Companies around the world increasingly use business intelligence (BI) dashboards. If you use one or intend to, knowing some business intelligence best practices can help you avoid pitfalls.
Here are 10 best practices for usiness intelligence dashboards from which you can choose information to display. Building a business intelligence strategy will help you to deal with modern business needs.
10 Best Practices For Business Intelligence Dashboards
Identify Your Reporting Requirements
BI dashboards make it easy to gather statistics and turn them into reports. Before diving into that task, clarify what to include in the review and which departments will read it.
For example, the accounting department likely needs substantially different metrics than your customer service team. Get confirmation of the necessary details and the intended audience first to save yourself from wasting time on extra work and including irrelevant information.
Since reporting requirements are so important, you can’t afford to use the wrong analytics and reporting services. This is why services like Power BI Consulting have become in such high demand.
Choose a Dashboard to Meet Your Needs
There are several kinds of BI dashboards on the market:
- Strategic: These aggregate crucial details about your organization’s current status and health while highlighting opportunities for expansion.
- Analytical: Dashboards that show data variables across a set timeframe and help you spot trends.
- Operational: Choose these dashboards if you want to focus on key performance indicators and real-time operations changes.
- Tactical: Mid-level managers most commonly use these dashboards, which give deep dives into a company’s processes by showing weekly metrics and trends.
Find business intelligence dashboard examples based on the category above that most closely match your needs before investing in a solution. Doing that increases the chances of feeling satisfied with your investment.
Design Your Dashboard to Minimize Distractions
One of the most useful dashboard design best practices to follow involves getting rid of extra information. Make your dashboards useful for everyone by following the five-second rule. Pick the dashboard’s content carefully so that anyone looking at it can get the details they need in a few seconds.
Scrutinize the information and verify that each graphic or text snippet serves a well-defined purpose. If it doesn’t, take it out. Adding too much data to your dashboard could make it more challenging for people to focus on the parts that matter most to their work.
Call Attention to Relevant Numbers
Some viewers may appreciate graphic helpers that highlight statistics. For example, one of the Power BI dashboard best practices Microsoft recommends for its product is to use a card visualization for numerical figures.
If you use a different BI product without that feature, consider other ways to help numbers stand out. For example, you might put them in a bright colour or increase the size of the figure compared to the surrounding text.
Restrict Dashboard Access to Authorized Parties
Working with a BI dashboard also means engaging in the appropriate security measures. Some content management systems allow you only to give data governance to people with the right credentials. You could take the same approach with your BI interface.
Think about setting role-based privileges based on whether a person requires editing privileges for their work or only needs to look at the content. Adjust or remove an individual’s access as appropriate — such as when they get promotions or leave the company.
Also, encourage everyone to demonstrate good password hygiene, including using a different password for each service and never sharing credentials.
Arrange Your Data According to the Inverted Pyramid Model
News professionals understand the inverted pyramid approach well. It involves mentioning the most important information first in an article and devoting the most overall space to it. The less-crucial details appear near the end of the piece and may only encompass a single paragraph.
You can follow dashboard design best practices by letting the inverted pyramid model dictate how you show the data. For example, feature the main details inside the largest panes or sections.
Select the Right Kind of Chart
Charts can be ideal for helping executives interpret data and use it for decision-making. You’ll get the best results when you pick a chart type that aligns with your needs and the type of data presented.
For example, line charts work well for showing trends over time, while pie charts let you show how single categories relate to an overall value. You might also use a vertical bar graph to help users compare differences side by side. The main thing to remember is that no one chart is the universal ideal.
Include the Most Important Information on a Single Screen
If you’ve spent time checking out business intelligence dashboards, it may have become obvious that all the crucial details are immediately presented and don’t require swiping between several screens. Allowing people to see the essential material on one screen is the best approach because it increases clarity and helps you stick to your main points.
Think about how some of the people who see the content may have packed schedules and might feel eager to get the information they need without wasting time. We discussed earlier how you should cut out unnecessary information to prevent distractions. This is a related point, but it’s a tip that encourages you to think about which data to show first while remembering your audience’s requirements.
Consider Optimizing Your Dashboard for Mobile Users
Web designers know how important it is to design content for mobile phones, especially since many people view it on those devices more often than on their computers. One of the related Power BI best practices is to tweak your dashboard for those who look at it on smartphones.
Doing that involves switching the content from Web View to Phone View in the dashboard’s upper-right corner. You’ll only see that option as the dashboard’s owner. While in Phone View, you can adjust the layout so that it appears differently to phone versus computer users by rearranging tiles or changing their sizes and shapes.
