orders, Detailed Reports, Cash-to-Cash Cycle Time, and Reminders each of which can be activated or deactivated in the wizard.
A good place to move next within Klipfolio is the Tour which explains what Klips are all about. Essentially they are data sources and can be database connections, text files or XML files. These data sources can be manipulated to provide interesting visualisations to maximise their impact and make the information more immediately usable – remember the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”?
One of the interesting additional functions of Klipfolio is the Alerting function which is a handy facility allowing you to send an instant alert to all Klipfolio connected users in your environment.
Once you have had a look at the bundle Klips to get an idea of what can be done, the next step would be to start creating your own Klips and to do this you need to activate the Developer Tools in Klipflio which can be found under Options, General, Developer Features. However, there are a couple of documents I would recommend reading first which are the Klipfolio Dashboard Architecture and Planning Guide and Klipfolio Dashboard: Klip Developer Guide.
For any implementation regarding multiple end-users, one of the first things to address would be user control. Whilst setting up the project we would need to minimise the amount of control the end user has for adjusting configuration settings. Whilst things are bedding in and being tested the last thing we need is curious users clicking in the settings or trying to create their own data sources. Once the dashboard is configured it needs to be locked down. We would also need to look into any Active Directory integration so we could pre-load Klips based upon a users job function, so Customer Service get CRM related Klips, Finance get Ledger related Klips, and the business Executives get the top-level metrics. Another factor would be the mix of our user base between thin client users and laptop field based users so providing the XML sources would need some up front planning and consideration.
The Klipfolio dashboard can operate as a sidebar or in a number of other configurations and the Klips can be expand and arranged in a number of variations, I have yet to test this in a thin client environment so it will be interesting to see the impact. I am currently building an XML feed from a couple of areas from our ERP to feed the Klipfolio system and will report more when the project is a little further along.