What would your top tips be when creating impactful, easy-to-understand data reporting dashboards?

2k views59 Upvotes9 Comments

Manager, Security Operations and Compliance in Finance (non-banking), 51 - 200 employees
Define your audience early on.

Dashboards for operations are very different than dashboards for a management team, which again are different than dashboards you would be presenting to your board!
Head of Data in Banking, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Step 1 is to understand the primary question that needs to be answered and ideally, this question should be linked to the organizational strategy.  Step 2 is to understand the analytical path that the user will follow to answer that question which will guide the drill downs, filters, slicers, etc.  Finally, put a BI Analyst, Analytics Engineer and the user together so that they can design and build the dashboard together - the user will provide the requirement, the BI Analyst will translate and the Analytics Engineer will build.
3 1 Reply
Communications Manager in Retail, Self-employed

100% this. If you aren't addressing a behavioural change or outcome - the data is just data :)

Director in IT Services, 10,001+ employees
In my opinion, If the ask for the number of elements of the dashboard go beyond single digit, it means that either a) it needs to be a report, and not a dashboard
b) they need to be separate dashboards

Irrespective of the audience.
IT Manager in Miscellaneous, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
Make sure you keep an eye on the audience; whatever you produce needs to be suitable for them.

Then consider requirements from a technical perspective, then effort and finally training.

Also monitor usage after you have made it available. 
Director, Information Technology in Healthcare and Biotech, 10,001+ employees
Great comments thus far, just want to add a note about accessibility.  When creating dashboards keep in mind some audience members may be color blind, you'll need to also include alt text if you are using red, yellow, green etc to visually indicate whether the metrics are favorable vs unfavorable.  
1 1 Reply
Director in IT Services, 10,001+ employees

Great point Penny! One way to educate the presenters, creators is to be able to define a template/ color scheme that is supportive of/follows Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). 

IT Manager in IT Services, 501 - 1,000 employees
For reporting dashboards, three things to keep in mind: decision makers, their expectations and action-driven outcomes.

Decision makers - The dashboard is a decision support tool for them, making their job easier. We need to present the information and insights in the way they are most comfortable with. So make a conversation with them as early as day 1, show them samples, and tweak the design based on their feedback.

Expectation management - prioritisation of changes/ new requirements with notes on any gaps/ roadblocks/ uncertainty/ dependencies

Action-driven outcomes - lead constructive conversations with decision makers and relevant stakeholders over the "expected actions" to drive "desired business outcomes". Then document it and get the sign-off and endorsement from decision-makers, to embed it into the dashboard. Executives love to see their decision driving real tangible outcomes.
Senior Data Scientist in Miscellaneous, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Focus on easy to understand, impossible to misinterpret content instead of colours.

Content you might like

Redefining business goals25%

Optimizing current business goals56%

Setting additional business goals17%



5.6k views7 Upvotes1 Comment

IT Manager in Manufacturing, 10,001+ employees
Wide administrative rights can cause remote hacking of IT tools by reaching the IAM or business processes.
Read More Comments
3.6k views34 Upvotes4 Comments