What Is Your Dashboard For?

Putting a dashboard together is quite a complicated matter, regardless of the quality of your business intelligence software. Whether you are using the most up-to-date state-of-the-art hyperexpensive software, you can still end up with a very bad and ineffectual dashboard.

Of course we all know that charts are a key element of dashboards. What type you use, what colours, your layout, your choice of data, all of these aspects have been discussed in detail. However the overall concept of the dashboard itself is much more difficult to explain and define. Before you take any steps towards setting up your dashboard you will need to ask yourself what it’s all about.

What is it for, and what are you trying to say? The overall message needs to be clear in your own mind, before you can put it down in graphical form. For example, if you were to summarize your dashboard in words, what would you say? If it is a performance dashboard, you might find yourself giving a general report on how your company or department is doing overall. Once you can put it into words, it is automatically easier to put it into charts.


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