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In the high-stakes realm of contact centers and contact center software, the siren song of flashy dashboards is as seductive as it is misleading. Today, with more advanced solutions emerging, dashboard limitations have become even more apparent. The appeal of visually impressive dashboards is giving way to more substantive analytical solutions, providing real insights and more actionable guidance.  This article explores dashboard limitations and the growing imperative for robust, intelligent analytics.

The Fading Allure Of Dashboards

For over a decade, contact center and general “business intelligence” dashboards have promised–and mostly delivered– a range of enticing visual presentations. Standard features include:

  1. Custom graphics and visualizations
  2. Consolidated data views
  3. Real-time metrics and metric refreshes
  4. A range of user customizations and data consolidations

But as attractive as they are, many of these dashboards lack substance. Many of the selling-points above contain inherent analytical gaps, limiting their real usefulness and, in some cases, introducing new challenges. Let’s look at four of the most common problems: 

  1. Surface graphics fail to expose intricate model logic and model uncertainty.
    • Like the “Black Box” problem common to many modern LLM and AI applications, many dashboards suffer from a lack of transparency. Without transparency, call center managers are left wondering how much confidence they can really place in the dashboard’s insights.
  2. Abundant raw metrics require statistical rigor and algorithms to extract insights.
    • Too many earlier generation dashboards just present the same data, the same statistics, in more visually pleasing ways. And too few managers have the time or statistical skills to interpret the data, or extract meaningful, actionable insights.
  3. Real-time data delivery does not enable real-time decision-making without additional engines.
    • Real-time data delivery looks impressive, but so does the flow rate of a fire hose on full blast. Without additional analytical engines on top of the data stream, extracting insight from real-time dashboards is like drinking from that fire hose.
  4. Basic data consolidation lacks harmonization required for holistic analysis.
    • While it is handy to have all the call center’s performance data in one place, the data points are still presented in a disjointed fashion. We all know that Average Hold Time impacts satisfaction and NPS scores, but so do many other factors. Viewing datapoints in isolation isn’t always helpful, and is rarely actionable.

For many non-analytical users, dashboards create confusion rather than clarity. Interrelated metrics presented in visual overload hamper identifying core issues and opportunities. They present to users a whole carnival’s worth of colorful, flashing lights, but what most users really need is something more like a simple red, green and yellow traffic light.

“A survey found that 40 percent of business decisions were based on judgment rather than business analytics, often due to a lack of good data”. Source: Accenture Analytics

The Emergence Of Intelligent Analytics

Today, cutting-edge AI optimization tools can help solve many of the problems that for years have plagued dashboards. Intelligent AI solutions require integrating data, rigorous analysis, and decision automation. Intelligent solutions include:

  • Industrialized data frameworks to handle streaming, unstructured data at scale, powering real-time analytics.
  • Predictive modeling using deep learning algorithms to forecast future trends.
  • Voice of customer analysis to distill insights directly from customer feedback.
  • Next best action recommendations that prescribe optimized actions based on analytical insights, greatly simplifying complexity for users.
  • Packaged analytics solutions for common high-value use cases like churn reduction.
  • Focused dashboards for monitoring KPIs and tracking analytical impact over time.

A New Era Of AI Optimization

“Organizations that fail to tackle the issues around data, technology and analytics talent will lose out to the high-performing 10 percent who have leveraged predictive analytics to become more agile and adaptive, and gain competitive advantage.” Source: Accenture Analytics 

By moving beyond dashboards to intelligent analytics, contact centers can reduce complexity and unlock AI’s full potential.

The future lies in combining human creativity with AI to enhance customer experiences.

An integrated analytical foundation empowers this transformation through:

  • Holistic analysis via normalized data lakes spanning interactions, CRM systems, speech analytics, and more.
  • Multidimensional insights from techniques like NLP, segmentation, journey mining, and propensity modeling applied across structured and unstructured data.
  • Actionable intelligence via business rules engines that trigger real-time, optimized actions tailored to users' roles.
  • Continuous optimization through deep learning and reinforcement learning.
  • Targeted visibility via focused dashboards monitoring KPIs and tracking analytical impact.
  • In-the-moment guidance to every user relevant to their role in form of next best actions. 

In summary, contact centers must evolve from visually appealing but shallow dashboards to robust, integrated analytical solutions. By implementing industrialized capabilities and focusing them on enhancing human expertise, the next generation of intelligent analytics will unlock immense strategic value.

We're eager to hear your thoughts on the evolution of contact centers through intelligent analytics. Do you have questions about implementing intelligent solutions in your contact center operations? Join the conversation by sharing your experiences, insights, and queries in the comments section below. 

Let's learn from each other and shape the future of contact centers together!

Jim Iyoob
By Jim Iyoob

Jim Iyoob is the Chief Customer Officer for Etech Global Services and a 34-year veteran of the call center/BPO industry. He is passionate, driven, and an energetic business leader with a strong desire to remain ahead of the curve in outsourcing solutions and service delivery. He has also been recognized as one of the “Top 25 Thought Leaders for 2023” by ICMI, and is the recipient of the CX Hall of Fame Award 2023 for his outstanding leadership contribution to the community and practice of CX.