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User-Centric Approaches for Designing and Building Dashboards

by Pat Lapointe, Managing Partner, www.marketingnpv.comThursday, July 10, 2008

Article sourced from Marketing NPV

Written by Tom Gonzalez, Managing Director, BrightPoint Consulting Inc.,


This paper describes an emerging best practice in the design and deployment of data visualization dashboards.

The approach advocated herein is not the only one you can take in building dashboards, but one found to be particularly effective when deploying more than one dashboard to a range of business users with diverse sets of requirements.


The word "dashboard" has become so common that it likely means something slightly different to everyone. But there are several clear distinctions to be drawn that merit taking a moment to align on terminology.

For this discussion the term "page view" is used to represent a collection of one more visual charts, controls, or UI (User Interface) elements presented within a single screen. Each page view can have many interactive elements representing specific metrics, user input devices, or a combination of both.

A "dashboard" is most often a collection of more than one of these page views, along with a mechanism to navigate between them. In the Page View that follows titled "Net Promoter Score," you will be able to filter and view data measuring product Customer Satisfaction levels.

To the left of your Page View, select a DMA (Designated Market Area). Then, move to the line chart and select one of the three market segments: Bright Stars, Steady Core or Cherry Pickers. Next, select a timeframe: 2004, 2005, or 2006. As you click through various market segments and timeframes, you will be able to view the Net Promoter Scores of the selected market segment over that given timeframe. Selecting a new DMA allows you to view Net Promoter Scores in various regions, by market segment and timeframe.

Move below to the Product Line by Channel area and select one of the three products listed: Wizard 5000, Flowbie G2, or SuperCard. Note how clicking on a product button causes the needles to move on each of the three Channel gauges. Color coded embedded alert levels on the Channel gauges allow you to quickly assess how close or far away you are from a specific threshold across each of the three Channels, Self-Serve, SMB Var, and Enterprise.

Market Segment Net Promoter Scores Digital Dashboard
Figure 1. Net Promoter Score Page View

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