Create a killer Business Dashboard in 5 Easy Steps

create a killer business dashboard

Have you ever tried to create a killer Business Dashboard, only to be stumped at the beginning by not knowing where to start?

It can be a daunting task.

Here’s how to create a killer Business Dashboard in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Understand the context
  2. Organise your data and people
  3. Analyse
  4. Tell a story
  5. Socialise

1. Understand the context

You may know every facet of your business, but defining the context is a crucial exercise.  Pause and take a breath.  Get back to basics and ask:

  • What do I need to know?
  • Why do I need to know it?
  • When do I need to know it?
  • Where do I need to know this?
  • How do I need to know this?

The value of group think

The team approach is so essential, mainly from the group think perspective.  Collectively think about all the issues you’d like to tackle.  Don’t just think about data; focus on what you’d like to explore.  Think:

  • Business pain points
  • Operational bottlenecks
  • Data credibility

2. Organise your data and people

Data analytics is as much an endeavour about people as it is about data.


Organising the team is also essential.  It pays to assess what skills you have and get the right balance.

  • Identify what skills are available in house
  • Work out what skills can be attained through training
  • What skills can be brought in from outside
  • What skills are not essential


Inventorise all data sources, no matter how relevant.  When assessing each, ask yourself:

  • What data do you have, and how much of it is used?
  • Which data sources support the context you defined earlier?
  • What data is needed?
  • Are they all connected, or can they connect?
  • How well is each data source managed?
  • What data gaps are they are, how will you fill them?

3. Analyse

There are two types of analytics:  Exploratory and Explanatory.  People often get these confused when putting this into practice.  Aim for explanatory.


One of the key attributes of exploratory data analytics is that by its very nature, the outcome is unknown.  It’s crucial to explore deeply and remember, one of the key attributes of exploratory data analytics is that the outcome is unknown.

You will fail, probably quite often in your quest for knowledge, but that’s the point of exploration.  The key is to learn from these failures and build on them.


You will discover highly valuable insights that can be shaped into actionable dashboards that support the organisation.

Once you’ve found a diamond in the rough, thoroughly test it before publishing.  Make sure it can stand up to scrutiny before you hang your hat on it.

4. Tell a story

It’s one thing to have the data, but it’s another to communicate it effectively.

When creating a dashboard, keep these in mind:

  • Be concise
  • Eliminate any clutter
  • Make it cohesive
  • Highlight the message

Oh, and sprinkle on some glitter!

Take inspiration from examples of graphs and visualisations by experts like Nathan Yau & Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic.

5. Socialise

For your organisation to benefit from data analytics, valuable findings must be available to the right decision makers at the right time.  BI tools are the ideal platform or building compelling dashboards.  Here are some of the easiest to use when getting started:

  • Tableau
  • Power BI
  • Qlik
  • Domo
  • Klipfolio

To Recap

To make the leap and become a data-driven organisation, take a considered approach:

  • Understand the context
  • Organise your data and people
  • Analyse
  • Tell a story
  • Socialise

If you are embarking on building dashboards for your business, but have hit a crossroads, get in touch.  We’d be happy to help you take the next step.