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Business dashboards should help decision-makers focus on their business’s most important data. But dashboards that are filled with irrelevant data markers adds unnecessary and confusing clutter. Here are some best practices for constructing your business dashboard with clarity in mind.

Presenting Data in Your Dashboard

The presentation of your data should encompass the following elements:

  • The visual design of your dashboard. The visual dashboard design includes the graphics, the color, any animations used and the chart types needed to visually display important business information. There are certain precepts that should be followed to best display information in a quickly scannable format. Bar charts, for example, are good for showing comparisons while line graphs are better used to indicate trends. A simple traffic light on the dashboard is appropriate for showing the status of a key metric. Animation is a useful feature when a user can interact with the dashboard to see more information.
  • (Responsive) layout. Business dashboards can overwhelm their viewers when they employ too many large frames in a single view. Some users will prefer that extra data be tucked away in separate windows or tabs so that they are not overwhelmed. Additionally, a responsive design ensures that your beautifully crafted dashboard will also look decent on smartphones.
  • Navigation. Dashboard navigation takes into consideration how the various KPI metrics should be grouped together. Pivots can be used to plot multiple KPIs against each other. But placing related data in separate tabs can be a useful consideration for the sake of clarity.

Make Alerts Easy

Alerts are the crucial component notifying decision-makers to actually respond to what the dashboards show. Some best practices for notifications from your dashboard include:

  • Clearly identify the thresholds which will trigger alerts. You should trust your dashboard to monitor itself so that you only need to wait for the alerts.
  • What are the alert actions and who are the recipients? Alerts can be in the form of emails, SMS or more elaborate automated actions. Using a sophisticated automation system like Zapier can enable your systems to talk to each other. For example, you could have your CRM change the status of a client once a KPI that you’re monitoring for them reaches a certain level.