Efficient Dashboards – Tips & Tricks

Nothing works without dashboards in today’s business world. Nevertheless, there are serious variations in efficiency. Depending on the industry and the company, the requirements often differ considerably.

Therefore, there is no right or wrong when it comes to designing a dashboard.  However, some principles should be followed so that the dashboard tells an engaging story about the company and helps you achieve your goals.

Good dashboard design offers benefits for all

Take the time to design visually appealing and content-relevant dashboards. That way, everyone in your company will benefit.

  • Generating added value from data
  • Bringing stakeholders together
  • Creating a data-driven culture

Who do you want to reach with your dashboard?

If you are designing a dashboard, you should be clear about who you want to reach in the first place. Who is your target group? What does your target group expect from you?  For what purposes does your target group want to use your information?

4 design basics for good dashboards?

A dashboard is more than just a pretty design. It’s about data telling a story and delivering what the audience needs. Every data-driven dashboard follows a few design principles that provide clarity and unambiguity.

1. Hints and buttons

Implement visual hints / buttons that indicate when an element links to another page and provide contextual information.

2. Information hierarchy

Display data in order of importance so users don’t miss what’s most important. “F-scanning” is a common way people consume information – essentially scanning horizontally across the page and then down.

3. Colours and contrasts

Some people have limited colour vision, so it is important to include shapes and contrasts to ensure that everyone can access the information they need. Keyword accessibility.

4. Simplicity

A full dashboard may display a lot of information – but it’s useless if viewers can’t understand what they’re looking at. Less is more, so avoid confusing 3-D graphics or too much information on one page.

- bdg insights

4 Dashboard Categories for Businesses

The purpose of dashboards generally falls into one of the following four categories. The categories are based on their purpose and audience. In this way, each dashboard category has and highlights Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) differently.

1.The executive dashboard

A full dashboard may display a lot of information – but it’s useless if viewers can’t understand what they’re seeing. Less is more, so avoid confusing 3-D graphics or too much information on one page.

Tip: Stick to the 80/20 rule 

Do NOT justify every item on your dashboard. Focus on the 20% that are most strategically important – which will account for 80% of the value.

2. The operational dashboard

is one of the most common types of dashboards. They are used to monitor current status and present information in a simple, easy-to-understand format that anyone can understand. These dashboards are not intended for interactivity or to demonstrate progress towards a goal. They provide a snapshot of the current state.

Tipp: Visualise what, where, when

An operational dashboard tells you what is happening, where it is happening and when it started. Using correct visualisations for these three questions makes it easier to understand.

3. The tactical dashboard

The tactical dashboard is used to continuously track goals. Each step is evaluated against the planned progress. High frequencies allow the course to be adjusted quickly and without major inconvenience.

Tip: Clear goals, clear direction

The effectiveness of a tactical dashboard is directly related to its goal. If you know what you are aiming for, you can track your progress and make informed decisions about how to proceed.

4. The analytical dashboard

contains a large amount of data created and used by analysts to support managers. Analytics dashboards provide a comprehensive view of business data, and middle managers are a crucial part of the user group. These dashboards are used for decision making and play a key role in the business.

Tip: See the big picture

Use external data, such as demographic or financial market data, to provide a broader context for your performance or to normalise data and metrics.

- bdg insights
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