How to develop a Visualization Dashboard for Best Results
The data churned by the analytics engines get presented to the end-user or stakeholder on the visualization dashboard. Therefore, the critical nature of the dashboard can’t be stressed enough. An effective business dashboard allows easy data discovery and lets stakeholders zero in on actionable insights in a matter of seconds.
There are many ways in which you can create an effective visualization dashboard. For example, judicious use of colors, shape elements, and charts can be used to make a dashboard highly interactive and communicative.
The foundation of every great dashboard is built from answers to three key questions:
1. Who is the dashboard for?
2. How will the dashboard add value?
3. What type of dashboard are you creating?
If you have not considered these 3 key questions then it is time you did. Business dashboards are there to get the pulse of the business, define future strategies and foresee market trends. Here’s how to develop a result-oriented visualization dashboard using these 3 key questions:
Who is the dashboard for?
This is the first thing every dashboard designer considers before creating a dashboard. Knowing your audience or the stakeholders involved will give a direction for dashboard design and will reveal newer ways of presenting the data.
Learn who the end-user is and what information he/she is looking for. A field sales operations manager would be interested in viewing the team’s sales figures and time spent on the ground by each member rather than viewing how the company’s stock is performing.
Similarly, if your end-user is the CEO, he/she will be looking for a bird’s eye view of the organization’s performance rather than getting into the day-to-day operational data. However, you won’t always create the dashboard for a single audience. You might end up making a common dashboard for the entire organization.
As every stakeholder’s information needs will be different, you might face difficulty in visualizing the data. The best way to tackle this is to prioritize the stakeholders and design your dashboard around that.
How will the dashboard add value?
Before designing a dashboard, learn first what kind of information you will be presenting and the type of business process the information is related to. Analyze the information and business process in-depth to know what type of data is important and which is not.
For example, for a dashboard related to in-store sales, you would want to present the sales figures based on individual locations and a grand sales figure, alongside sales targets and quarterly projections. If you end up showcasing sales staff attrition figures on a sale dashboard then it won’t make any sense.
What type of dashboard you are creating?
The design of your dashboard will depend on the type of dashboard you are creating. Although there are multiple types of dashboards when it comes to design, there are three basic types you will encounter: Operational Dashboards, Executive Dashboards & Analytics Dashboard.
An operational dashboard covers the operations side of the business, from data on website performance to inside sales figures. An executive dashboard contains information for the decision-makers.
Lastly, an analytics dashboard contains vital information for strategy building like an executive dashboard but also features drill-down elements to allow stakeholders to get in-depth information about the business.