With a user experience background, I take usability seriously when designing and developing reports. Usability provides end users with polished reporting that is intuitive while still informative. Paying attention to these details can make a huge difference.

For example, “stop light” thresholds are a great conditional formatting style to quickly identify key indicators. They can help users identify which region is growing fastest or is poorly performing.

A report uses red, yellow, and green circular indicators that are commonly associated with the flow of intersection traffic (red for warning or stop, yellow for caution or slow and green for go).

While these stop light colors are known everywhere, what if the end user is color blind?

An interesting article that discusses how execs should really use analytics. Oftentimes the results are twisted from what the numbers really mean just to prove a (wrong) point. You always need a sincere questioner in the crowd. Then maybe executives will be smarter in their use of critical business information.

In her annual preview, Cindi Howson, founder of BI Scorecard, takes a look at what she sees for 2013. It’s a short list of BI hot buttons, including dashboards, self-service, mobile, in-memory, cloud, collaboration and, of course, big data.

The Call Center Clipboard is a powerful mobile app that provides call center directors and managers a “digital clipboard” for them to literally walk amongst their call center employees while staying connected to important information on their smart phone or tablet.

iOLAP has released a new Mobile BI App for Auto Dealers using MicroStrategy’s Mobile App Development Platform. The Dealer Dashboard is a powerful mobile app that delivers some useful benefits to auto dealerships–from executive management to sales associates working with customers.