5 Reasons Dashboards Don’t Work for Advanced Data Analytics

Amanda Derrick

Written by Amanda Derrick


Approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced every day (for reference, there are 18 zeros in that number!). Companies contribute an immense amount of data to those bytes and for a long time, BI dashboards were enough to make sense of all that information. But as datasets continue to grow and become more complex, the limitations of BI tools are leading to a mind-numbing phenomenon known as “Death by Dashboard.”

Similar to the “Death by PowerPoint” meetings featuring decks with 100+ slides, BI dashboards are being packed with reports and data points until they resemble an abstract painting more than a tool for deriving valuable business insights. There’s simply too much information in them to be helpful or digestible. 

Teams who are using overpopulated dashboards are failing to deliver on the value within their treasure trove of data. But the answer isn’t to put less information in your dashboard either because this won’t give you an accurate picture of your business. Instead, to gain strategic business insights, you need advanced and AI-guided analytics tools that allow for deeper exploration of your data.

5 Reasons Dashboards Fail at Advanced Data Analytics

BI dashboards organize and present data through charts, graphs, and pivot tables. But, according to a CIO report, dashboards “are designed to provide superficial information—not to explore complex problems and unearth the deep insights organizations critically need.” 

When dashboards are stuffed with tables and charts in an effort to make them work for advanced data analytics, such as predictive and prescriptive analytics, they result in five main problems for users:

  1. Cognitive Overload

    Cognitive overload in design happens when the brain has too many choices, there’s visual clutter, or there’s a lack of clarity between the information presented. Too much information overwhelms the brain's capacity to process it effectively. As a result, individuals may find it challenging to concentrate, make decisions, or retain important details.

  2. Reduced Focus and Attention

    Excessive exposure to information can lead to a shortened attention span, which is often what leads us to endlessly scroll on social media. There’s just so much to look at and consume that we become easily distracted or are constantly seeking new information, making it difficult to stay focused on a specific task or topic.

  3. Increased Stress and Anxiety

    Information overload can also trigger feelings of stress and anxiety. When presented with a data-packed dashboard, there’s a heightened sense of worry that you might miss something or read a report incorrectly.

  4. Decision Paralysis 

    Overloaded dashboards often end up doing the opposite of what they were intended, which is to help people make better business decisions. In fact, the abundance of information may result in analysis paralysis due to the fear of making the wrong choice, leading to procrastination or avoidance.

  5. Inaccurate or Misleading Information

    Overexposure to information makes it difficult to distinguish accurate and reliable sources from misinformation and propaganda. This can lead to the spread of false beliefs or the reinforcement of existing biases.

These five problems are all part of an inherent problem in BI tools—they rely heavily on the user’s ability to manually identify insights. But valuable answers and opportunities get buried when there’s an extremely busy dashboard for a person to wade through. BI dashboards, which often contain static information about the past and can’t identify patterns and relationships in your data, simply weren’t made for data exploration.

Get Answers Without Overwhelm Using AI-Driven Analytics

Getting the maximum use out of your data is critical to success. The Virtualitics AI Platform enables teams to use Intelligent Exploration as they are guided by AI to explore data more in-depth and automatically find insights.

We don’t believe in dashboards with excessive information that overwhelm data analysts. Virtualitics significantly enhances the decision-making process by leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to guide analysts through complex data, highlighting and explaining patterns, predicting outcomes, and providing proactive recommendations. 

With the right data analytics tool, your analysts will be empowered with information—instead of inundated by it—that helps them find the strategic answers your organization needs to succeed.

Are you ready to level up your data analysts? Check out our free e-book: Intelligent Exploration for Data Analysts - How Advanced Analytics Tools Turn Data Analysts into Strategic Heroes.