Thinking of investing in dashboarding? Top tips for what good looks like


Dashboards transform your business data into meaningful and usable information. But not all dashboards are created equal. How do you make sure your investment is delivering value?

  1. Be clear about the purpose.

    What do you hope to gain? How will it inform your business decisions? A good dashboard gives you real-time information that isn’t just nice to know, but highlights a story in your data that drives future actions.

  2. ‘Nice to know’, or critical business information?

    Focus on the problem you want to solve. Lots of the team will have a well-intentioned wishlist for what they’d like to see on a dashboard. Your dashboard should focus on what your core users need at a glance to understand how they’re tracking against their key problem or opportunity.  

  3. Can you get the information you need in 30 seconds?

    A key benefit of dashboarding is less time looking through datasets for information that drive business decisions. A good dashboard allows you to straight away see how your business is doing today – rather than you or your staff spending time poring over excel spreadsheets.

  4. Prioritise datasets that offer real-time insights

    The faster your information changes, the more value you’re going to get out of having it on a dashboard. Prioritise information that varies significantly by the minute, hour or day. In a fast-moving consumer environment, sales and new customer acquisition/churn are going to be vital, and if you’re selling high-value B2B products, then your key dataset might be around staff and resource productivity. in the public sector, it might be lead indicators like service enquiries versus actual users.

  5. Does everyone come away with the same message?

    Visualisations put everyone ‘on the same page,’ offering a data story that gives the team instant and shared purpose. If two team members come away with a different understanding of the data from one dashboard then the messages are ambiguous or confusing. This is about being clear on your purpose.

  6. Review how you’re using your dashboard after three months

    Ask what business decisions have actually been made off our dashboard? Are all of the elements adding value and providing actionable insights? Maybe there is a dataset that has become more variable and important to track that needs to be brought onstream. Dashboards are designed to be flexible, and we can reinvent them to keep up with changes in the market and technology.


Dashboards are powerful tools that add value to every organisation when done well. Remember, why are we doing this? What problem or opportunity are we trying to solve? What data do I need to inform my business actions every day?  

To add real value to your business, talk to Data Insight today about how we can build or rebuild your organisation’s dashboards.

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