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Friday, Mar 20, 2015

How to Choose the Right Business Analytics Dashboard

How to Choose the Right Business Analytics Dashboard

Modern businesses are complicated and challenging. They do not abide by geographical barriers - be it for sales or operations. It’s tougher than ever to stay in sync with the market pulse while also keeping a close eye on internal processes.

Company owners commonly rely on business analysis dashboards for strategizing and reviewing data. As businesses continue to add more dimensions (like outsourcing and remote management), these dashboards are also getting multilayered. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the best dashboard solution for your business.

Characteristics of effective business analytics dashboards

Multiple device support and ready access

Business operations are no longer restricted to office spaces. You work on multiple devices at multiple places, and your business dashboard should do the same. It must support and sync between PCs, tablets and smartphones.

A good dashboard must also offer collaborative operation (using cloud based solutions) to allow multiple teams to work together from remote locations. Users should be able to jointly access, discuss, and revise data on the fly.

Logical data flow

Dashboards for business should serve dual purposes.

Firstly, they should showcase maximum relevant data at one go. The data should be a mix of numbers, charts or other visuals that help users consume the information at a glance. Most dashboards fail by making the landing screen too complicated or too simplistic.

Equally important is the option to drill down into any section to get more details. Besides being comprehensive, the detail sections should be easy to access and must have a logical flow.

Right proportion of visual representation

Analytics dashboards are meant to accommodate large volumes of data. The more data a dashboard can manage, the better it is. However, the key word is ‘manage’, not ‘more’.

The main purpose of a dashboard is to make sense of data. It should do so by representing data in easily consumable ways like numbers, charts, graphs and images. Striking the balance between these representation tools is the hallmark of a good dashboard.

Customizable / User oriented

Although business analytics are for everyone in the organization, they serve different purposes for different departments and people. For example, a sales growth chart can mean performance satisfaction for the sales team whereas, for the operations manager, it could indicate the need for more production planning.

A well designed business intelligence dashboard offers customized reporting and analytics that support everyone’s need. It is able to represent the same data in different contexts with equal ease.

Action oriented

Finally, your business dashboard should help take your business forward. Just having data presented in a better way isn’t enough. You should be able to use that data, and ideally within the dashboard itself.

A smart dashboard is capable of drawing analyses for you and can also suggest improvement areas and alternate strategies. Such analysis can save time and add a different perspective to your outlook.


Dashboards for business are evolving from being an additional tool into a necessity. To avoid becoming overwhelmed with various technologies and implementations claiming to be the best, you must follow the above mentioned checklist and understand your current and future requirements to identify the perfect business analysis dashboard for your company.

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