Advice for High Impact Dashboards

Mike Griffin is a WordPress CodeSmith
Advice for High Impact Dashboards

As you know, I follow Avinash on Facebook, Google+ and his blog, Occam’s Razor. As usual, I suggest that you do the same.

I woke up thinking about “crappy dashboards” today.  I was thinking about them because I have a little bit of a fear that we have created a product for a market that doesn’t know that it needs the product! I mean small businesses and organizations who are not using any data visualization tools because…”Aye, there’s the rub”. Why don’t they know they need them?

IMO it’s because they mostly see “crappy dashboards” on TV, in Smart Phone and Tablet Ads and on the internet.  Of course, “crappy dashboards” can be created with any software, including ours. But we actually added 2 features to encourage users NOT to build crappy dashboards: The Text/HTML Widget and the Dashboard Discussion Pane. We also added the ability to heat map data tables so that you can add “scorecards” to your dashboards, but that is a different post.

So how do you avoid crappy dashboards and, instead, create high impact dashboards? We want you to create high impact dashboards with our software so that your small business or organization contacts will see them and understand why they help you and want our software too!

I need to find out more ways to avoid crappy dashboards for you.

As usual, for help and inspiration, I googled crappy dashboards. Woohoo – and right there were two posts by my favorite analytics and data visualization guru!

Crappy Dashboards Top Two Search Results
Crappy Dashboards Top Two Search Results

I’ve already written about his “Action Dashboards” and we include an action dashboard template for users to fill in and add data when you first login to our app.

But somehow I’d missed the Five Rules! Now, don’t be afraid to read it because it says “Web Analytics Dashboards”. These are Five Rules For High Impact Dashboards, in general, too. :-)

Ok, here’s Avinash summary with some “cliff notes”  to make you curious enough so that you’ll click on the link, Five Rules, and read the whole article!

Begin Quote:

# 5 Benchmark & Segment [Never report a metric all by itself. Period.]

# 4 Isolate Your Critical Few Metrics [know what your bottom-line business critical few metrics are]

# 3 Don’t Stop at Metrics—Include Insights [put the analysis and recommendations front and center]

# 2 The Power of a Single Page [if your dashboard does not fit on one page, you have a report, not a dashboard.]

# 1 Churn (and stay relevant) [Dashboards, like humans, should constantly evolve.]

End Quote. Now go read the article! You’ll be glad that you did.

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About MikeGriffin

Mike Griffin is our Chief Dashboard Blogger. Mike is a grizzled veteran of data visualization software development. He started with analog to digital conversions of "dynograph" type data to generate charts on compute screens with Cobol when Cobol was Cool ;-) His three decades of business intelligence, balanced scorecard and dashboard software development have taught him that easy to use, beautiful and affordable are the key to everyday use. Great software HAS to be easy for anyone and affordable by everyone.