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How To Make Custom Dashboards For Powerful Business Insights


Maryna Cherednychenko - June 4, 2021 - 0 comments

The development and design of a dashboard is a critical task today. Business wants to get a screen that contains all the information, showing trends, risks, and promising areas. It needs a dynamically updated vision that points the way to a bright financial future. A properly designed dashboard helps quickly assess the company’s state and points out cases worth paying attention to. It helps understand the app structure and gives the user an idea of where to go next.

This post will explain what precisely the dashboards are, how to get the most value of them, and what components to include. Also, it will share the examples of custom admin panels we made for our recent projects.

What Is Dashboard?

The dashboard is a preview of information that is important to the user. It is an easy way to navigate the different app areas and access the necessary components without much effort. The term “dashboard” in software development is a metaphor for the dashboard in an aircraft. It contains all the control levers to operate the device in the most convenient and safe way.

The admin panel dashboard is a kind of space or object with information that visually presents data from one or more sources. Each source is a component of a dashboard. Analyzing data from such a component helps people draw conclusions and make decisions that affect future actions in business or daily life.

To be more specific, let’s define a dashboard as a diagram, table, or graph (or all together) that shows analytical data took from different sources but related to each other. Typically, this data is presented as an interactive digital field and used to analyze current business indicators.

Dashboard Benefits

A dashboard is a type of data presentation. Compared to other methods, it has several advantages:

✅Accessibility. It displays all things in a single window. Users don’t need to switch from one interface to another to reach necessary data.

✅Interactivity. Users can adjust data visualization as per their needs. For example, choose a period, filter partners, or select a specific location.

✅Awareness. Users quickly identify problems that might remain out of sight of management.

✅Data completeness. Dashboards provide comprehensive information, allowing users to see the complete business state in a matter of seconds.

✅Usability. If designed correctly, dashboards are very easy to use. They give all the necessary tools for quick data access and management.

 

Dashboard benefits

Dashboard benefits

Who Uses Dashboards?

Considering a dashboard is a handy way to visualize analytical data, it is popular with different user categories. Each implementation is unique. It is tailored to the app’s nature and the user’s role. Its look-and-feel is adapted to specific business requirements and displays information depending on who logs into the system. Further, we’ll see who makes good use of custom dashboards and graphics of software admin panels.

Marketing experts

To build a successful marketing campaign, marketers need to be aware of customer attitudes. How do they respond to ads? Do they enjoy personalized offers? Do they follow links in newsletters? Dashboards provide all the needed information with graphs, charts, and diagrams.

 

Dashboard for marketers from our project Sphera

Dashboard for marketers from our project Sphera

SEO specialists

With the help of dashboards, SEO specialists can immediately assess the site’s overall efficiency. They look at what kind of people are visiting the site, from what devices, for what purpose, how long they stay on it, etc. Google Analytics is a popular service for tracking this data. It helps reach necessary indicators and highlights problem areas.

SEO dashboard

Source: octoboard.com

DevOps

The dashboard can display all processes running on the server, giving the admin a complete picture of the hardware state. In addition, interactive utilities for tracking system indicators make it possible to manage some system processes right off the bat.

 

Dashboard for DevOps

Source: slideteam.net

HRs

HR dashboards show hiring statistics, sort employees by categories, analyze salaries, rate professional courses, and so on. They help build an effective recruiting strategy and better understand the hired staff.

 

HR dashboard

Source: qlik.com

Owners

A dashboard for owners can be based on individual metrics or show a big picture of the business state. It is designed according to the client’s needs and adapted to the company’s demands. All in all, it is a powerful tool that keeps owners updated about what goes on within their company.

 

Dashboard for owners

Source: rentalready.io

How To Make an Excellent Dashboard?

If you want to develop an admin panel dashboard, take a look at the key steps and design best practices below:

1.Decide on the dashboard type

There are three types of dashboards: operational, analytical, and strategic.

  • The operational dashboard aims to display essential business metrics in real-time mode.
  • The analytical dashboard shows data of the current period in comparison with previous periods.
  • The strategic dashboard shows how certain metrics are progressing and how quickly set goals are being met.

 

Dashboard types

Dashboard types

2.Define end-user

Knowing the target audience is essential for building a valuable product. To do this, work on custom personas, make a list of current problems, and draw up solutions that the custom dashboard will provide. Think of at least 5-6 key points the users will take away after working with your product. Remember, the dashboards should be made with the user in mind and display the relevant information depending on the login role.

3.Place only valuable information

Even though the dashboard aims to notify the user about the current business realities, you should not overload it with numerous data and unnecessary details. Filter out a few of the most critical indicators. We recommend this value be no more than eight and ideally equal to five. By adhering to such a value, you will gainfully place visual elements so that they are not lost among other data flow.

 

Dashboard example from our Botnet project

Dashboard example from our Botnet project

4.Make It Responsive

Responsive design is now an absolute necessity because users always want to stay connected and log into the system from different devices. They expect the dashboard on a small screen to look as informative as on a large one. When designing for a smartphone, you should not cut back on information. Instead, you need to reformat the elements to fit nicely on the limited space of the phone screen.

5.Emphasize Key Data

The dashboard’s primary goal is to quickly notify the user about company KPIs. A good practice for this is to highlight essential values with font size or colors. It is, therefore, necessary not to overdo. Although you need to emphasize a specific indicator, it should fit harmoniously into the dashboard’s overall design.

Best Tools For Data Visualisation

A dashboard is a way to tell about complex data in a simple manner. It explains non-obvious relationships and visualizes information with the help of special tools. Some of them are quite simple: you need to load the data and choose how it will be displayed. Other programs are more complex: they require appropriate configuration and, for example, knowledge of JavaScript. At Softensy, we use different tools to build custom dashboards. We opt for specific ones depending on the project size and nature. Here are a few that we consider being the most powerful:

Plotly is a handy tool to create detailed charts, presentations, and dashboards. You can perform analysis using JavaScript, Python, R, Matlab, Jupyter, or Excel. There are also several options for importing data. The visualization library and online diagramming tool allow making stunning graphs with no much effort.

Chart.js is a perfect instrument for small projects. The program offers only six types of diagrams and a free Chart.js library. It uses HTML5 Canvas to build charts and creates a simple design that is easy to adapt to changing business demands.

FusionCharts is a comprehensive solution for a wide variety of needs. It offers over 90 charts and layouts, 965 data maps, pre-built business dashboards, and demos. The JavaScript API makes it easy to integrate the plugin into an AJAX application or JavaScript framework. Charts, maps, and dashboards are incredibly interactive, easy to customize, and work across all devices and platforms.

Google Charts is a very flexible tool with a variety of instruments for developers. It is highly beneficial when creating specialized visualizations such as geoschemes. Google Charts offer built-in controls for animation and user interaction.

Google Analytics is a traditional choice of developers looking to integrate user-friendly analytics into their software. It helps create custom dashboards, interactive reports, and convenient diagrams using various built-in widgets and schemes.

IBM Watson Analytics is an excellent tool for big enterprises. It offers AI-powered mechanisms to analyze data and further introduce it to users in an informative format. IBM Analytics serves different business areas from banking to education and may be applied to building different dashboard types.

Conclusion

To get the most out of your business, you need to be aware of all events happening inside. The admin panel dashboard is a convenient way to present data. It allows you to assess the state of things at a glance and quickly make a strategically correct decision. Today, dashboards are used by specialists in different fields: marketers, DevOps, HRs, managers, and business owners. If this feature has not yet been integrated into your program, now is the time to think about it.

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