Tag: features

You Can’t Slice and Dice Data in Our Reports and Dashboards, and There’s a Reason

October 29th, 2014 — 10:13am


“I want to change dates on the fly in my report, but this seems impossible. Am I missing something?”

Yes. And no.

Actually, this is purely intentional. On purpose! That’s right, we don’t want users to change dates on the fly.

Yeah, you are probably thinking we’re crazy.

You may be right. It was a bold decision back at the beginning of DashThis, to say no to users regarding changing dates on the fly.

I compare this to Basecamp’s continuous refusal to implement Gantt charts in their project management tool.

The thing is that when you receive your phone bill, do you change the dates? Do you change them when you check your bank account statement? Or when you look at your past month’s performance in your fantasy football league?

No. Because you are looking at a report. A static view that tells you how it went during that period.

You are not analyzing and playing with the data to find out correlations or causes of some events. In other words, you are not mining to extract knowledge.

You are not performing data mining. You are reporting information to someone else (the boss! the client!).

In other words, as a Web analyst, it’s your job to dig and extract buried pieces of information and make sense of it so it’s useful for the organization or clients you work for.

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Stéphane has been working on business Web projects for more than 15 years. He has a computer science degree and a MBA specialized in e-commerce from Laval University in Quebec City. That also explains why his writing can sound weird: He is a French Canadian!

View his LinkedIn profile or email Stephane: stephane@dashthis.com

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