A dashboard is a visual interface that provides at-a-glance views into key measures relevant to a particular objective or business process. Dashboards have three main attributes:
- Dashboards are typically graphical in nature, providing visualizations that help focus attention on key trends, comparisons, and exceptions.
- Dashboards often display data that is relevant only to the goal of the dashboard.
- Because dashboards are designed with a specific purpose or goal, they inherently contain predefined conclusions that relieve end users from performing their own analysis.
Maybe you've been hit with dashboard fever. Or, your manager might be hounding you with dashboard fever. Whatever the case, if you're being asked to create dashboard solutions in Excel, it's tempting to start pulling a few charts together to create the dashboards you need.
Before you go into the world ready to use the charting techniques you've gathered here, however, it's valuable to understand some of the best practices for designing and creating dashboards.
This chapter is not about the mechanics of Excel. It is a look at some of the best practices and design principles to keep in mind as you develop your own reporting solutions.
Preparing for a Dashboard Project
Imagine that your manager asks you to create a dashboard that provides ...