A key performance indicator (KPI dashboard) typically provides you with a visual representation of the most important metrics that you want to monitor. This could include any type of data from a number of different business environments. Using gauges, graphs, charts, and other visual tools, the KPI dashboard serves much like an automotive dashboard by providing you with visual feedback based on the car's engine, throttle, temperature, and other systems. While a car's dashboard has little room for customization, a KPI dashboard can, and should, be fine-tuned. Here is some valuable advice to help you fine-tune your KPI dashboard and increase performance.
Start by cleaning it up. It's tempting to load your dashboard with all of the bells and whistles supported by the data visualization software you use. In fact, you might even have multiple views of the same data, all cluttering up the dashboard and leaving less room for fresh information. This might take some time to go through, but remember that it is a necessary step when fine-tuning your dashboard and making it better suited for your needs. Go through each item currently included and ask the following questions:
1. Does this object display information that I must view at least once per day?
2. Does this object duplicate information that already appears on my dashboard?
3. Is this the best object type to display this information?
4. Should this object be placed on a secondary dashboard?
Keep in mind that your KPI dashboard should display key performance indicators, not every possible performance indicator in existence. In addition, the dashboard should show everything at a glance, without requiring scrolling or clicking. This will save time and increase efficiency when looking at the dashboard.
Next, organize the dashboard so that it makes sense. You may have several related objects that should go together or that may need to be re-ordered so that they build upon each other. It's also smart to follow a pattern, even with data that's unrelated. For example, if start grouping data by day, week, month, quarter, and then all grouped data should follow a similar pattern. Organizing the KPI dashboard will help the user understand how the data relates to one another more easily.
Finally, tweak the KPI dashboard settings so that the overall display is easy to interpret and understand. This includes using colors judiciously and choosing simplified numbering options where possible. For example, instead of using currency figures with the decimal points and trailing zeros such as $105.99, drop the decimal and use rounding such as $106. This will clean up your data and help users in the long run.
Fine-tuning your KPI dashboard is easy to do, and it helps you to gain a better understanding of the key performance indicators that are most important to your business. It will also allow you to increase productivity in the workplace. Remember that you can always go back and make adjustments to your KPI dashboard to make it better suited for you as well as other users.
Frank, the author of this article enjoys sharing his knowledge inside the world of business intelligence solutions. When companies are working smarter using KPI dashboards from InetSoft, they have the ability to save time, money, and increase efficiency in the workplace.