Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan

10 Keys to BI Dashboard Success: Part I


Dashboards have been getting a lot of flack lately, especially in blog posts about why they’re pathetic or why you should hate them. I get it – dashboards have been a staple of business intelligence for decades and the concept hasn’t changed that much, so it must be time to disparage them. They’re no longer a hot topic. But that’s precisely why we need to keep the conversation around BI dashboards going. They’re not going away, but they can always be improved.

A well-designed dashboard with the right metrics will serve you for years. arcplan has customers who have been using the same dashboard for 5+ years. Why? Because it simply works (this also happens to be our company’s tagline!). I’m thinking specifically of one company whose dashboard isn’t flashy at all – in fact, it’s pretty boring looking – but it contains essential, revenue-driving metrics and sends alerts to trigger action based on specific thresholds.

Is that all it takes to create a lasting, functional BI dashboard? Not quite. Here’s a list of the top 10 keys to BI dashboard success, derived from arcplan’s nearly 20 years helping customers around the world design custom dashboards.

Your BI dashboards should be:

1) Personalized. Tailor your dashboard to the role of the user, designing it around metrics specific to the individual. You can see an example of this in the arcplan free trial. It gives you the option of logging into the application as a director of finance or director of sales and each individual dashboard displays metrics that matter to the particular user role.

2) Customized. Accommodate your users no matter where they are located. If you are designing dashboards to be used in the US & Europe, be sure that European users can view them with their particular language and currency settings (for example, displaying dollars as Euros and using periods instead of commas). Luckily with arcplan, those adjustments are a click away.

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