If you use a different product, determine whether it has a mobile-friendly option. The key elements of a successful BI strategy focus on the business, data and people.
Display Data in the Proper Context
As you design your chart, pay attention to how factors like the relative size and colour of content on the BI dashboard could lead people to draw certain conclusions — not all of them necessarily correct. Ensure that you use labels and source citations to help people see the data in the right framework and not get the wrong ideas.
You’ve probably seen at least a few dashboards that looked fantastic at first glance but later realized they did not offer enough context. In that case, you probably came away with some questions and uncertainties. Including reference points for the statistics and charts on a dashboard helps viewers feel confident while digesting the material.
Data Visualization in Analytics
Data visualization in analytics is a powerful tool for transforming large and complex datasets into easily understandable and actionable insights. By using various visualization techniques such as charts, graphs, and dashboards, analysts can effectively communicate patterns, trends, and correlations within the data. This not only helps in making informed business decisions but also enables stakeholders to grasp the key findings and take appropriate actions quickly. Additionally, data visualization enhances the storytelling aspect of analytics by presenting information in a visually appealing manner, making it easier for non-technical audiences to comprehend and engage with the data. Overall, data visualization plays a crucial role in enhancing the impact and effectiveness of analytics, ultimately leading to improved decision-making and business performance.
How can having the right analytics and BI tools help?
The right analytics and BI tools can benefit businesses by providing valuable insights and data-driven decisions. These business intelligence tools can help organizations analyze large sets of data sources to identify trends, patterns, and anomalies, allowing them to make informed strategic decisions. With the right BI tools, businesses can monitor key performance indicators, track progress, and optimize processes for improved efficiency. Additionally, analytics and BI tools can also help in predicting future trends and outcomes, enabling businesses to stay ahead of the curve. Having the right analytics and BI tools can lead to better decision-making, improved performance, and a competitive edge in the market.
Using self-service business intelligence (SSBI) for your company
Self-service business intelligence (SSBI) or BI solutions can greatly benefit your company by providing employees with the tools and resources to analyze and interpret data without relying on IT or data analysts. This allows for quicker decision-making and more efficient problem-solving, leading to improved overall performance along with data management. With SSBI, employees can easily access and manipulate data, create visualizations, and generate reports to gain valuable insights into the company’s operations. By empowering your team with self-service BI tools, you can foster a culture of data-driven decision-making and enable employees at all levels to contribute to the company’s success. SSBI can help your company stay agile and competitive in today’s rapidly changing business environment.
Tips to Guide Your Business Intelligence Efforts
These modern business intelligence best practices will help you get the most out of any dashboard you purchase and use. Remember that it’s also valuable to devote sufficient time to training yourself or your colleagues on how to use the tool. Each BI on the market has different features and layouts.
The more thoroughly you get acquainted with them, the easier it’ll be to get the results you want.
- Define clear business objectives and align your BI efforts to support them.
- Identify the right data sources and ensure data quality for accurate insights.
- Create a data-driven culture within your organization to maximize the impact of BI.
- Choose the right BI tools and technologies that suit your business needs.
- Involve key stakeholders from different departments to ensure BI addresses their specific needs.
- Continuously monitor and assess the performance of your BI initiatives and make necessary adjustments.
Stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in BI to keep your efforts relevant and impactful. By following these tips, you can maximize the effectiveness of your business intelligence efforts and drive better decision-making for your organization.
Role of business analytics for successful business intelligence
Business analytics is crucial in providing successful business intelligence through various means. Some of the key points include:
- Identifying trends and patterns within large datasets to make informed decisions
- Predictive analytics to forecast future market trends, customer behavior, and business performance
- Data visualization tools to present complex data in an understandable format for better decision-making
- Process automation for streamlining operations and reducing manual effort
- Risk assessment and mitigation by analyzing potential threats and vulnerabilities
- Improved customer relationship management by analyzing customer data and providing personalized experiences
- Identifying new business opportunities through market analysis and performance tracking with analytics and data
Evaluating the success of marketing campaigns and strategies through data analysis and reporting. Overall, business analytics provides the necessary insights and tools to drive informed decision-making and overall success in business intelligence.
In conclusion, implementing these ten best practices for business intelligence dashboards can greatly improve the effectiveness and usability of the tools for decision-makers within an organization to maintain business goals. By focusing on clear and concise data visualization, ensuring data accuracy and integrity, and providing meaningful insights, businesses can enhance their decision-making processes and drive better performance. Incorporating user-friendly design, interactive features, and mobile optimization will also increase the accessibility and adoption of the dashboards across the organization. Furthermore, regularly updating and refining the dashboards based on user feedback and changing business needs will ensure that they remain relevant and valuable.