Monday, March 3, 2014

5 Dashboard Pitfalls to Avoid

In a world where data is king, it is sometimes troublesome to find a way to sift through all of the information and make sense of it. According to Big Data, 90% of all data in the world was created in the past 2 years. Information is growing at an exponential rate, which can be a double-edged sword. We must learn how to harness this energy and use it to improve your bottom line. Fortunately, dashboards can help break through some of the clutter, but only if done correctly. There are a few things to be wary of when using dashboards. Here we explain 5 of the biggest pitfalls to avoid when it comes to creating and using a dashboard.

1. Cool doesn’t trump useful
Sure, it's nice to have a dashboard that is pretty and fun to look at - but does it contain the information that you need to see? Don't get me wrong, aesthetics are important, but make sure that the data you analyze is going be useful and make a difference. Making it attractive should not prevent it from meeting the objective and goals.

2. Users will automatically come (any solution needs marketing...)
Once you have a dashboard that can interpret all of this data, there are many applications. But there's no point in having a dashboard unless you market it. It is crucial that you show the value of the solutions you have found. Any solution that has been discovered needs to be known and shared.

3. The more advanced it is, the better it must be
This goes without saying, but it demands to be repeated. The more data you have, the more complex your dashboard will be, especially if you have data coming from multiple sources. Think about how you would like this information to be organized. Only use tabs to separate information or different company divisions if it is necessary. Use filters, visuals and color to make things stand out, but remember: keep it simple.

4. The overall data quality presented
Data quality is a huge problem in any organization. This is largely due to human error and data from different systems. But in the end, the overall data quality is key. You must look at the quality of your data from an enterprise standpoint. If the data is not of the highest quality, your dashboard is not going to reflect accurate results.

5. Little relation between strategy and action
Last but not least, be aware that there is not a direct relationship between strategy and action. The steps that your business needs to take to succeed are unique to you. This is important to think about before coming up with a design for a dashboard. Simply put, if there is no clear strategy, there is no relationship, and then there is no point in creating one. See what actions you can derive from your dashboard and try to align them with company goals from there.
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