Dashboards are a growing trend in the modern business world and for good reason.
A technology that contains all of the data analysis your business has in one easy and secure place.
The dashboard grows with the business, and designing one the right way is key to a small business’ fast success.
What’s a dashboard?
The dashboard is a summary of the most essential information your users need. The term dashboard is used because much like an airplane, it’s where all of the important controls are located.
The primary use of a dashboard is letting you reach all of your essential data in one centralized hub. No more separate apps for different niche functionalities. Today, we’ll be talking about the benefits of having a dashboard, and how to set it up for your small business.
The benefits of a dashboard
A dashboard presents data to your team efficiently and engagingly, and it does this through the following qualities:
Users are now capable of visualizing the data they want in any way they want. If they want to see only a specific set of data based on a filter, then the dashboard lets them do just that. This is incredibly useful when creating customer segmentation.
The dashboard contains all the essential data that an employee needs. No more digging through dozens of files or folders, whether physically or on the computer.
With the right planning, dashboards are incredibly user-friendly. All of the data and tools you need are within reach at a moment’s notice.
No more tabbing in and out of different windows to analyze data. All you need now is a single window that displays all of the information your users need.
How to make a dashboard
There are key steps that you should take when creating a dashboard for your business.
1. Choose a Platform For Your Dashboard
Before anything else, you need to have the base technology that you use for your dashboard. There are several dashboards on the market such as Google Data Studio, Plotly, or Grafana.
The best way to know what’s the best platform for you and your business is by collaborating with your IT team. Let them research which dashboards will suit your business best. After that, take your pick of the best ones.
2. Pick your dashboard’s primary function
The three main functions of a dashboard are analysis, strategy, and operations. Analysis is for presenting business data in the present and comparing it to past successes and failures.
Strategy is for businesses that want to see how well the metrics are doing and how much time it took for them to reach their respective goals. Operations are used for teams that want to see the metrics of their business in real-time.
3. Know your users
Your main end-users should be quickly identified, trained, and catered to. They are the ones who will be using this the most. Ensure that all the functionalities are built specifically to help them in their tasks.
An efficient way to do this is by releasing a survey to your team. In that survey, ask them what the most difficult segments of data to analyze are. Afterward, have them test the prototype of your dashboard and ask them once more what they want.
It’s at this step that you can also check the know-how of your team on securing their data. Avoiding privacy and security mistakes is essential when creating a centralized hub for all of your data.
4. Include and highlight essential information
The dashboard should be sleek and efficient, and that includes the data that it shelters. Don’t add unnecessary details that might just clog up the screen.
Only show the critical bits of data. There should be no more than 10 data filters at a time on screen such as SEO keyword success or sales per region. Any more would be way too cluttered. Less is more when it comes to dashboards.
More importantly, make the most essential data immediately noticeable. Set the font for essential data to a certain, vivid color that you can point out to your team. Don’t make it too loud, of course, your dashboard still needs to look harmonious.
5. Prioritize ease of use
Using the dashboard should not be a task that requires constant calls to the Help Desk. Ensure that the dashboard is responsive and easy to use well before you introduce it to your team.
While certain issues are inevitable, the goal is to reduce the overall time spent patching things out before release. That means testing it extensively on different devices to see how it looks and feels to use.
For example, on a mobile phone, don’t cut away data to compensate. Instead, make sure the dashboard refits everything in a readable fashion. That does mean making concessions with the window space, but at least it won’t remove essential data.
Dashboards are yet another impressive step in technology to streamline the workflow of businesses big and small.
A dashboard presents its users with all the data they need at a moment’s notice. Quick assessments of what’s best for business are now easier than ever before.
However, you need to follow the key steps in this article to ensure that your dashboard is up to industry standards. The right dashboard is a key cornerstone of every meeting you’ll have moving forward.