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Enterprise Data Visualization: Executive Dashboards and Managerial Displays

Topic: Data
Dan Vlamis
Tim Vlamis

Evidence-based decision making depends on the objective presentation of data. Business intelligence dashboards and analytics systems require visualizations that are grounded in cognitive science and guided by skilled practitioners. You’ll learn not only when to use which visualizations, but also which common mistakes to avoid. You’ll get key frameworks to determine how much effort and time to invest in different dashboards and how to balance analytic depth and quick-read insights. You’ll learn how to quickly spot effective designs and replace splash with class. The experts at Vlamis have guided everyone from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs to AMC Theatres in the effective display of organizational data. If you’ve ever wondered how many drop-down menus to use or what’s the best way to show multi-dimensional insights or how to logically organize and link multiple dashboard pages, join this session packed with practical information and real-world exercises designed to solidify your understanding.

  • Data Visualization is not about entertaining people with graphs or about data science algorithms. It is about communicating data as accurately, objectively, and consistently as we can.

  • The principles and best practices for designing effective dashboards for enterprise settings are shared across software platforms and interfaces. This class is not about how to use a particular data visualization tool, but rather about how to design highly effective displays and interfaces that can be executed using many different systems.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, hands-on, online course, you’ll understand:

  • The foundations of human cognition and how we process data visualizations
  • Common mistakes that distort data and how to avoid them
  • Best practices in visualization design, dashboard layout, and parameterization
  • How to assess how much effort and resource to invest in different dashboards
  • How to balance prompts, linked visualizations, and alerts
  • How to guide others in learning and applying effective design techniques

And you’ll be able to:

  • Design effective data visualizations for business intelligence dashboards
  • Layout multi-page business intelligence dashboards
  • Determine which visualizations to use for common business situations
  • Set standards for color strategies, naming conventions, and navigation
  • Explain design decisions with clear, objective, science-based rationale

This training course is for you because...

  • You know that evidence-based decision making relies on effective dashboard design
  • You’re involved in using and guiding the design of business intelligence dashboards
  • You know effective designs are founded on best practices and not on personal taste
  • You want your organization to have better business intelligence dashboards
  • You intuitively know that some designs are better than others, but want to be able to explain why
  • You want real-world guidance from a skilled, experienced expert who has implemented complex business intelligence systems


  • There are absolutely no prerequisites for this training. It assumes no prior technical knowledge pertaining to software development, statistics, machine learning, or any other field.

Course Set-up:

  • None

Recommended Preparation:

There is no technology, download, or set up required for this class. You should have some blank paper and a pen or pencil to write with. This class is software agnostic and will be focused on “why to” and not “where to click”.

Recommended Follow-up:

  • List of recommended books, blogs, and websites (to be provided)

About your instructors

  • Dan Vlamis is President and founder of Vlamis Software Solutions, a boutique consultancy which has led more than 200 Business Analytics implementations for more than 25 years at many of the world’s leading organizations. Recognized by Oracle as an Oracle ACE Director and on the editorial board of Oracle Magazine, he consults with Oracle Product Management regularly. Dan covers Oracle BI and related products through his popular blog at www.vlamis.com/blog. Dan was a co-author on the Oracle Press books Data Visualization for Oracle BI 11g and Oracle Essbase and Oracle OLAP - The Guide to Oracle's Multidimensional Solution. Dan Vlamis holds a degree in Computer Science from Brown University. Dan has been a popular speaker at major Oracle conferences such as Oracle OpenWorld, Collaborate, and ODTUG Kscope for two decades and is known for his live demos of Oracle software. As an Oracle Business Intelligence Warehousing and Analytics User Community (BIWA) board member, he chaired BIWA Summit/Analytics and Data Summit in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

  • Tim Vlamis is an expert in the visualization of data and the design of business intelligence dashboards, Tim combines a strong background in the application of business intelligence (BI), analytics, and machine learning with extensive experience in business modeling and valuation analysis. Tim has worked with dozens of America’s largest corporations and leading government and science organizations in the design of their business intelligence dashboards and data visualization programs. Tim has assisted several high-tech startups, led partnership formations and dissolutions in Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, and India, and has negotiated acquisitions in Mexico and Canada. He earned his Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) designation from the American Marketing Association and is an active speaker on business analytics and data visualization topics as well as machine learning, predictive analytics, and analytic warehousing. In addition to a life-long study of business processes, systems, and theories, Tim is a passionate student of complexity theory, the history of mathematics, and the principles of design. Tim earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BA in Economics from Yale University. Tim is a named contributor to multiple Oracle University courses on predictive analytics and machine learning and often serves as an expert instructor for them.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Data Visualization: show the data, not pretty picture (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: the foundations of evidence-based decision making and design

Human Cognition (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: how the eye sees and the brain interprets graphs and numbers

Data interpretation exercise (5 minutes)

Dashboard Design Best Practices (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: The key elements of effective dashboard design

Best practices for table design (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: Why small tables work better

Best practices for pivot tables, sections, and cross tabs (10 minutes)

Best practices for graph design (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: Four foundational visualizations and when to use them

Break (10 minutes)

Color Strategies and Tools (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: How to develop effective color ramps and what tools to use

Frameworks for Dashboard Design Projects (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: How to assess the amount of time and resource investment for different dashboards


Break (10 minutes)

Advanced Visualizations and dealing with multiple dimensions (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: Trellising, prompts, and linked visualizations

Story Telling vs Discovery (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: Explaining and exploring

Working with others and guiding them to better choices (10 minutes)

Wrap-up and Q&A (20 minutes)