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5 Key Steps for Choosing an Analytics Dashboard Design

Apr 14, 2017

Analytical dashboards are used for—as you may have guessed—data analysis. When designed and implemented correctly, these dashboards will increase productivity and understanding for users and their businesses, and provide actionable insights for business success.

Five Key Steps You Should Take When Designing an Analytics Dashboard

Consider What Benefits the User Receives

Look at your design through your target user’s eyes rather than your own. Consider what benefits the user receives from using your analytics dashboard specifically. How is it segmented? How can users achieve success using it? How do users interact with it? What sets it apart from other dashboards and advanced analytics services?

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Know What the Average User Wants to Observe

When designing an analytics dashboard, you need to keep in mind the kind of answers that your target audience is looking for and how they can best find those answers. Consider what data your users will be tracking and in what ways that data is best presented. You should also take into consideration things like what data users will want to see first, what they will have to monitor continuously, how best to make the analytics dashboard interactive, and what the users’ (and their organizations’) long-term goals are.

Keep Your Design Simple

Avoid clutter and filler when it comes to your analytics dashboard design. Ensure that fonts, colors, and layout are visually appealing and user-friendly, and make sure that labels and segmentation are clear and easy to understand. This will help users to better identify and understand insights, data, and other findings presented to them by the analytics dashboard. Less formal dashboards may make use of emojis, colorful images, and colloquial language.


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Add Different Functionalities

It should go without saying, but analytics dashboards need to allow for the export, emailing, printing, and posting of data and insights. Users need to be able to move the data from the analytics dashboard to other forms of media and technology in order to benefit from the insights provided and communicate the findings to other people and departments.

Ensure that Insight are Communicated Clearly

Your analytics dashboard should convey actual insights to its users instead of just presenting raw data and making them connect the dots themselves. Actionable, valuable insights should consist of at least two data points and should identify a clear connection between them. For example, telling a user that their website received 1,000 page views in a day is not especially helpful. Pairing this information with another data point makes it more useful and valuable: saying that they got 1,000 page views in one day compared to their average daily norm of 2,500 page views, for example.

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