In Navigating Change in Crisis, we explore how individuals and companies are adapting to a “new normal” in order to keep essential services functioning. We provide actionable advice around how organizations, and ultimately the builders of data and analytic apps, are adapting to meet these changes. These insights aim to help you and your team navigate these unprecedented times.

In response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, companies worldwide are closing their physical offices and transitioning to remote working, creating a unique dynamic that employees are trying to master.

Remote working presents organizations with the challenge of how teams collaborate effectively. Dashboards can play a critical role in maintaining business continuity and productivity, workflow management, continuing to drive business impact, and maintaining morale, as data is often the lifeline of a business’s health.

In this new reality, it’s imperative to keep everyone in your business aligned. Thus, the ability to collaborate and to use dashboards as a way to do this, is a skill that is quickly evolving within the pandemic.

“The dashboard is a powerful and effective collaboration tool that makes complex data easily comprehensible for everyone within customers’ organizations,” Said Sivan More, Global Director of Customer Success at Sisense, “It’s a vital way of visualizing business intelligence and revealing game-changing insights to all. Dashboards democratize data and they both promote and enable an effective data-driven culture” 

Driving business impact by exploring corporate storytelling

When you have masses of data, you need to make it meaningful. That’s what dashboards do. They’re the key to effective data storytelling in business. A data warehouse or data lake with petabytes of information is useless unless that data can be managed, filtered, mashed up, organized, and visualized in a way that can reveal useful insights. Dashboards do the vital visualization part.  They simplify vast amounts of complex and disparate data into a visual and understandable format.

Good dashboards improve data exploration and analysis. They build a coherent narrative from the data, offering information that drives decision-making, and they make it memorable by presenting that narrative in a visually striking way. In short, dashboards are the storytellers of the BI and analytics process. Dashboards make insights more accessible, so they become a valuable tool in the collaboration process.

“The most compelling means of showing and explaining what your data means is using dashboards,” said Sivan More, global director of customer success at Sisense. “Dashboards tell the story of your data to the widest audience within your business. They are the gateway to the best analysis and insights that can drive your business forward and maximize the impact of your data.”

How dashboards can help the healthcare sector collaborate to fight the coronavirus

Various healthcare organizations, are using analytics as a vital part in enhancing efficiency and targeting patients’ needs. This is thanks in no small part to the dashboards that these customers can generate, which enable all parts of their organizations to visualize and explore their data.

Right now, the healthcare sector is facing a global challenge, as it attempts to both identify a cure for the COVID-19 virus but also optimize resources for those already infected. It requires an unprecedented collaborative effort, and importantly, data is at the heart of the solution.

Recently, the UK government announced that its National Health Service (NHS) has struck the first deal of its kind with the private hospital sector to increase the capacity of healthcare across England with 8,000 new hospital beds, almost new 1,200 ventilators, and over 10,000 additional nurses (including more than 700 doctors and over 8,000 other clinical staff).

This huge project will provide real-time data to flow through dashboards to better understand the data that could help solve the crisis. 

Resconsortium has used Sisense technology to map the spread of the virus across the country on a dashboard. It will provide service capacity planners at both local and regional NHS clinical commissioning groups with the information they need to target resources to areas where the outbreak becomes more severe or where there is a higher density of at-risk patients.

The Resconsortium team has analyzed local cases and the population characteristics of those areas to model the relative expected number of cases at local levels. It has applied the data on the age and health of these populations to adjust for the disease impact at these levels. It shows the areas that could use more support as the number of cases increases. 

As we’ve seen, the ability to collaborate and to use dashboards as a way to do this, is a skill that is quickly evolving within the pandemic.

The data in the dashboard can analyze and predict caseloads in every individual general practitioner’s surgery throughout the country. The dashboard is also dynamic, enabling Resconsortium to update the data and its visualization in real-time. This is essential in this rapidly changing context.

“The beauty of the Sisense dashboard is that it builds all elements together, and we can dynamically adjust for the change in factors,” Said Michael Stedman, Director of Resconsortium, “The speed at which we can work through the process of data management to publication enables us to adjust to local conditions and needs exactly as they change, which is a critical consideration in this fast-moving environment.”

In the US, an interactive data platform allows people to use a dashboard to analyze and monitor US hospital capacity and isolate geographic areas of risk. This dashboard optimizes the treatment of patients as the virus spreads and in turn, helps save lives.

Data visualization dashboards have quickly become go-to resources with which to track the spread of the virus. One of the most authoritative was launched in January at Johns Hopkins University. It monitors confirmed cases, recoveries, and deaths in all affected countries, in real-time.

Monitoring KPIs and productivity with data and dashboards

Dashboards are a great way of tracking progress against your KPIs. Employee productivity KPIs can draw from various sources including team performance, efficiency, attendance rates as well as turnover and attrition rates. Dashboards show whether your existing structures and methods encourage a positive workflow. They are an important way to provide measurement against team collaboration.

“Dashboards provide a dynamic means to share real-time performance data throughout customers’ organizations,” Said Sivan More, Global Director of Customer Success at Sisense, “They enable customers to identify trends, issues and opportunities that can influence and enhance productivity, and they can act upon the data by drilling into the various KPIs we can get about the individual contributor or item that impacts a business issue.” 

With Sisense, you can even integrate a workflow management or team collaboration tool like Asana into a dashboard as a BloX module to track the progress of tasks and projects. And you get an impactful visualization of your productivity data.

In challenging times like these, Sisense continues to deliver and becomes even more critical to organizations and businesses of all kinds. Richard Hectors, Senior Data and Insights Manager at Audio Network observes that “Sisense is really showing its value at a time like this, in helping us quickly get a handle on business impact. Also in terms of its function as a shared collaboration tool – use of the dashboards from our team has gone up as we started working from home so that’s a great sign. ”

It remains to be seen how the COVID-19 virus will play out, but what’s certain is that data and dashboards will be vital to all the combined efforts to beat it, and are instrumental to the success of many other organizational challenges of similar scale.

Adam Murray began his career in corporate communications and PR in London and New York before moving to Tel Aviv. He’s spent the last ten years working with tech companies like Amdocs, Gilat Satellite Systems, and Allot Communications. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and when he’s not spending time with his wife and son, he’s preoccupied with his beloved football team, Tottenham Hotspur.

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