3 Essential Elements of a Dashboard

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A dashboard is a tool to present useful information. To create an information dashboard, keep these 3 things in mind.

  1. Content—less is more, so include the most relevant information to the target audience for that dashboard. Understand what the audience cares about. If you could tell the story using two pieces of data, do that. There is no need to fill the page with more than necessary. White space is fine.
  2. Choice of graphics—it is important to use the proper graphs to tell the story. Line graphs and bar charts remain my favourites. Spider graphs are difficult to read. 3-dimensional bar charts make things look more complex. Use separate graphs if you need to. The idea is not to clutter different things, I call them messages, together.
  3. Use color sparingly—it is nice to use colours to highlight different things like customer segments and teams. But too many colors become a distraction and make the information confusing.

By focusing on good content and using simple graphics, you also make it easy for your audience to communicate the information.

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