Augmenting the Business Intelligence Lifecycle Model with Usability: Using eye‑Tracking to Discover the why of Usability Problems


  • T.R. Beelders
  • J.E. Kotzé



business intelligence; usability; BI tool; dashboard; eye-tracking


Humans and machines generate data at an alarming rate but still struggle to analyse and process this data fast enough. In order to meet this rising demand, business intelligence (BI) software firms are constantly incorporating new reporting or analytical functionalities in their software. At the same time, in order to be used optimally, they must ensure these features do not overwhelm users. There has however recently been cases where organisations, even after significant monetary investments, fail to realise the full potential of BI tools, sometimes reporting less than 20% utilisation. The purpose of this study was to investigate possible causes of the low utilisation and test the inclusion of a BI usability process. The study uses an off‑the‑shelf tool as a matter of convenience but proposes that including an empirical evaluation process as part of the BI design and development could increase BI adoption and usage. A small feasibility study was conducted to determine whether eye‑tracking is viable as a means of determining why the usability problems exist. Findings suggest that analysis of eye‑tracking data, together with traditional usability measures offer insight into how users solve problems and use the BI tool. Therefore, it will be a valuable aid in the design and testing of BI tools before release to enhance the usability therefore and potentially increase adoption and usage rates and should be included as a phase in the design and development lifecycle.



1 Feb 2020