Dashboard Design

Creating awesome dashboards

Companies use dynamic dashboards because they are useful sources of information, however over a period of time the white space is filled with irrelevant data. Since number of employees in an organization are large their requirements also vary from person to person and department to department. It is essential to segregate the audiences of the Dashboard. For instance, finance personnel are not interested to know whether all the web servers are working without any problem. Information for the specific type of the users would cut lots of slack and make the installation of the dashboard worthwhile. There are various types of navigations, interactions and capabilities that will make the dashboard useful for the audiences since they can extract the data relevant to their cause.


Prioritization of the audience is one of the most important ways that would help to accomplish the task. It is necessary to know the people who will benefit from the information and what are their aspirations as well as goals.

If the audience is diverse, it would be difficult to introduce a plethora of information because the whole scenario would be quite confusing. Structuring the information according to the needs of the users is essential to provide the right kind of data to the people. They are pre designed for the specific objectives and avoid the cluttering of information on the single screen. Prior to the creation of the white boards, it is important to know the types of device for which they are designed.


Defining metrics for the board is a tough ask because they are dynamic and change according to the external environment of the business. When the business data are not according to the expectations, one should focus on absolute measures and find ways to correct the errors. People working in an organization should be on the same page in relation to the terminologies used to define metrics. Dashboards incorporate the targets which are needed to be achieved by the specific individuals or the groups

Segregation of dashboards:

To simplify the matter, dashboards are divided into 3 parts namely operational, strategic and analytical. Operational part of the business plays a very crucial role in generating revenues. The management would like to see that the server is up and running for the majority part of the day and sales calls are being made to the prospective customers. Real time information is required by the operational dashboards.

Strategic dashboard falls under the jurisdiction of the executive management where the key performance indicators of the business are monitored on a weekly and monthly basis. The data abstraction is very high because it provides an overview of the performance of a company. General example of information could be the sales revenue, costs or the head count.

One of the most important components is analytical dashboard which is known to exhibit different types of operational and strategic data. Different types of insights are provided based on the variation in the information. In some instances sales manager might need the data to project a forecast in the future. To increase transparency, dashboards for strategic and operational information must be separate.

Dashboard form:

While creating the dashboard form, the developer needs to know about the frequency with which the information is updated and also the aesthetic value of the application. The dashboard should look attractive so that it captivates the imagination of the users. Moreover, data must be designed to ensure the mobility of the users. In modern times, since all the projects are information centric, the dashboard should be connected with the live data to provide requisite updates.

Once the data is obtained, logical grouping is the best solution for the users. It can be accomplished according to the department or the functional area pertaining to the information. Inventory development and the sales marketing are two different departments; there the data should not be clubbed together. Some of the organizations have the tendency to create logo on the left hand side of the screen. It occupies precious area and could does not count for a good user experience.

Relevance of the information to the audience is essential otherwise the whole purpose of creating dashboard is defeated. Information pertaining to the whole company must be visible to every employee of the organization. Similarly, they can be divided based on the department and individuals. In a small company, one executive board might contain different KPIs however in large organizations there are multiple white boards. They can be created according to the requirements and the specifications of the client.

The golden rule of designing the dashboard lies in the non- cluttering of the information. If all the data is combined into a single package, it might create a weird situation for the users because they will not be able to get right information. Adding graph or text to the white board should depend on the preferences of the users and must not be done in an ad hoc fashion.


Framing the content of the dashboard helps to know whether the information is important. Designing the layout of the information helps your audience to understand the problems with absolute clarity. A structural composition will define the start and the end of the information. Deep understanding of the system would be possible to break the information in to different parts. Selecting the right model depends on the intuition and the decision making of the management. Flow based structure about the sales process provides a complete picture of the sample sale right from generation of leads to the closing or the failing of the deal.

Different modules on the dashboard could be defined along with their relationship. Connections might be geographical or mathematical. For example, the relationship between the gross sales and the ensuing profit. The best way to present data is to organize the information into a hierarchical order. Revealing the key metrics and the accompanying information systematically to the users will help them to formulate conclusions and the suggestions. Dashboard data needs to be refreshed periodically so that it can maintain its relevance. For instance, the stock information change rapidly and the dashboard should reflect it in its report. Careful use of color and fonts will enable the users to understand the importance of the information.