A standard across meeting rooms all over the world is the PowerPoint slide deck, the spreadsheet and if you’re lucky some system data feeding a browser-based dashboard. This triumvirate is the current basis by which most data presentations are made and exec decisions made.
No need to point out the limitations of the trio here. Suffice it to say that the total man-hours spent in prep time alone would pay for any of the new digital boardroom solutions we have seen many times over.
We looked at SAP’s Digital Boardroom product which sits on top of SAP Business Objects and Livestax, a start-up offering a mobile-friendly framework for building interrogative exec data views.
Sitting through a demo of SAP’s Digital Boardroom would make most management teams drool. Our demo setup was three large touchscreens and a beautifully visual series of components. We were able to navigate, interrogate and scenario plan. And it is the scenario planning that best defined what makes a Digital Boardroom different from a set of interactive dashboards.
As a business owner or management team, it is vital to be able to ask what-if questions in pursuit of the right decision. Previously this would mean accepting opinion, remembered facts, plain guesswork or a delay to the decision making process – the fundamental problem Digital Boardrooms are designed to solve.
The Digital Boardroom joins all the data points of the business together in a beautiful set of views that enable managers to see the big picture, dig into the detail and also let the data itself tell stories through infinite scenarios.
The SAP solution is geared to companies that have SAP implementations and requires business objects and the HANA Cloud Platform. Any type of new data source can be added via objects and once added can interact with any other data object.
Livestax requires companies to build ‘apps’ that interact not via a set of business objects but via a communication API inside the platform. Apps can be built using any web technology. Both platforms enable customers to share data securely behind the firewall.
The killer app for Digital Boardroom is that it brings a ‘Single Truth’ to the numbers. While data manipulation inside departments prior to publication is the norm all over the world, with the Digital Boardroom approach there is only ‘the’ data. This is invaluable for exec teams and not only eliminates costly prep time, in so doing it also eliminates potentially costly manipulation opportunity.
Image Credit: SAP 2016