It's important when designing your dashboard that the insights you create are brought to the attention of the audience instantly. To achieve this there are 4 design principles you should look to follow to make it as easy as possible for your audience to understand the data insights you're showing them.
Following the principle of consistency when building your dashboard will eliminate the risk of miscommunication.
The way you represent your data in metrics, KPI's and units should be consistent across dashboards, using the same naming structures to avoid confusion.
Use a consistent color scheme across your dashboards, using no more than 3 colors as doing so can lead to more visual noise.
Ensure that any icons or images that you use serve a purpose across all your dashboards, and are not just relevant to one department.
It's also best practice to use the same date and text-based formats, such as DD/MM/YYYY.
When creating your dashboard, aim for clarity, and be selective in your choice of metrics. To create a rich and interactive dashboard it's best practice to show 6-10 data points. You can utilize the visual filters to drill down into the data further instead of including more data points.
A consistent layout and grouping relevant content together will also help your audience understand and absorb the dashboard quickly, instantly knowing where to focus their attention. It's best practice to start with the big picture, making sure the major trend you want to highlight is visible at a glance.
When grouping metrics together, at the top of the dashboard you should have high-level insights such as revenue and number of active opportunities. In the middle, you should showcase your trend-based data including activity-based metrics such as the number of new deals created in a time-frame. At the bottom is where you include your granular metrics such as specific KPIs like lead response time.
A donut chart may work for one metric, while a matrix will visualize another metric in a clearer manner. If you want to learn more about when to use different visualizations take a look at this article.
With the Numerro toolkit, we aim to combine all 4 of these elements into one complete design framework that you can follow and implement into each one of your reports. Here is how we have done that:
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