A business dashboard allows decision-makers to better manage their business, and thus improve sales and profits. Here are five tips to make a successful business dashboard:
1) Personalize. Tailor your dashboard to the role of the user, designing it around metrics specific to the individual. Accommodate your users no matter where they are located.
2) Self-sufficient. Dashboards should guide business users to relevant insight without help from IT. Dashboards should be intuitive and provide simple access to business data using menu filters and drill-down functions. Also, users should have access to FAQs, help files, how-to videos, and an online user community so they can feel confident when using their dashboard.
3) Interactive. Dashboards are not a static experience. Users should be able to apply filters and adjust values on a chart, for example, to plan for various scenarios. They should also be able to write-back to the data source if permitted. Drill-down capabilities are particularly useful because users can delve into charts to get further details with just one click. Interactive dashboards keep users engaged and focused.
4) Dynamic. Static dashboards rely on historical data, neglect your organization’s present performance and set you up for failure, warns Forrester Research. Successful dashboards are dynamic and reflect the real-time changes of your business’ performance. They also offer ad-hoc capability so users can manipulate variables for further analysis and drill-down functionality so users can find root causes.
5) Accessible. Dashboards should be accessible from any device so users can view their data anywhere, anytime. Mobile dashboards are easy to deploy if your BI system supports web apps, which can be developed once and deployed anywhere – on any PC, smartphone, or tablets.
The bottom line is that dashboards should be analytical tools, not just pretty pictures. The ultimate measure of dashboard success is adoption. When users come to see their dashboards as indispensable, you know you’ve done well as a dashboard designer.
DMAI specializes in designing business dashboards, training staff to use them effectively and in providing staff who can build, manage and enhance business dashboards