Implementing dashboards as a business intelligence tool in the forest inventory and analysis programThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Today is the era of “big data” where businesses have access to enormous amounts of often complex and sometimes unwieldy data. Businesses are using business intelligence (BI) systems to transform this data into useful information for management decisions. BI systems integrate applications, processes, data, and people to deliver prompt and robust analyses. A number of successful organizations such the New England Patriots and Google are capitalizing on BI systems. Prototype dashboards have been developed by the Forest Inventory and Analysis program of the Northern Research Station (NRS-FIA) to facilitate delivery of data, mining for trends, and an analysis of a particular natural resource issue. Further development of FIA analytical applications tied to data visualization tools should increase the speed and ability to identify emerging and monitor existing natural resource trends. Though BI systems of many organizations are often internal, FIA has the potential to offer these powerful tools to the public. With an ever-growing demand from users to access information through digital media, BI tools can provide the public with natural resource information via a variety of digital devices in simple, dynamic, and interactive graphical user interfaces. As we explore these opportunities we need to address the unique challenges posed when catering to various clients.