Digital dashboards have now become an integral part of organization but creating the perfect dashboard is not that simple. The correct factors have to be taken into account while creating the charts and most importantly, the charts and maps used in the dashboard have to be simple enough to understand without losing out on data and they have to be made visually arresting. The fact to keep in mind while conceptualizing a digital dashboard is that the purpose of this tool is to make complex numbers look simple and not vice versa. So what are the five main points to keep in mind while designing a dashboard?
First, the nature of the organization will decide what the key performance indicators are and that will determine the nature of the dashboard. Since these KPIs vary from organization to organization we need to have a clear idea of what the average senior management are looking for when the use a dashboard. For example, the KPIs of an educational institution will be vastly different from those of a hospital or a manufacturing industry.Why not look here do you ever need a digital dashboard.
Second, while choosing the charts to use in order to factor in all the data, one should charts that allow for maximum clubbing together of data. In order to simplify the complex information, one needs to choose charts that offer extensive drill-down options such as flash charts and juxtaposition of two kinds of chart to make one comprehensive visualization is mandatory. For example, a simple bar chart can be stacked to represent two divisions within the same set of numbers and then drill-down options can lead one to further details about either or both parts of the stacked column.
Third, one must choose the right set of analytics. When one designs charts, one must be very clear on what exactly one hopes to conclude by studying the chart. For example, when we club a bar chart representing monthly revenue with a line chart representing the revenue over the last five years, we intend to make a study of the comparative revenues of the company. If we insert information about the number of employees within this chart, it will be entirely irrelevant and only add a degree of confusion about why this particular data has been included.
Fourth, a dashboard is generally broken down into tabs representing different genres of data regarding the company. These tabs should be carefully thought out so as to not leave out any of the data that requires tabulation without forgetting who the dashboard in intended for. All the data that a company generates is not relevant to the individual who is studying it as that person might not be from the relevant department or some of the data tabulated in the dashboard might be of a sensitive nature. For example, the financial advisor of a company will not be interested in the average age of an employee unless it has direct bearing on the expenditure and revenue of a company.
Fifth, the purpose of a dashboard is to simplify analytics and clear confusion. With this in mind, an individual designing a dashboard must always keep the charts simple to study from. If the studying the chart type requires any specific knowledge, it should be avoided. Color-coding lines or points aids in understanding as well as lending certain degree of attractiveness to the chart and this must be kept in consideration always. Explanatory details should be provided wherever possible and drill-down options should be used extensively to add detailed information to charts.