Business Intelligence Solution- Customization and Personalization


As consumers we live in a world of customization and personalization. People like choices, control and suggestions as part of the overall experience in using a digital product. This is also expected in the professional environment more than ever. It becomes more relevant in the business intelligence space. This is because, as an individual, we have different approach to a business problem based on the scenarios.

In this blog, We will go over few concepts with which we can enable customization and personalization in the BI solution for an organization. This can also be considered when evaluating a business intelligence tool  for the years to come.

Before we get into BI space, we shall see the difference between customization and personalization.

Customization Personalization
Done by the user Done by the app
Gives control of the experience to the user Enhances the experience by giving more to the users’ preference
Example: Populating the home screen of the mobile with background and apps Example: Suggestion in Amazon after your initial purchase or browsing behavior

In BI Space, customization and personalization can complement each other.


Why Customization?

As described earlier, each user would want to have different insights depending on the business scenario. The customization will help user get to the insight he wants without wasting time in navigating to multiple pages. This will enhance the user experience by giving more control to the user’s hands.

From designing persona based dashboards, the solution must move towards enabling personal dashboards for the users, by the users. However, one has to study the personas of the user base to arrive at the method of customization. Here is one method of customization that can be enabled for users who are less technical

How to enable customization?

Persistent Filters

This is a common method that is borrowed from the transaction applications. But its still effective method of customization. Almost all the leading Business Intelligence tools will have this feature enabled one or the other way.


The business users are move tech savvy than before and are willing to take more control over the business intelligence space. Users are moving from the consumption to content creation. As a result, most of the leaders in the business intelligence industry have started enabling self-service as one of their core products.

Alerts Subscriptions

Enable users to subscribe to alerts on the key KPIs. The users must be able to turn on or turn off these alerts as per their convenience.

Pre-computed Visuals and KPIs – the building blocks

Enable users to make use of standard components that can be reused in the way they want. This will help in better accuracy of the data while leaving the dashboard creation to the users.


Why Personalization?

While customization address the choice and control of the user experience, it does not address the suggestions part. While customized insights can help users make better decisions, personalization will help users discover more insights from the data without any deeper knowledge of the underlying data model.

As with any other digital product, business intelligence solutions will also require some information about the users, their navigation and the customization in the system.

How to enable personalization?

Time based

This method of personalization tells users what changed since he last visited dashboard. This will enable users to focus on those items immediately and give a sense of magnitude of  events happened since their last visit.

Role based

This method of personalization suggests tells users what other users like him are looking at. The roles of the user can help group similar users and create collective intelligence on user behavior

Customization based

The customization done by the users give more information on what they are looking for. For example, If the user has created a dashboard focused on revenue, then the system can suggest other KPs that impact revenue. This will help users derive more insights than they originally thought through. Another example is the persistent filters created. This gives idea on the current focus of the user and insights pertaining to the selected dataset can be more useful for the user.

In order to ensure that the personalization works there must be method to get feedback from the users (explicit or implicit) and use it to enhance user experience.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.