Data without visualization is boring. Imagine the era of traditional business intelligence solution where Strategy Setters had to dig into spreadsheets, export the data, spending huge amounts of time struggling to comprehend charts and graphs and then draw out some insights. Time, being a constraint, the C-suite cannot excavate the data, just to draw a meaningful information.
There are several different types of dashboards that the top management would want to look at: key performance indicator (KPI) dashboards, analytic dashboards, business intelligence (BI) dashboards, and productized application dashboards. The important thing to remember while selecting a type of dashboard is to identify upfront personas and organizes your information architecture tasks and wireframes around them.
A true dashboard-driven value proposition to a company is not in their data, itself, but rather in their ability to offer the "Explanatory and Exploratory" data in a way that a user can digest the data at a glance. Designed correctly, a dashboard doesn't only decrease the learning curve of new users—it increases productivity for avid users.
The following 5 key trends need to be taken care of while designing your next generation dashboards:
Data visualization proficient Stephen Few said, "Numbers have an important story to tell.
They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice." In today's "post-cinematic era" the phrase
"data storytelling" has been associated with many things—data visualizations, infographics, dashboards,
data presentations, and so on. Data storytelling is a well-thought-out methodology for
communicating data insights, and it's a perfect blend of three key elements: data, visuals, and narrative.
Their relation can be understood with following equation:-
Data tells you what's happening, and stories tell you why. When you put them together,
great change is possible. The flow of a story helps to spot causal connections. For instance,
a chronological visualization can be depicted using Story Points framework, so that you
can tell stories with a beginning, middle and end—even with large and complex data sets.
A well-structured story helps to spot an underlying cause—and then to share your
understanding of that cause
Hence, Storytelling has been proved to be a powerful delivery mechanism for sharing insights and ideas in
a way that is memorable, persuasive, and engaging.
Dashboard as a solution addresses two broad views of Business Service Management:
Primary Audience – even at C level you will have different heads whose objective at looking at interpretation will be different. For e.g. a business head head will need to look at financial reports across different verticals, geographies, service lines etc. while the sales heads will be primarily keen on the growth, performance, profitability for his region. The finance head on the contrary wants to keep a hawk eye on performance, receivables, outstanding, bad debts so on and so forth.
Secondary Audience- While all of them may have same end goals but the way the data will be consumed and reviewed is very different in each of the personas.
A typical starting point is to start discussing with the highest user, look at data the way it is reviewed at his or her level, what the frequency is, what questions he needs to address when being reviewed and what questions he wants to be answered from people under his hierarchy and continue with the same flow.
To manage costs, grow profitably, and provide superior service, top management must make effective decisions by gaining insight across their entire enterprise. Such decisions are frequently about operational processes controlled by core LOB owners and support team. Hence a business intelligence warehouse should be architected in such a way that it ensures flexible and easy-to-use content accessible to both business users and report developers and make any changes dynamic and on the fly.
A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or
more objectives; consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be
monitored at a glance.
Data Journalism is a new paradigm inside the dashboard world, the idea of showing off the
power of rich data along with contextual information makes complete sense. What's more
effective with an interactive version is that the information can be sequenced and
presented as a narrative. In addition to contextual information, specific data points can be
highlighted that creates focus for the reader and in turn breaks down some of the
Before designing the actual tool, information for dashboard goes through a system of goals,
collection, and action related tasks.
Each item of information is displayed in a way that can be quickly examined to assess performance, both in terms of an appropriate graphical medium and direct measure of performance Now days, corporates believes in display for meaningful facts and figures, as a perfect blend of
Using this combination, an informative dashboard is capable of following:-
• Visibility into key performance indicators (KPIs)
• Present a wide number of different metrics in a single consolidated view
• Roll up details into high-level summaries
• Provide intuitive indicators, such as gauges and stoplights, that are instantly understandable - for example, red bar means problem, green bar means everything is on plan.
• Can be tailored specifically to the requirements of a given person, group, or function
An supreme dashboard is the one that can communicate clearly, accurately, and efficiently via careful and informed visual design. Given the purpose that dashboards serve, as defined above, they must be designed to support the following process of visual monitoring:
• See the big picture.
• Focus in on the specific items of information that need attention.
• Quickly drill into additional information that is needed to take action
Post analysis of the different type of data available in the organization, Business Intelligence and Designing Team brainstorms to give showcase data as relevant information. A typical dashboard sketching would revolve around:-
At the moment we are seeing a really exciting shift, which is to use interdisciplinary skills to create more immersive, more intuitive and richer data-driven user experiences. In order to understand any larger data set we need to consider how we as humans perceive information and what will make us more likely to process it. The page should be such designed that it shows the user what they need to see first, then structure the remainder of the page based on the user story or hierarchy of information. There are methodologies that can be used for shaping up the page:-
Trending now are a set of ideologies which begin with creating an overview, then zooming and filtering, and lastly providing details on demand. Display the whole spectrum of data points first, so you are able to quickly identify any extremes, outliers and where the average sits. As you gain an oversight, the second step is to then further investigate a specific data point that caught your attention. As you are discovering more about the chosen data point or subject, you are able to then interrogate the data even further at an even greater granularity on demand.
Effective dashboard are not designed to wow people upon first sight, but to inform C-suite with precisely what long term and short term strategies they need to make to attain the goal. Dashboard enables the top management to make data-driven strategic decisions by providing a full range of functions from operational reporting to executive dashboards and predictive analytics.
• Integrated data warehouse allows users to see data in a consolidated view
• Common reports serve as templates for users to customize to specific needs
• Ad hoc reporting enables users to build reports tailored to unique requirements
• User-friendly functionality results in increased efficiency in report creation
Dashboards let organizations gain acumens into their business, monitor key performance metrics, and help visualize information in a way that is easier to quantify and insist the C level to "click to act". By understanding the value of using dashboards as part of a larger BI project or as a way to manage and monitor performance, the ability to attain buy-in and to understand the overall value of dashboards to the business increases.
Therefore, please C Suites by showcasing a boutique-style, big-data driven dashboard that will work with companies that may not want to have their data bumping elbows with competitors' data within the same mainstream, cloud-storage provider. Though the underlying principles for representing data has changed little, the physical demands that exist around big data – data warehousing and the infrastructure needed to support the storage, delivery, and management of massive quantities of data – have become much more affordable and accessible.