Aug 29, 2023
Nov 23, 2023

4-steps to avoid dashboarding disasters

Learn about the significance of dashboard governance in modern businesses, ensuring data accuracy, security, and effective decision-making.

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Every business should consider how their dashboards are created and managed.

Cast your mind back to an era when important company information languished in filo boxes or filing cabinets, lost in a sea of manilla folders and paperwork. Some of you may even remember the days of manual reporting (*shudder*), where extracting vital information meant sifting through piles of paper and consuming precious time!

Fast-forward to 2023, and though we've bid adieu to manual reporting, we are now facing a new dilemma: dashboard disasters. This has been driven by the insatiable need for information which has resulted in the haphazard construction of company dashboards, due to a lack of clear guidelines, metric definitions, and ownership rules. This creates serious issues around security, trust, and the inclusion of garbage metrics that don’t help tell the story. (Remember: garbage in, garbage out)

Picture this familiar scenario: you have recently been hired by a large accounting firm. Adapting to a new environment, you're suddenly thrust into a world of bewildering automated dashboards. The lack of documentation and redundant data across these dashboards is nothing short of overwhelming. These situations are all too familiar and not only lead to frustration but can sow the seeds of data distrust. (Disparities arise when various sources report the same data!) 

Though filo boxes are no longer our foe, we've replaced them with a digital maze of dashboards. To evade the fate of a dashboard disaster, a practical solution emerges: Dashboard Governance.

What is Dashboard Governance?
Dashboard governance is a framework or guide focusing on standards and processes, designed to support their creation, ensuring that your dashboards inform decision-making and deliver significant value to your organisation.

Here are four simple Dashboard Governance steps to get you started:

  1. Conduct an audit – audit your current dashboards to understand the current state of the nation and improvements by asking the following questions:

    a. How is data being created and sourced?
    b. What is the current process to create dashboards and who is involved?
    c. What dashboards are actually being used by staff?
  2. Consider the data & process – make sure that you all agree on the best rules and processes for your organisation, considering data usage, security, ownership, and monitoring.
  3. Embrace Transparency – A well-defined data dictionary and dashboard usage guidelines are vital. These not only aid in succession planning but also expedite the onboarding process for new employees.
  4. Keep data security front and centre – Dashboards hold valuable insights, making it important to protect them from unauthorised access. By implementing solid access control and authentication methods, you can make sure that only the right people have access to your dashboards and the data within.

In a business landscape that's swiftly evolving, dashboards have morphed into pivotal tools, quickly supplying information, and democratising data across the organisation. With widespread adoption, new challenges have surfaced, from data quality and consistency to data security, ownership, and the rampant creation of useless dashboards. These hurdles stand as barriers to informed decision-making.

Dashboard Governance is the perfect remedy for these issues. It offers a structured approach to crafting and sustaining quality dashboards throughout your organisation, championing data democratisation and better decision-making.

Ready to build a solid Dashboard Governance framework?

Avoid a dashboarding disaster, let Data Insight help you navigate the way. Connect with us today for expert guidance tailored to your needs.