5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Dashboards

May 21, 2018
August 24, 2020

By Cedric Fillmore, Data Analytics Practice Director

We’ve covered six ways to create effective dashboards, but it’s also important to discuss common mistakes. Why? To help you prevent having to fix issues later. Even knowing best practices you could still miss simple mistakes that should be avoided for your dashboards to be effective.

Top 5 Mistakes When Creating Dashboards

  1. Starting off with too much complexity
    You could spend weeks-to-months perfecting your dashboards before releasing. Instead, you should work in short cycles by creating dashboard prototypes, testing, adjusting accordingly and publishing. Don’t get caught up in trying to provide detailed dashboards that cover every aspect and business challenge taking place.  

  1. Using metrics no one understands
    Are the metrics you are using understandable to other people or just you? Make sure to validate them with others. Just because they make sense to you does not mean they will be familiar to others.

  1. Cluttering the dashboard with low-value graphics and widgets
    We all love seeing pretty graphics that quickly gain people’s attention, however, try to resist this urge when creating your dashboards. These get in the way of the overall objective of the dashboard:  for the audience to easily see and process information. Keep it simple!

  1. Waiting for complex technology and large business intelligence deployment projects
    Legacy BI implementations can take significant time and waiting for these to materialize can be too much of a delay. You must use applications that will help you build and publish your dashboards right away to begin gaining immediate insights.

  1. Underestimating the need to maintain the dashboard
    This is not a one-and-done process. Once you roll out a dashboard, maintenance must be done. Check with your audience to ensure the metrics and data are relevant and update as needed. If this isn’t done often, the dashboard may experience low adoption.

For dashboard creators: Now that you know the Do’s and Don’ts of dashboard best practices, go out and create! Let us know what you come up with and what questions you have along the way, and if you're a beginner be sure to check out our Data Visualization 101 e-book.

For business professionals wondering where to start with utilizing dashboards within your organization: Let’s talk! Onebridge is here to help your organization turn its data into valuable assets of information for your entire team.

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