10 Steps for Effective Dashboarding

Author

Jake Lunney

Managing Director, Finance Technology
Finance Solutions

Jake Lunney

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Managing Director, Finance Technology
Finance Solutions
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Often distilled as a single-source of truth, creating effective dashboards is not a simple process of following this guide, but is a balanced practice of deep understanding and trust, and according to a recent MIT study – may be one of the most important factorings for improving performance.

To create effective dashboards for finance leaders, there are several key considerations to keep in mind, from fonts & colors to presentation style and everything in between, but to get it right there are 10 steps you should follow.

  1. Define the purpose and audience for the dashboard.
  2. Use clear and concise language.
  3. Prioritize the most important information.
  4. Use appropriate visualizations, such as charts and graphs.
  5. Allow for interactivity and drill-down capabilities.
  6. Incorporate real-time data.
  7. Consider mobile optimization.
  8. Allow for easy export and sharing of data.
  9. Test the dashboard with users to gather feedback.
  10. Continuously update and improve the dashboard based on user feedback and changing business needs.

The first step in creating an effective dashboard is to determine what information needs to be displayed. This will depend on the specific goals and objectives of the organization, as well as the audience for the dashboard. It’s important to focus on displaying only the most relevant and important information, rather than overwhelming users with too much data.

When selecting the data to display on a dashboard, it’s important to consider the context in which the data will be used. For example, a dashboard used by senior management will likely have different information than one used by front-line employees. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the data displayed is accurate, reliable, and up-to-date.

Once the data to be displayed has been selected, the next step is to choose an appropriate layout for the dashboard. The layout should be designed to make the data easy to understand and interpret, with clear and concise labels and headings. It’s also important to use colors and other visual cues to highlight important information and make the data more engaging.

To enhance the data display, you can use interactive visualizations like charts, graphs, and maps to make the data more informative and easier to understand. These visualizations can be used to show trends and patterns in the data over time, which can help users identify areas that need attention.

Another important aspect of creating effective dashboards is to make the data accessible and user-friendly. This can be achieved by creating a navigation structure that is intuitive and easy to use, and by providing users with the ability to filter, sort, and drill-down into the data. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the dashboard is responsive and can be accessed from a variety of devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Another important best practice is to review the performance and usability of the dashboards regularly. This will help identify any issues or problems with the dashboard and provide an opportunity to make any necessary changes or improvements. In this way, it is important to listen to feedback from users and respond to any questions or concerns they may have.

Creating effective dashboards in the financial sector is an important task that can help organizations make better data-driven decisions. By determining the information that needs to be displayed, choosing an appropriate layout, and making the data accessible and user-friendly, organizations can create dashboards that are both informative and easy to use. Additionally, regularly reviewing and updating the dashboard can help ensure that it remains effective over time.

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Jake Lunney
Managing Director, Finance Technology
Finance Solutions
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