Creating a dashboard plan is crucial before diving into the actual dashboard creation process. A well-thought-out plan ensures that the end product is efficient, effective, and tailored to meet the needs of its users. Let’s break down the steps in creating a dashboard plan and understand why each step is important.
- Identifying the audience: Knowing your audience is the first step in creating a dashboard plan. This helps you tailor the dashboard to their needs and preferences, making it more useful and relevant. For example, a marketing team may need a dashboard to track campaign performance, while the sales team may require one for tracking leads and sales progress.
- Defining the metrics and KPIs to track: Once you know your audience, it’s time to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that matter most to them. KPIs are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving its key objectives. For example, a customer support team may focus on KPIs such as the number of resolved tickets and customer satisfaction ratings, while an eCommerce business might prioritize metrics like sales revenue and conversion rates.
- Determining the data sources: After defining the KPIs and metrics, you need to determine where the data will come from. This may involve connecting to databases, APIs, or other data sources. It’s important to ensure the data is accurate, up-to-date, and relevant to your defined metrics and KPIs. For instance, a retail store may pull sales data from its point-of-sale system, while a digital marketing team might use Google Analytics to track website traffic data.
- Designing the layout and visualizations: With the metrics and data sources in place, it’s time to design the dashboard’s layout and visualizations. This involves selecting the right charts, graphs, and tables to effectively convey the information to your audience. For example, a manufacturing company may use bar charts to compare production numbers across different facilities, while a finance team might use line charts to track revenue growth over time.
- Establishing a schedule for updates and maintenance: Finally, it’s essential to establish a schedule for updating and maintaining the dashboard. This ensures the information remains relevant and accurate, allowing users to make informed decisions based on the latest data. For example, a daily update might be suitable for stock market data, while a weekly or monthly update may suffice for employee performance metrics.
By following these steps and creating a solid dashboard plan, you can ensure that the end product meets the needs of its users, helping them make better-informed decisions and ultimately driving business success.