Dashboards are the key enablers to drive businesses to higher levels of revenue, competitiveness, and effectiveness. Therefore the key to creating an optimal and efficient dashboard for your clients starts with fully understanding how to make your users’ lives easier. Your customers might be very tempted to cram as much information as possible on a dashboard, arguing that absolutely every piece of data is of equal importance. However, as dashboard creators, you must guide your customers with intuitive questions to ensure that the data you provide is clear, helpful, and useful- filling your platform with informative and actionable data.
Understand Your Audience
Before jumping to pulling reports and merging them on dashboards, you should define your user, role, and day-to-day process. It’s important to define each user role and their goals as detailed as possible since each person at an organization uses the data differently, giving you insights on how you can expand your reach within your customer’s organizations. For example, your daily users may need to view task-oriented data, but if you include aggregate performance data such as KPIs and comparisons across an organization, you can incentivize directors and executives to engage with your platform regularly.
Ask your customers for their expectations with your dashboard and what data they’re usually viewing, not just from your platform. As you research your customers’ processes, it’s also important to understand when they access data and how often they will use it. These answers will give you a clear perspective from their point of view and a better understanding of their operations to help discover how and what data from your platform will help get their job done.
What Do Your Customers Need?
Delivering the right set of data to the right user at the right time helps ensure long-term success, and at the end of the day, will save you and your team time and resources. What does the data and information conveyed on each dashboard help your users achieve, and how would customers rate success? Ask your customers to specify their top goals and priorities in order to define what type of dashboard should be created.
While gathering your customer’s requirements, it’s important to identify your users’ needs and wants. For example, ask your customers how often they review metrics and what information they need on a daily basis. This will give you the necessary context to define real-time vs. periodic updates, which can really make a difference in the architecture of your dashboard infrastructure. By understanding the context of use, you can easily differentiate a need and want, avoiding reworks, delays, and increased costs when building a dashboard.
When creating a dashboard with your customer, the main takeaway is to ensure that the information displayed is easy to digest, clear, and quickly drives decisions and results. It’s also critical to keep the data as user-friendly as possible, mainly when referring to analytic and industry terminologies. An effective dashboard allows for quick engagement, giving a general performance overview. If your clients understand what information is being provided to them at a glance, it will increase your customer retention and satisfaction, making their lives easier.