Time to Tee up and play Yellowfin's 18 design don't for effective Dashboard design course.
The Front Nine:
 Use flashy visuals and chart types when simple alternatives are capable of conveying the same message: Meaning must be derived from dashboards quickly. If charts or graphs are overly garish or complex, interpretation is hindered and usage rates will decline. When considering data visualizations for your dashboards, ensure that you:
* Reduce the data to ink ratio: Follow the advice of Edward Tufte in his renowned The Visual Display of Quantitative Information: Remove anything that isn’t absolutely central to the interpretation of the data. Only display objects that are vital to the accurate interpretation and contextual understanding of the underlying data – avoid all design aspects that are unconnected to the task of analytic communication.
* Use color sparingly for maximum contrast to highlight important data
* Make your data standout from chart and dashboard background
* Use gradients and gridlines carefully
 Think that a dashboard is final: Reporting needs constantly change and dashboards have to change in accordance, to ensure the right metrics are being reported on and displayed in the most appropriate manner, to support current business strategy. To accommodate the inevitability of changing business needs, adopt an iterative approach to dashboard design.
 Select visualizations to represent metrics without considering the values themselves: Different types of graphs highlight different types of data, and features within a data set, in distinctive ways. Carefully consider the information and message that each chart is attempting to derive from your chosen metrics and values.
 Measure metrics that are not linked to specific business objectives: The worth of even the most engaging dashboard will be severely diminished if it reports on metrics unrelated to core business objectives.
 Forget to secure agreement on dashboard KPIs and their definition: Reaching consensus on the most crucial metrics and benchmarks will allow you to produce understandable, actionable and uniform KPI reports. Additionally, don’t assume that if everyone agrees on the same KPIs that they also agree on how they should be measured.
* Use / display obscure metrics: Even if agreement is reached amongst user groups regarding dashboard KPIs and metrics, ensure that the most straightforward metrics are used to monitor progression towards business goals. If users are unable to decipher the significance of a report with a momentary look, its usefulness and purpose is moot.
 Deliver reports underpinned by poor data: Once management and various business groups have reached consensus on the metrics that each departmental, strategic or operational dashboard should measure and monitor, ensure you are collecting the data needed to compile the necessary reports. Incomplete or poor quality data will lead to inaccurate dashboards and distrust amongst business users, who will proceed to search elsewhere for their answers, rendering your dashboards redundant.
 Design a dashboard that is complicated and cannot fit on a single screen: The KPIs and values displayed on a BI dashboard are meant to be able to be consumed quickly for understanding-at-a-glance. Whilst users may choose to drill into a particular chart for extra detail, they should be able to gain a high level overview quickly and effortlessly.
 Include too many alert scenarios: It’s like the boy who cried wolf. If people are regularly ‘alerted’ to events that most often require no action, eventually, people will stop paying them attention.
 Include no alert scenarios: If users are not notified of action that needs to be taken as a result of a report, what’s the point of the report? As stated before, reports need to be goal oriented. Users need to be alerted to events that diverge from projections and desired objectives, or when a predefined benchmark is reached.
The Back Nine:
 Try to deliver BI dashboards to everyone straight away: Begin by delivering dashboards to a small and specific user group, building on successes, and learning from mistakes.
 Design dashboards in isolation of intended user groups: Business users are the ultimate dashboard ‘customers’. Think of a dashboard as a product. Why would people want, and want to use, a product that does not offer them the capacity to improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which they can complete their routine workplace duties? Let business needs drive the technology and its development – not the other way round.
 Organize the information without considering its intended use: Not only is the information displayed via a dashboard integral, but so is the way it’s structured. Arrange information logically according to priority level and intended use. The three most common types of dashboard structure involve organizing information according to:
* Flow: Arrange information so that it can be read from left to right, and/or up and down in a logical progression.
* Relationships: Position related reports together such as revenue and expenditure.
* Grouping: Group reports according to common characteristics – you might position all your geospatial reports at the top of your sales dashboard.
 Present and update information without considering the frequency of use: The frequency with which a particular user group accesses their dashboard; be it daily or weekly; will affect the type of reports displayed and the level of detail required.
 Provide no or little context to the information displayed: Numbers in isolation are incapable of empowering a user to monitor business processes and take action when required. To provide true insight and enable a process or task to be effectively monitored, a data set must be compared to other figures, such as quantitative targets or historical information.
 Assume one sizes fits all: Measure/display KPIs relevant to the specific department and job function of the individual receiving the dashboard, taking into consideration such factors as:
* The amount of time a user has to view and react to information presented on their dashboard on a daily basis
* Data expertise and skill
 Only create dashboards based on departmental factors: Decide on the overriding purpose of each specific dashboard to help guide the type of dashboard developed and delivered. For example, is your dashboard:
* Broad or specific
* Strategic or operational
* Historical or real-time
* Uniform or customizable
 Neglect to provide interactivity: Dashboards by their very nature provide a summary overview of key metrics and business drivers. Users must be able to interact with their dashboards to drill down or through summary reports to obtain deeper understanding, filter reports for specific data, and share important information. If users have the capacity to interact with data to attain more detailed information, it will be simultaneously easier to produce uncluttered, clean, clear and easily consumable dashboards.
 Neglect to present actionable information: A dashboard is a tool to facilitate action. If users do not act as a result of reporting and analytics, then it is not possible to derive Return on Investment (ROI) from BI projects. Consider how the dashboard helps users to understand information in a way that facilitates and empowers them to act.
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