The Best and Worst Ways To Create a Dashboard : Tips & Guide to Avoid Mistakes

Dashboards are the one tool to rule them all! Providing the easiness to view many data from different sources in one window, it has gained rising popularity and demand among many different sectors. But sometimes they possess errors that are hard to ignore and blurs out their whole purpose. Here’s a list of points that you can consider while creating a dashboard and avoid common mistakes that may prevail.

Avoiding data overload in a dashboard

Addition of too many KPI, Key performance indicators can overload a dashboard. This can make the dashboard look complex and reduce its readability. We can say the KPIs are the key that shapes a dashboard. Dashboards should be to the point and present the reader with the exact information represented precisely, without any need for further interpretation.

Not to clutter it out with too many colors, texts, and images

The usage of too many different bright colors in the dashboard may lead to misunderstanding and misconceptions in understanding the data. When we look at summarized data we search for the highlighted colors, hence only the required area is to be highlighted in order to make the important data points stand out. Same goes for texts and images. Unnecessarily adding more extra information to make it decorative, will shadow out the main content. Keep the decorations to the minimum and use the space wisely.

Using the space wisely

The data that needs to be displayed on a database must be done so in an orderly manner and placed randomly. The data is mostly arranged in a hierarchical manner, the most important data being placed in top-left. This gives the viewer an easier understanding of the data.

Creating the title of the Dashboard

The title of the dashboard is as important as its other components. The title is what gives the viewer an exact idea of what data is represented in the dashboard. So make it a point to create a clear and to the point title and not a vague one that may mislead a reader.

Proper management of information conveyed

Too less or too much information can both do no good. Hiding important information dread the dashboard of its usefulness. For instance, consider the functioning of a company monitored on a dashboard. The employees of the company should be able to access data represented there. The data needs to be displayed in such a way that the user gets the idea conveyed. Instead of writing a long story, try focusing on summarizing it and keeping it short.

Lack of Focus

The perfectly aligned columns, texts, diagrams and so won’t matter if the viewer cannot determine the motive of the message conveyed. Use the customization and make your data stand out. The texts, colors, and diagrams can be added to draw the focus of the reader towards the main point. Make sure each element in your dashboard, looks different than the other and try to create a unique data visualization.

Say no to charts when you can substitute for numbers

It’s a common myth that adding too many visualizations make a dashboard look better. Don’t go for charts when you can rely on numbers for data representation. Sure graphs and diagrams can attract viewers but too much of them will only repel more, as it will make the data more complex. Maintain a balance that will do justice to your data and avoid usage of too much visual data to pop your content.  

Design the dashboard in the very end  

Of course, you’d be tempted to do this in beginning but it is best that you wait to design the dashboard as the last step. If you design it in the beginning, as you keep adding texts, pictures and charts in pages there may be a need to alter the design. And since dashboards have many features available for customization, it would be only practical to summarize the whole thing first and then design it.

Also Read: Key Elements For An Effective Dashboard Design

To conclude with, dashboards are like a painting we create on a blank canvas, keep it simple yet vibrant to leave an impact. These were some of the common mistakes spotted while creating a dashboard and tips on how to avoid them. Hope this helps you paint it better the next time.  



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