Dashboard Basics

Dashboards have become more and more popular over the years due to their ease of use and the information they provide.  It is important to make sure you follow some key rules when starting a dashboard project to make it successful. Follow along with these dashboard basics.


  1. Make sure your data is correct and usable.  The number one killer of dashboards is BAD DATA!  Take the time upfront to stage your data and make sure it contains the necessary pieces that the business requires before starting a dashboard project.  This will insure that you have one version of the truth.
  2. Make sure that the dashboards you are building help align the strategy and the organization with its goals.  It is very important that everyone be on the same page.
  3. Dashboards should be actionable.  They need to include not only historical information but forecasted or predictive information as well.   By doing this, you can help drive employee efficiency, pinpoint strengths & weaknesses, and identify trends quickly.  This leads to the main goal of dashboards – MAKE OR SAVE THE COMPANY MONEY!

There are 3 types of dashboards:

  1. Strategic – Executive level dashboard that shows alignment of the organization
  2. Tactical – Senior level / manager usage that shows more detail and drives towards goals of areas within the business (sales, marketing, manufacturing)
  3. Operational – typically department level with actionable items that look at goals and history (think project level, product level or down to a department in manufacturing or marketing)

Lastly, make sure you build the right team to make your dashboard project a success.  Try and get an executive sponsor if you can.  Gather experts from each area that will be presented in a dashboard.  Invite someone from IT to be a part of your team.  It is very important to have a good relationship with your IT department!  Some others you can invite to be a part of the team would be someone with project management experience and an individual from your graphic design or marketing department to help with design elements of your dashboard.

Lodestar Solutions can help coach you through each phase of your dashboard project and insure that your dashboards drive action and make or save the company money!

Dashboards basics

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