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The Perfect Dashboard

5 Tips Drawn from Practice

As a billing service provider, we are used to looking at lots of numbers and figures every day. For success in business, however, it’s also important to understand these numbers correctly. To support our customers in this regard we provide a visualization of the data to ensure they can evaluate their numbers and data more efficiently.

For many years now, we have been using the Tableau software for this data visualization. With the BI-tool we create professional reports for our customers so that they can optimize their products and analyse their customers’ buying behaviour or receive a regional evaluation of their payment behaviour. These visualizations and evaluations result in a large amount of information for their business intelligence departments. But our customers’ marketing departments also profit from the countless possibilities offered by these reports. Here are five tips and tricks for the perfect dashboard.

1. Know Your Target Groups

Already at the creation stage, it’s important to know who will read the report later. Is it the financial analyst who has time and the inclination to go deep into the numbers, or is it the sales rep who only wants to have a quick look at the sales figures? The analyst needs a lot of detailed information and evaluation options, while the sales reps only wants to briefly check the sales figures. You should also know what technical knowledge your target group has. Are additional explanations or tool tips perhaps necessary so that the viewer can understand the dashboard?


2. Watch Out for the Screen Size

Are your dashboard users mainly out and about with their smartphone or tablet? If so, it’s advisable to orient your dashboard to this screen size. When using extensive tables with detailed information, the viewer has to scroll and zoom a lot, which probably won’t make them all too happy. In this case, you should definitely concentrate on the essentials and try to summarize the data.


3. Speed is Important

Whoever wants to take a look at the current figures won’t feel like spending an eternity looking at an egg timer or progress bar. So, it’s important that keep the dashboard lean and only visualize relevant and always necessary data. Extracts from the data are often much quicker than live data, which are perhaps not always necessary.


4. Encourage Interaction

Provide possibilities for interaction so that your users can put together their dashboard as they see fit. Filters, sorting sequences, and the most important views can be used and combined in a customized way. In this way, your users will have more fun and will probably also use your dashboard more.


5. Use Tooltips

Tooltips are an outstanding way to give your users more information at a glance. When a user moves the mouse over a field, additional or aggregated information can be shown in a small pop-up. Invest some time in designing these tooltips. Your users will appreciate it.


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