3 Myths of Dashboard Building Finally Shattered

3 Myths of Dashboard Building Finally Shattered

Building a dashboard is so easy!

You’ll be finished in 5 minutes, according to all the major vendors of BI tools. 

Anyone who has attempted to create a business dashboard would have discovered the hard way that there are a few barriers to success. 

1. More data is better

Unlike Pollock, beauty is rarely created by a budding dashboard artist trying to cram as many ‘insights’ onto a page as possible.

Quality over quantity reigns supreme in the data analytics world.  Honing in on a specific set of metrics to find out a single valuable insight is far easier and far more meaningful than throwing everything on a dashboard and hoping something wonderful will come of it.

Sticking to a core message is so powerful when building a dashboard and it takes a certain level of discipline and training to ignore the temptation to go to town.

And that’s the perfect reason why data analytics is valuable at the micro level.  You have to start somewhere, so find a thread of data, dig deep and explore until you uncover something valuable that you can share with the business. 

2. Measuring metrics doesn’t lead to better results

Presentation of the data in itself is only half the challenge.  Showing trending values and comparisons are the key to the creation of a successful business dashboard.

Creating a dashboard showing revenue or profit overtime has value.  Typically, that’s where most budding BI engineers stop.   Teasing out the real message is the where the value lies.

A graph showing 12 months of total revenue is lacking some important information.  Adding a 12 month moving average trend provides a valuable perspective that helps flatten out the seasonal trends most businesses endure. 

Taking this one step further and adding a drill down into business lines or regional offices can reveal a far more rich set of insights.

3. Self service BI is so easy

Create a dashboard in 5 minutes?  Good luck!

But that’s what some BI tools proclaim on their “Free Trial” download page.

It is true that all dashboard building software tools come with the power to enable anyone to conduct self-serve BI. 

But there’s more to it than meets the eye.  Unlike Excel, these tools require the user to understand a few basics:

  • What are data sources
  • What data types are available
  • How can we connect to data
  • The difference between measures and dimensions

All of the dashboarding tools on the market are far more complex than Excel or Power Point.  They are feature rich, giving users an abundance of flexibility when creating the perfect dashboard.  On the flip side, that means these tools are complex and require a lot of time to work out how to use them.  Eventually, the average Joe or Jo would get the hang of the basics, only to find the features at the expert level are just a little more challenging.

Learn how we saved Paragon Industries thousands of dollars and  narrowly avoided a DIY Dashboarding Disaster

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