Design Guidelines for Business Intelligence Tools for Novice Users

  • Martin Smuts, Brenda Scholtz, Andre Calitz
  • January 2015, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • DOI: 10.1145/2815782.2815788

What is it about?

The use of interactive dashboards has become a popular technique to aid users in Business Intelligence (BI) analysis and data discovery. The increase in the number of BI platforms on the market is driven by the expanding end-user population. A wider range of novice users, such as business users with minimal Information Technology (IT) or data science skills, are demanding BI tools that support rapid and easy dashboard development. Dashboard development is often a tedious process, involving a number of developers and software tools. Self-service BI tools are becoming prominent environments in which novice users can fulfil their BI requirements without the intervention of IT experts. However, the usability of BI tools has not fully matured to a level where novice users can utilise its features efficiently and effectively without the assistance from IT experts. Limited research has been conducted regarding usability criteria specific to BI tools that support novice users. The purpose of this paper is to expand on existing BI usability criteria for supporting novice users with their data analysis activities. Furthermore, the study proposes a set of design guidelines that can be used as a reference for designing, evaluating and selecting BI tools that aid novice users. Evaluations were carried out on current BI tools to investigate its usability and the extent to which these tools follow the proposed guidelines. Additionally, a field study was conducted with novice users to evaluate the difficulties of current BI tools. This study is concerned with the design of front-end features and usability of BI tools and not on the design of dashboards itself. The results indicated that the proposed design guidelines can be effectively used to select a BI tool for novices.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Brenda Scholtz

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