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Editor's Note: Dashboard Design and Development

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The timing couldn’t be better for me to join Dashboard Insight. My field of research is business intelligence with a strong focus in dashboard design principles. This month, we are getting back to our roots by providing you with real world dashboard design and development challenges and suggestions on how you can solve them.

I remember starting my professional career as a software developer and I would never have imagined myself as a researcher in the field of dashboard design and data visualization. That being said, reflecting back on my earlier software projects, it isn’t really that surprising.

Since the beginning of my professional career I have always worked with data, whether it was creating database schemas or presenting reports. I remember my first project involved both. I was creating billing reports for a major Canadian telecom – but more than that, I was involved in a team tasked with creating a full reporting solution for managers and their clients. I wish I knew what I know now. Dashboards were still fairly uncommon then but they would have been very useful in that project and the many other business applications I have worked on. Here’s why.

The Power of Dashboards

I will not get into the details of what a dashboard is, but suffice it to say that dashboards are a big part of my life. They help me quickly see how Dashboard Insight is performing and what I need to do to improve the site. Dashboards show me key performance measures at a glance.  More importantly, I don’t have to play with complex data queries and Excel models.  However, for these dashboards to be effective, they must follow proper dashboard design and they need to show the proper key metrics.

For the month of June, practitioners like me will be sharing our experiences with designing and developing dashboards. I hope you will find these experiences both enlightening and practical.

Alexander ‘Sandy’ Chiang
Research Director
Dashboard Insight

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