The role of a salesperson is challenging, but whose job isn’t. Right?

The typical salesperson spends 80% of his or her time out of the office. There are trade shows, customer visits, and of course, transit times to consider. I know a salesperson who spends fully 20% of his time either on a plane or waiting for a plane in an airport. And that’s why the mobile revolution has taken hold in our society. More and more workers need mobile, flexible solutions for how to get their jobs done. And, they need our support working this way.

We’ve largely done a good job of connecting on-the-go workers to each other — providing access to phone and email via mobile devices. But that’s not enough. Mobile workers also need to be connected to their data, with the ability to access the right information and the right person at the right time on the right device. Companies send salespeople out on the road and those salespeople must be able to do their job —right at the time they are selling. To better support this mobile sales force, let’s examine the basis for the resources they’ll need. (more…)

How You Can Better Visualize Your Data

coloring pencils, visualize dataIf you think about it for a moment, the purpose of visualizations is to communicate information effectively. And you want to do that in ways that brings out patterns and trends that can’t be seen just by looking at tables of numbers. Ideally, this is going to be something that is aesthetically pleasing. You can have a positive emotional response when you look at some of these displays and engage users more, so they are willing to really dig in to analyze data.

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In this article, we’ll review some of Dimensional Insight’s Chart portlet visualizations in order to illustrate a wide variety of ways to visualize data. I think you’ll see that with all of the options available, it is easy to communicate information in a way that is both effective and pleasing to the eye. (more…)

A Day in the Life of Rosalie: How a Customer Uses DiveTab

A Day in the Life of Rosalie: How a Customer Uses DiveTabWe tout the benefits of our DiveTab mobile product, but what is it actually like in action? For our customers who use DiveTab, it’s a critical tool that provides insight throughout their workdays.

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This article, which will show you a day in the life of Rosalie, a DiveTab customer, is based on a presentation by our customer, James Batchelor of Mutual Distributing Company. This will provide you with a great example of how DiveTab can be leveraged by sales reps to increase productivity and efficiency. I’d like to thank James for his generosity in allowing us to use this here. (more…)

How to use HSRIC to Enrich Your Healthcare Data in Diver

Logo for Health Services Research Information Central (HSRIC)If you follow our blog, you know I typically write articles about dashboard design. However, now we have expanded this topic to “Getting More Out of Diver”, which will encompass not only dashboard design, but also help you better understand your data and how to accomplish your goals within Diver.

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This article is my first under this new topic. I believe it will help you get more out of Diver. In short, I’d like to introduce you to a resourceful web site that will help those in healthcare better understand their hospital’s performance by comparing it to a benchmark. (more…)

Back to Basics: 5 Things to Think about When You Create a Dashboard


Your organization has invested a lot of time and money collecting data and wants to get some useful information out of what you’ve collected. In the early days of BI, usually only a few people in the company could make sense of the data. But today, with dashboards, more and more employees are able to access the data and use it to make better decisions.

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What does this mean to you, the dashboard designer? It means you are probably creating dashboards for more than just one or two individuals. And because you have so many end users, creating dashboards that are used or not can severely impact what the company experiences in terms of ROI in the dashboards themselves. The bottom line: you want your dashboards to be understood by every end user. How can you do it? Get back to basics and follow these 5 concepts.

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A Cool Tool for Experimenting with Dashboard and Portal Color Schemes

Year after year, our web site visitors have shown a great deal of interest in an article I wrote about a tool that can be used to explore color combinations online – Adobe Color. Since I have never gone into detail about how to use the tool, I thought people might benefit from a short tutorial. So I am updating my original blog post for this month’s dashboard design article.

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For DivePort users who want to create a beautiful user interface that is both highly functional and visually appealing, color choice is an important factor. If selecting colors is not your forte and you need something other than what is available on your company’s color palette, you can use Adobe Color. Let’s take a look at how to use Adobe Color Creative Suite to find colors for your dashboards. (more…)

Meet Dimensional Insight’s Top Dashboard Designer, Zhenggang Hu

Dimensional Insight’s Top Dashboard Designer, Zhenggang HuMany of our customers have commented recently on how beautiful our new application interface designs look. But do they know who is responsible for these visually stunning displays? It is Zhenggang Hu, our user interface (UI) designer. Zhenggang has been the designer of many of Dimensional Insight’s software; he currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts and works out of the Dimensional Insight Burlington office.

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I sat down with Zhenggang recently to get an idea of how he works and thought our readers might also be interested in learning more about him. Read on to learn more about Zhenggang’s role at Dimensional Insight, his creative process, and the project he’s most proud of. (more…)

How to Best Support Your Salespeople

The role of a salesperson is difficult. Salespeople are often challenged with less than perfect working environments, yet they are expected to excel without the tools office workers have at their disposal. In the office, workers have all the resources they need readily available: presentations, files, data, and experienced staff to help with department-specific answers to questions.

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But what about those whose jobs require them to “live” on the road? How can they most effectively do their jobs and gain access to the same tools that in-house office workers have? That’s what we’ll be examining in this blog post. (more…)

Visual Standards in Dashboard Design

People often confuse design with style. But this is misguided. They do not mean the same thing. Design principles do not change. Yet style is changing constantly.

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In this article, I am going to take a look at visual standards in dashboard design. We’ll examine how you can use design principles to determine the best dashboard – both in style and in functionality – for your users. (more…)

How to Get a Fresh Dashboard Look and Feel

In January, I conducted our company’s bi-monthly customer webinar and talked about some best practices for dashboard design. I also presented a new user interface design that our designer John Hu had recently created. The dashboards and reports he created are wonderful! This design is now being used in the 7.0 version of our healthcare and manufacturing applications, and the look really gives a fresh appeal to Dimensional Insight products.

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At the end of the webinar, one of the attendees asked me if I could help her get the same look and feel on her dashboards. In this article, I do just that – outline the steps to get the look and feel of this user interface. (more…)