Top Reasons Why Most Executive Dashboards Fall ShortTop Reasons Why Most Executive Dashboards Fall Short

Unfortunately, many of the dashboards being used today seem to be set up for their aesthetics rather than their effectiveness. Fancy graphs and colors may stand out but often don’t deliver the critical information you need. A dashboard’s value should not be judged by its “flash”, but rather by how quickly and easily it conveys the information you are looking for.

The Role of a Dashboard: Communicate

In their most basic form, dashboards must show, in a quick look, the status of a company or department…and that information must be applicable to the specific audience it is serving. Executives may need to review critical milestones each week while Directors/Managers will need updates more often based on their particular departments.

The truth is that most dashboards don’t provide what their audience needs most: clear, concise information.

Fancy Designs Can Be Distracting

Simple is best. If a dashboard is set up so that additional mouse clicks or scrolling is needed, then it was poorly designed. The focus should be on explaining the data in a quick glance. There is no one perfect template for dashboard design, so don’t try to make your dashboard requirements fit into a certain type of layout. Use the design that best articulates the basic message of the data behind it.

Bold, flashy colors often serve no other purpose than to confuse the reader, especially if those colors are not used consistently throughout the dashboards. In addition, 3-dimensional graphs are generally less effective than their 2-dimensional counterparts while pie charts often raise even more questions than they provide answers.

Get Back to Basics

Senior executives are not impressed by fancy graphics and colors; they simply want to take the pulse of their company to stay informed and see what, if any, adjustments are needed.

Does your company have a dashboard? If so, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are my dashboards doing what they were designed to do?
  • Is the staff using the dashboards?
  • Are the dashboards delivering the information we need quickly and easily?

We all know the importance of real-time data and the ability to deliver that data in an easily-digestible format. If you are struggling with simple, effective dashboard results, you may need to reevaluate your dashboard design. A few adjustments could make a big difference.

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