The objective of this dissertation is to document the research study which set out to determine what is required of decision support dashboards to enhance decision making in the information, communication and technology (ICT) sector. Another objective of this study involved the investigation of what constitutes an effective dashboard regarding its decision-making ability in ICT organisations. By combining the objectives mentioned above, the study attempted to identify whether the ICT sector incorporated any dashboard development methodologies that facilitated decision making abilities, and if not, whether such a methodology could be created. The researcher had chosen to complete a qualitative study that took an interpretive approach to analysing dashboards and the decision-making process. The researcher chose to use phenomenological theory in the process of conducting this research as the theory attempted to describe what drives an individual to act in a certain way. The researcher found this to be an effective method of investigating how participants use dashboards and what factors lead them to make good or bad decisions from a dashboard.
The researcher found that there were three areas that mainly contribute to the effectiveness of a dashboard and its ability to facilitate decision making in the ICT industry. These include end user requirements, dashboard design and the dashboard development process. Each of these areas included various elements such as collaboration, simplicity of design and an iterative development cycle. These categories were identified to be crucial for the creation of a dashboard that effectively facilitated and improved decision making abilities. The researcher then proposed a development methodology that combined these three areas. Lastly, the researcher tested this proposed development methodology in a real world scenario and found that it enhanced collaboration, dashboard design and allowed for an iterative development cycle. Overall the testing was a success as the participants stated they were satisfied with the results and the improved quality of the developed dashboard. The researcher did, however, find that the proposed methodology had some drawbacks, such as over-reliance on project management skills and an extended overall development cycle.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2015.