When it comes to tracking the performance of your business and employees, it’s not enough to simply calculate a series of figures and distribute them to the relevant people. Modern business leaders understand the value of effective dashboard design, and how much of a difference it can make for conveying important, targeted information.
It’s all about balance. While studies into the value of visual learning suggest the power of showing rather than telling, going too far with style can lead to shortfalls in substance. So, how can your organisation hit the sweet spot with dashboard design?
Know your audience
Whatever the information you need to get across – be it the progress towards your various business goals or individual performance tracking, for example – it’s important to keep your dashboard metrics focused. According to Gartner, developing a great dashboard means doing as much of the work for your users as possible, leaving them with just the most important details that they need to be aware of.
Bombarding users with more information than they need is a sure fire way for your dashboard to become cumbersome and difficult to engage with. By keeping the data relevant and calling attention to any specific areas of importance, your users will be much more likely to take action where it is required.
A great dashboard does as much of the work for your users as possible.
Less flash, more dash
An easy trap to fall into with dashboard design is devoting too much time to how it looks, rather than how useful it will be. Research from IDG Enterprise found that simple and clear interfaces are the most effective, and gimmicks such as visual effects, while looking attractive, add little or no value to the dashboard.
Having a solution that is easy to use and understand will deliver a much better result, and cutting out elements such as interactive charts and Flash videos should make the dashboard more responsive and intuitive.
A good dashboard should also be updated regularly, as in many cases the timeliness of the contained data will be a factor in what action is to be taken. Cluttering up the workflow and ongoing update procedure with unnecessary features can have an impact on the time-sensitive relevance of your information.
As you can see, there is a lot involved in developing the right dashboards for your business. For further advice and information about how IBM Cognos can help your business perform better, contact CDP Group today.