Dashboards Seen As Important – So Why Is Dashboard Design So Bad?

8:34 am Dashboard Design, Dashboards, Data Visualization

According to a recent study, dashboards were rated as the No.1 strategic Business Intelligence (BI) tool.

The Dresner Advisory Services’ 2012 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study claims that 94% of respondents believe dashboards are “important”, “very important” or “critical” to the success of their BI program. No surprises there – but what does surprise me is how many dashboards are so poorly designed that they fail to capture the truth of the data they are representing.

The major issue is that dashboard designers have made the same mistake that web designers first made with the introduction of the Web. They took the layout and formats used in print – onto the screen. Most dashboards attempt to take the graphics and stories traditionally told in print or Powerpoint presentations, into Business Intelligence. It just doesn’t work – it never will work – so I really wish BI developers and dashboard designers would take a step back and think about what they are trying to achieve with a dashboard.

Dashboards are not just a graphical way to present a table of data – they are a visual representation of a business situation that is designed to be read and interpreted ‘in a moment’.

If you are engaged in dashboard development or design I strongly urge you to read this book.

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