James has argued repeatedly and convincingly that Enterprise Decision Management serves to "bridge the insight gap". That is, when data and analytics generate insights about the business, EDM can help put those insights quickly, easily, and inexpensively into action. Or as James would put it, what's the point of knowing what your business is doing from minute-to-minute if it takes three months to react?
Of course, there is a flip side to this. Not every firm is equipped well enough to know what's going on in their operations. To bridge that gap, I recommend looking at a white paper recently authored by one of my colleagues in Fair Isaac's Chicago office, Bradly Ganas, who works in our Technology Consulting organization. Brad has significant experience in business intelligence, and particularly in helping leading organizations develop "dashboards", or what he describes as "summarized graphical representations of already-existing reports".
Brad's paper touches on a number of considerations that are relevance to successful dashboard development, such as reviewing the dashboard's purpose - operational vs. tactical vs. strategic -and thinking long and hard about its aesthetics, but most importantly giving significant attention to the specific nature of the decisions to be made.
He concludes that "the dashboard, when integrated with a business rules management systems designed to support pre-defined strategies, will result in a powerful tool that maximizes your business intelligence (BI) investment and ability to adjust to business conditions."
I've attached Brad's paper for further review. If you are developing an EDM-oriented system, it would be very worthwhile to consult it, because it is based on substantial prior practical experience!
P.S. Also check out Jeff Zabin's article on the topic of dashboards, and their specific application in the marketing realm, in today's Chief Marketer online magazine. Jeff also writes a blog at www.paretorules.com