Getting Your Message Across

Previously I pointed out that an important step in putting a dashboard together is understanding what you are trying to say with your collection of data and charts. This means being able to give an overview of the general gist of your dashboard in simple terms. Once you have this overview however you will need to become more specific.

Put simply, your dashboard makes a statement of some kind. It gives an up-to-date assessment of a certain issue. But like any statement you make,  you should be prepared to back it up. This is what your charts and data sets are for. Imagine your overall statement is that your sales have grown overall but that certain market developments have reduced your numbers amongst a certain demographic. There are at least three charts right there.

You will need an overall sales trend chart. After this you will need at least one chart that will demonstrate the various market factors, probably in comparison to the same period of the previous year. If you want to show that sales amongst a certain demographic have decreased you will also be expected to provide a chart illustrating this. A good way to think about your dashboard is that your are making a point, but you will need evidence. This evidence should be clear, indisputable and relevant, and of course is given to you by your carefully selected charts.


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