Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Business Insight - Limitations

A lot has been said and written about Business Insight. While you will come across a lot of articles highlighting the good, jazzy and the positive features of Business Insight, I wanted to focus on some limitations in the use of Business Insight.

Business Insight being a new technology/component from IBM, it has a lot of bugs that need to be fixed before we can benefit from the use of Insight. Most of these bugs that I have come across have to do with drill ups/downs. I consider these to be really important issues to be addressed as the primary shift in datasources is from relational to dimensional. The issues have been listed out in the article:

Another big drawback that I find is with respect to prompts. Though Slider and Check-box List prompts are available, Insight lacks the availabilty of value prompts, date prompts. These need to be created inside of reports and users need to drag them into the Insight reports to make use of them. Value prompts when dragged into Insight are not jazzy enough to blend with the other components on the screen.

Non Auto-Submit Value prompts when dragged into Insight cause individual Apply/Cancel buttons to appear for each such prompt.

The available Slider and List Box prompt has another disadvantage. When these prompts are set inside Insight, users need to select a list of values that need to appear in the prompts. Though this makes sense when you think of Insight as an ad-hoc tool, how often do you come across users who are willing to spend a few minutes to create an ad-hoc dashboard. More often than not, the requirement is to have pre-authored dashboards and in such cases this limitation is huge. New values don't show up unless the user goes in and modifies the prompts each time.

Another disappointment is you cannot convert the whole dashboard into different formats. You can only convert individual widget into various formats. So much for being able to take a snapshot of your dashboard.

Even though Insight was meant to be an ad-hoc dashboard environment but gone are the days when dashboards were static. Users require ability to slice and dice their key metrics data. With the line between Dashboards and Reports are getting blurred at some places it would be great to have more prompting capability in Insight.

Insight is a CPU intensive tool. Heavy dashboards can take a while to render.

Having dished out about Insight limitations, I need to say, I really liked the slider feature. Wish we had such components available in RS. It would be great to have some of the jazzy looking Active Report Prompt components also available in RS.

Your thoughts on Insight?


Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. I stay away from Insight and insight advanced all together. I am waiting for Cognos to catch up with their competitors when it comes to dashboarding. The made some good strides with Insight but its still too flaky for me. They show allow for us to create charts and reports right there on that dashboard instead of creating thme somewhere and dragging them to the dashboard.

Great blog btw, I use it religously.

-KWame in ORlando

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