So you’ve decided to get more and better business insights via an online dashboard. But what do you need to track, because there are so many options. How do you stay efficient and organized? How do you get the perfect dashboard?

1 Determine your goal

What is it that you want to achieve with your dashboard? What question do you want to have answered? There is so much data you can display, but the challenge is to only show the necessary.

In order to achieve this, you should ask yourself the question: what is it that I want to achieve for my business or department? How does it answer my business critical questions (KPI’s)? Build your dashboard around this.

2 Who will be looking at your dashboard?

What will be shown on your dashboard depends on who will be looking at it. The CEO of the company will be more interested in high-level figures, while a marketing manager would like to focus on marketing figures.

Dashboards are typically designed to help decision makers, executives or leaders establish targets and understand why something happened. With this information they can initiate changes if needed.

3 Less is more

One of the biggest mistakes in designing dashboards is trying to put too much on it. A dashboard should be readable in one glance. Make sure that all components of the dashboard can be used to answer your business critical questions.

If something can be misunderstood, add annotations. Some text adding context will help to clarify what you are showing.

4 Group your data

A dashboard should focus on specific topics or groups. In this way you will get a complete overview and the reader of the dashboard will understand the information that is presented.

For example, data can be grouped in regions, employees or segments. Data will become less complex and it’s more likely that it will be understood by the audience.

5 A dashboard is never finished

Once a dashboard is built, keep monitoring if it still tells the right story. Always get feedback on the use of the dashboard, try new things and make changes to it. By constantly improving the dashboard, it is more likely that the dashboard will start playing a major role in daily business.

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