Dashboards have proven to be essential when analyzing a company’s KPIs and deducting the actions to pursue. They have to be used appropriately to be truly performant. To use them correctly, the step of creating them cannot be taken lightly – risking to make mistakes that compromise its effectiveness.
Choice of KPIs, complexity, content… Here are the 10 mistakes to avoid when creating a dashboard.
1. Choosing the wrong key performance indicators
Before creating a dashboard, it is primordial to choose the appropriate KPIs. It is a current error: which indicators do you need to drive your company’s performance? What data would be more useful to analyze? What is your dashboard’s objective? Dashboards with incorrect KPIs will prevent you from developing properly.
2. Clustering too much
Following the first argument, it is useless to personalize your dashboard while adding all the possible metrics. The most important is to properly target the metrics that are useful and to implement them in a well-structured dashboard. Clustering the dashboard with too many KPIs will make it hard to read. Your work tools need to help you simplify your life.
3. Not defining the type of dashboard wanted
Each dashboard has a specific goal: are they used to transmit data to your superior? Keep an eye on your operations? Identify issues rapidly?
Make sure to define the type of dashboard you want to create in order to build it in the most effective way possible and to ensure that it corresponds to your objective.
4. Choosing the wrong data visualization
Choosing the wrong presentation is taking the risk to make your dashboard more complicated and less fluid to read.
Show an increase or a decrease with a curve, percentages with a circular diagram, proportions with histograms… There aren’t specific rules, but some graphs are more adapted than others to visualize your data.
5. Forgetting the design
It doesn’t mean that you should forget about the design. A succession of graphs, statistics, numbers, and comments without any esthetics will make the reading less pleasant – and your co-workers’ focus will certainly take a hit. The disposition is extremely important.
Make your interface attractive: use the same font and the same colors of your company’s graphics standards. Do not forget to include titles and commentaries. Not only to enter a detailed analysis of your KPIs but also to lighten your dashboard.
At DigDash, we offer to entirely customize your dashboard. Have a look at the dashboard examples we have on our website.
6. Mistitling your graphs
Graphs are the main way to visualize your data, but they will be more compelling with legends and well-explained comments – your colleagues will try to understand the meaning of the statistic they will be reading. The ideal would be to formulate a question to which the graph answers to. Do not only rely on the numbers.
Adapt your vocabulary to the person to whom the dashboard addresses: it all depends on their knowledge level.
7. Not classifying your data
Your colleagues won’t necessarily be interested in all the data presented on your dashboard. Including various functionalities is essential for any user to have an optimized experience: integrating a filter sidebar and/or tabs to restrain your analysis and only show the desired statistics.
8. Only focusing on dashboards
Dashboards are very useful filtering and tracking tool, but you must not only rely on them to guide your decisions. They should allow you to analyze your KPIs and lead you towards a thoughtful reflexion and ultimately a decision making. It is a powerful combination of analysis and discussion that will make you perform.
9. Not getting informed on every functionality
A reporting approach often includes many functionalities. Not exploiting all of them would be underestimating your dashboard’s potential and weaken their effectiveness. Take the time to explore what they can offer.
At DigDash, business intelligence experts, a support team is available to you to help you master our software. FAQ, forums, presentation webinars… We accompany you!
10. Not sharing your dashboards
Keep in mind that a dashboard should be easy to use and intuitive. Its objective is to be shared within the company and your colleagues need to be able to access your data with a simple eye glance.
You now know about the current mistakes made with dashboards and how to avoid them!
18 February 2019