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Dashboard trends for 2014

by Jon Hazell, Administrator, Dashboard InsightFriday, February 14, 2014

There seem to be a number of predictions for the business intelligence trends in 2014 but not many regarding dashboards so we thought we would share with you some of our predictions for dashboards in 2014.

1. Best practice use

The use of best practices within dashboards has been increasing over the years. Partly due to the increased presence of and use of dashboards, and partly due to greater awareness on what best practices should be followed as well as vendors taking the reins and leading by example. We see is increasing in 2014 as data visualization and dashboard use continues to grow and competition between vendors increases.

2. Differentiation between data visualization and dashboards

All one needs to do is look on twitter to find that the vast majority of data visualizations are not actually dashboards. They typically take the form of infographics, or visualizations like those found in the 2010 gun fatalities or meteor strikes. Such visualizations are interesting to look at and watch but they are meant more as entertainment and thought provoking pieces rather than informative at glance tools like dashboards. They certainly convey information to the viewer but tend to focus on one piece, without adding much in the way of contextual information that would provide the viewer with a better understanding of the big picture. Dashboards on the other hand typically show multiple measures or key performance indicators allowing the viewer to gain an understanding of what is happening in the big picture. Great dashboards also provide the ability to take action or additional resources for the user to do so.

3. Departmentalization of Business Intelligence

As the need for business intelligence increases within organizations we will see a rise in the creation of departments dedicated to business intelligence. Chief Data Officers and Chief Business Intelligence Officers will increase in number. This will benefit data visualization and dashboards as those within these departments familiarize themselves with best practices and push out unified solutions across the organization.

4. Analytics for everyone

Sometimes referred to as the democratization of data, we will see an increase in the ability for every day users to access analytics. A greater demand for people to slice and dice information and an increased use of predictive analytics as it becomes increasingly affordable and achievable for businesses. The increased prevalence of data discovery tools, enabling users to connect to various data sources and perform some analytical functions, are also driving this trend. As the presentation layer for the data, dashboards will play a critical role in supporting this trend and ensuring the adoption of these projects.

5. Mobile

While not new, dashboard viewing from mobile devices is going to see a great increase over the next year as users continue to migrate to accessing information from their portable devices. We will see a great increase in dynamic functionality and the ability to interact with dashboards from these devices. By 2015, Gartner predicts that 50% of BI consumption will be done exclusively via mobile devices. Expect a large increase in mobile access to OLAP data and analytical dashboards.

6. Orbis Indicators

These visualizations are gaining a lot of popularity, probably due to their minimalist, intuitive, and futuristic feel.

7. Big and Thin Sans Serif Fonts

There’s something about it that seems to say “modern”. It makes lettering readable but somehow unobtrusive and graceful.

Image source: www.gngcreative.com

What dashboard trends do you predict for 2014 and beyond?

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