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9 - Travel Pro
9 - Travel Pro

Taming Chaos and Clutter in Sisense Self-Service BI!

With an established self-service Sisense platform, data explorers can now freely analyze data by crafting their widgets and dashboards. But beware! Without proper guidelines and guardrails, this newfound freedom can conjure chaos and clutter. While my previous blog delved into the reasons for embracing self-service capabilities this one stresses the significance of maintaining control and governance for a clutter-free and productive Sisense experience.

Why Self-Service Matters

Allowing users to create their dashboards empowers them to extract valuable insights without relying on dedicated teams or specialized knowledge. This democratization of data leads to quicker decision-making and fosters a data-driven culture within the organization.

The Challenge of Clutter

While self-service offers numerous benefits, it also presents challenges, with clutter being one of the most significant concerns. Without proper oversight, the platform can quickly become inundated with irrelevant or poorly constructed dashboards, hindering productivity and data analysis.

Strategies for a Clutter-Free Sisense Environment:

  1. Standardization and Governance: To maintain consistency and ensure compliance, implement standardized templates, color schemes, and design guidelines. Define clear governance policies and data access controls to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.

    At Gousto we use pre-designed templates in order to maintain consistency across the board.

    We are also exploring options to use GitHub with Sisense to version control dashboards. This will prevent inadvertent overwriting of dashboards and at the same time allow users to personalize the dashboards to suit their purpose.
  2. Training and Resources: Empower users with comprehensive training and resources to enhance their BI skills. Offer tutorials, documentation, and online courses to encourage best practices in dashboard creation.

  3. Dashboard Approval Process: Introduce a review and approval process for user-generated dashboards. Designate administrators or data stewards to validate and approve dashboards before they are shared, promoting quality and relevance.

  4. Encourage Reusability: Promote the use of shared data sources and pre-built widgets to discourage duplication and redundancy. Facilitate collaboration among users and maintain a clutter-free environment.

    Tip: A dashboard catalog, listing all the available dashboards and their data sources would be good to start with. Anyone intending to create new dashboards can then skim through the list before proceeding, to avoid duplication.

  5. Usage Analytics: Utilize analytics tools within the Sisense platform to track dashboard usage and engagement metrics. Identify underused dashboards and consider archiving or removing them to reduce clutter.

    We connect to a (MongoDB) database that stores the dashboard, ElastiCube, and user metadata to run our Governance dashboard, which monitors dashboard usage and user activity.

    This then instructs the next step

  6. Regular Cleanup Campaigns: Conduct periodic clean-up campaigns where administrators review existing dashboards, remove unused or irrelevant ones, and promote best practices to maintain a clutter-free environment.

  7. Establish a Community Forum: Create a community forum where users can share and discuss their dashboards. Encourage collaboration and identify dashboards that provide value to a broader audience.

  8. Usage Quotas or Limitations: Consider setting usage quotas or limitations on certain resources to prevent the creation of excessive dashboards and encourage thoughtful design.

The options are endless, and I have outlined the top few that have proven helpful to us.

A self-service Sisense platform empowers users to explore and analyze data effectively. However, to prevent chaos and clutter, it is essential to implement control measures and governance. By standardizing processes, encouraging reusability, and conducting regular clean-up campaigns, organizations can strike the right balance between autonomy and order. This approach ensures a productive and clutter-free environment, allowing users to make the most of their Sisense platform while adhering to best practices and governance.

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