A Dashboard is the visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives for a specific audience which fits entirely on a single computer screen or even the front of a car so that it can be monitored at a glance to ensure you are on the right track, how far have you traveled on the journey and any course-correction / gas or oil refill that is necessary.
While there are several ways that a dashboard can be designed badly, there are a few guidelines that will help any developer / engineer design and build a great dashboard that serves the objectives / needs of the audience it is designed for, uses the data in the most appropriate way and displays only the necessary KPIs that drives better decisions using the right kind of visualizations is designed.
The rules to build effective dashboards are pretty simple. An effective dashboard should never:
- Be everything to everyone.
- Have more than seven metrics
- Require scrolling to view
- Contain a lot of text.
- Remove the need for detail reports.
An effective dashboard is built for a clearly defined audience with a specific objective, by following a process, with the right tool by creating the right kind of dashboards with the right kind of charts/graphs using the right data to tell a great story. The tips to building a great dashboard can be grouped into the following categories:
- Following a Process
- Understand your Audience
- Identify the Right Dashboard Type
- Identify the Right Tool
- Use the Right Data
- Build a Great Dashboard
- Leverage The Right Charts / Graphs
- Tell a Great Story
I will be expanding on this in my next eBook. I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions as well as your experiences in well-designed and badly designed dashboards. To continue the conversation, please post your comments below or write in to me at [email protected]