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7 Dashboard Best Practices

Friday, June 28, 2013

The blog Future of CIO offers 7 best practices for building dashboards.

Actionable data enables better decision making. Dashboard mediums continue to grow in scope, which is great on one hand, but, will dashboards outlive their usefulness? Here are some Dashboard best practices.

1. The number one best practice is to always have your audience, and the specific business goal in mind while developing the dashboard. This will help set the stage for what tools and techniques best fit the given project. The next bit of advice would be to avoid space wasters like pie graphs and gauges. Humans have a hard time making comparisons with those tools. A bullet graph, sparkline, or more traditional line/bar charts will work just fine.

2. The ability to collaborate. How can we help the user analyze the numbers. In Share-point you can connect people, documents and you can always put in an ability to comment. In that way the users can collaborate and help each other make good decisions

3. From KPI Perspective: An important dashboard best practice is that the information presented has a clear alignment to the strategy that the audience is trying to execute/manage by using the dashboard. ". BI specialists could really do well with some KPI skills, so they can help their clients design the information before they design the dashboard. Less is more: the well-defined KPIs being visualized clearly to connect cross-functional audience.

4. "What story does the data need to tell?" Meaningful scorecard needs to originate from all involved, not those guessing at what end user needs to see, hence, what story, how often, by whom and WHY! Visualizing actionable data is meaningless if no one can see it to act upon. It could be context. If the user cannot understand what he/she is seeing in a glance, then something is surely wrong.

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