Dashboards are a unique and powerful way to present data-based intelligence using data visualization techniques that display relevant, actionable data as well as track stats and key performance indicators (KPIs). Dashboards should present this data in a quick, easy-to-scan format with the most relevant information understandable at a glance.
Here are the some important things you should remember while building a Dashboard
- Be clear about what you're trying to achieve
To build a good dashboard the first thing is to clearly define what you are trying to achieve, What is the purpose of your dashboard and for whom it is, who is your target audience.
2. Only include what’s important
Content is the most important key to build a good dashboard. If you are not showing useful metrics then is doesn't matter how you arrange them. You must have some goal and KPIs defined, start with that and remember everything should tie back to your purpose of your dashboard.
Adding too much information in dashboard can distract from what's important so include only most important content. If you really need to include everything then you can build more than one dashboard.
The above chart look little messy. Don't create unnecessary charts and don't include it in dashboard if its not important
3. Use size and position to show hierarchy
Adding hierarchy and size in dashboard is make user easy to scan or understand. Using size and position it emphasizes most important information. Consistent sizes and clear relationships between elements will help create patterns and visual flow.
4. Group your related metrics
The information in your dashboard should positioned logically. Grouping related metrics next to each other makes easy to find and makes your dashboard more attractive.
There are many ways to group for e.g. by metric, product, brand, region, team or even time period. You may need to experiment to select which is most appropriate for your dashboard. You can also add group title to makes it easier to spot.
5. Be consistent
With many dashboards you will find there is an element of repetition, for example you might be showing the same set of metrics for multiple things. Your dashboard will be far easier to read if you use the same visualizations and layouts between groups. It will also look far more pleasing, so avoid the temptation to use a line chart instead of a column just to spice things up.
6. Use clear labels for your audience
A key part of a dashboard are labels that describe each metric and charts. It should be self explanatory and unambiguous and also labels should be short to avoid overlapping with your data. You can also use abbreviation
7. Keep evolving your dashboards
The most important thing in building dashboard is that once you’ve built your dashboard don’t just leave it. Ask for feedback.
- What do they look at most often or find most useful, and why?
- What do they never look at or find least useful, and why?
- Is there anything missing that they’d find useful?
- Has it changed anything about the way they work?
By using this feedback iterate your dashboard. Check your dashboard is driving the behavior you intended. Step back from your board every now and then and look at how all the elements work together. Remind yourself what information you’re primarily trying to get across and how effectively those important elements stand out.
Dashboards are a powerful way to communicate data and other information, especially with a user-centered, goal-centric design that follows dashboard design best practices and proper data visualization. Although every dashboard is different and has its own goals, requirements, and limitations, by remembering these basic principles will help in creating good dashboards.