»Me, myself and BI«

Bissantz ponders


Friday, September 28th, 2007

Can we stop traffic lights?

Decision-makers who receive a traffic light for support really don’t have anything more to decide. The report author already made the judgment call. Worse yet, decision-makers don’t even have the opportunity to try to understand it. But why, when are so many better options…

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Exception Reporting: Finger-wagging is dangerous

Exception reporting, a.k.a. alerting, is often propagated as an effective method to stop the half-hazard information overload that plagues modern managers. Experts, however, warn of the downsides – and that since 1978!

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Graphic tables … simply breathtaking!

Graphical tables are just amazing. They combine the advantages of tables and charts while avoiding their disadvantages to revolutionize the way we create management reports. In fact, they even entice managers to sit back, take a deep breath and a few minutes to examine them thoroughly – with or without their feet up.

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Industrial reporting

Wouldn’t it be great if we could automatically generate reports that could be published without requiring any manual fine-tuning? These lean reports are the concept behind industrial reporting.

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Suitable vs. foolproof reporting

It’s understandable that managers don’t want to spend more time studying a computer screen than they would perusing the business section of the Wall Street Journal to simply get their latest revenue statistics. Yet it is no reason to substitute suitable for foolproof reporting.

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Pseudo-precision

We tend to trust statistics that contain multiple digits. Eliminate pseudo-precision in your reporting.

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Interview with Professor Dr. Rolf Hichert

A vehement advocate for good information visualization, Professor Dr. Rolf Hichert has successfully spent the past few years preaching his doctrine at controller conventions and seminars throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In this German interview he explains that bad report design plagues companies of all sizes and industries. In addition to pointing out the cardinal faux pas of reporting, Hichert takes a critical look at consultancies and other influential industries.

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Guerilla reporting tactics I

Today’s marketing needs to be even fresher, funnier and more shocking than that from yesterday – just to grab the audience’s attention. Why not try the same strategy on your management? After all, managers are just as overwhelmed with masses of reports (and PowerPoint slides) as consumers are with wads of advertising.

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Are sports fans smarter than managers?

Every sports fan gladly takes up a lot of information from data-dense league standings printed in news papers. The same persons as managers fall for bright and shiny information deserts termed “dashboards” to provide them with essential information about their business. What went wrong here?

Monday, November 6th, 2006

Good reporting is boring

“Good management is boring” says Peter Drucker and “If you want excitement, don’t go to a good management information system.” We should reflect on this statement if we do not want to amuse but to inform executives.

Essays

Death to business charts!
Why business charts must die

Graphic tables
Lay back and control

Industrial reporting
Production-like efficiency for management reporting

Can we drive companies
like we do cars?

Against dashboards, speedometers and traffic lights in Controlling

Business Intelligence 2.0
modest, serious, sincere

Rediscovering slowness
Sparklines make us John Franklins in management information.

Good reporting is boring
Looking for excitement?
Try a night on the town instead.

Are sports fans smarter
than managers?

Management reports need to become more dense and dashboards more rare

The myth of data mining
Why men don't buy beer and diapers at the same time.

Numerical blindness?
I wouldn't see a doctor, if I were you.