The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — Part 1 (The Bad)
Sean Preusse

Some of these outcomes cover reports and dashboards. I have built and seen many dashboards that don’t make the mark. We have the best of intentions, however, something may be missing which impacts the delivery of a report or a dashboard to the business and is likely to waste time.

I want to share some of my experiences and I would love to hear yours as well, with examples, even better 👍!

The Bad

The above screenshot is one example of a dashboard, that would have taken many months to put together. It does suffer from a couple of things that take away from the user experience.

  1. There are many numbers that are large and bold. These indicate KPI’s, however, it is difficult to see which KPI’s are important. There is also a separation of large numbers on the top, horizontally, and by quadrant. This dilutes the impact.
  1. More than one KPI is combined with a range of segmented charts. It is difficult to know which KPI is associated with the chart. A wrong conclusion could be made.
  1. There is way too much information being presented. If this is an executive-level dashboard, I would consider splitting this into multiple views, with a more clear front cover.
  1. The wording under each KPI, and in between sections is difficult to read. I would hesitate at using small font sizes for heading or key labels.
  1. A variety of chart types have been included on the one page. This creates some noise and interpretation from the user. Consider using a consistent chart type.
  1. Consider giving the KPI’s some context. Was this an increase or decrease in the last report period? Is this above or below agreed targets?

Here are some other examples;

Keep it simple; 3D charts can be misleading, and create unnecessary noise.

Consistency: Use similar chart types. It is often unnecessary to use a variety;

Context: Each view should have a purpose or a decision that can be made. If you have a lot of information to present, consider using a storyboard to segment these into different views.

What are your takes on this? Do you have other examples? Keen to hear more.

I hope you found this useful. I will be posting regularly so stay tuned. If you want additional content, check out Analytics Roundtable, to stay up to date with the latest technology and chat with others.

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