Creating a useful and effective dashboard like developing KPI dashboards requires specific skills. Those intending to improve their existing dashboards for maximizing the value of information are advised to follow the under mentioned steps:
- Focus on the audience – Just think about the people that you intend to impress. Usually a single type of user is targeted. Always focus on the type of people that are being targeted with the dashboard. A particular dashboard may be meant for the executive team for monitoring the financials of the company. Likewise it may be used by the marketing personnel for monitoring the routine activities on daily basis. It must be ensured that the dashboard should consist of the data specially meant for a single type of people. Many a times people do not care for this step and mixed data is included in the dashboards. It may be confusing for the audiences as some of the data may relate to one type of audience and the other may be related to other type, i.e. support, sales or marketing.
- Choose the apt type of dashboard – Usually three types of dashboards are made use of, i.e. Operational, Strategic/Executive and Analytical.
Operational dashboards highlight the operational features of any business. Such dashboards usually need real-time or near-real time data. Operational dashboards usually monitor the operational activities of any unit.
Strategic/Executive Dashboards generally facilitate key performance indicators that are tracked on a periodic basis, i.e. daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Analytical dashboards usually highlight the strategic or operational data. The user is facilitated to find more data and get varied insights.
- Grouping the data – The data must be highlighted in reasonable groups. The grouping may be done on the basis of departments or functional areas. It may include sales marketing, product, finance and the people. Dashboard including financial KPIs and Sales Pipeline should display the financial data next to each other. The sales pipeline data must be displayed together in a different logical group.
- Relevance of data – The data displayed through the dashboard must be relevant to the audience. The scope and its reach must be given due consideration. Those developing KPI dashboards must think about their audiences as to who they are. Their requirements should also be considered in proper manners.
- Avoid cluttering around – Cluttering the dashboards may cause confusion. Important messages may get deflected due to this fact. Such dashboards may include irrelevant information that may be of no use at all.
- Timely refreshment of data – It must be ensured that the data is refreshed at the right intervals. It saves lot of time and avoids other hassles. Sourcing the real-time data is not required when the actual need is just for a weekly feed. The data may be refreshed on daily, weekly or monthly basis. Best performance can be ensured when the dashboard is live.
Adhering to the above simple tips can enable the developers in creating well designed dashboards. They would contain the data that is actually required for generating the requisite insights.