First things first, what are we comparing? Esri has two dashboard tools -namely Web AppBuilder and Operations Dashboard-, and one business intelligence (BI) tool -namely Insights.
Before we delve into the abilities of each tool, what is the difference between Dashboards and BI tools?
- Dashboards are a simple display of the most important information that achieves a specific business objective. Ideally designed for at-a-glance monitoring and decision making.
- BI Tools allow you to explore your data and get quick visual data discovery by providing an interactive approach that enables dynamic analysis.
Operations Dashboard and Web AppBuilder provide the same basic functionality to the user, but with a different look and feel. Operations Dashboard is perfect for a simple dashboard; however, Web AppBuilder takes the trophy with providing more functionality to improve the dashboard experience.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Operations Dashboard?
Web AppBuilder can import external datasets that are not found in the map, can support statistics for big datasets, and most excitingly offers all the additional tools found in your mapping applications. These additional tools include (and are not limited to); Analysis, Directions, Edit, Filter, Geo Lookup, Oblique Viewer, Parcel Drafter, Query, Situational Awareness, and more.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Web AppBuilder?
Insights offers users a map-centric BI tool that contains different graph visualizations to Esri’s dashboard tools. Insights is the evolution of the dashboard that enables rapid iteration and productivity, but it is important to note that it is not a replacement of the dashboard. Insights is a unique tool that allows the user to run spatial queries (spatial aggregation, buffer/ drive times, and density) and to find answers (How is it distributed? How is it related? What’s nearby?).
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Insights?
Below is a summary of the available functionalities, broken down into dashboard and BI Tools respectively.
Ultimately it is the user’s need that determines the tool that fits best. All that being said, Esri is constantly providing updates and new software versions that include many more capabilities to each tool.