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Five Steps to Building an Effective Dashboard

Building a dashboard is essential to data analytics as it helps you make the most out of your data. In a previous blog, we covered how to build a data dashboard with Astrato, but we haven’t yet explained how to make an effective data dashboard. That’s what we’re covering today. 

In this blog, we will give you five fundamental steps on dashboard creation and how you can go about building an effective dashboard. However, before we begin, it’s probably a good idea to answer the question, “What makes an effective dashboard?”

The secret to making an effective dashboard lies within the dashboard creation process and, of course, the star of the show, the data. Regardless of whether you choose an interactive dashboard or a simpler alternative, having accurate and relevant data for the right target audience is essential to any good dashboard design. As a team of data analysis and Business Intelligence experts, we believe that the most impactful dashboards give the end user a clear understanding of what the data represents. To find out more, take a look at this previous blog post about choosing the perfect data visualization for your audience in five steps. 

Five Steps to Building an Effective Dashboard

Now that you’re familiar with what makes an effective dashboard, we will break down five of the fundamental steps you need to follow to build an effective dashboard and transform a good dashboard into a great one.

Step 1: Determine your goals 

Before you begin compiling data, it’s important to determine any key performance indicator (KPI) or goals you wish to achieve by creating your dashboard. At Astrato, we are advocates that great dashboards must tell a story through data. As with a novel, you cannot include every facet of information up front if you’re trying to tell a coherent story.  Instead, you must lead the reader from point A to point B gradually, by being selective about what information you present to the reader and when – the dashboard creation process is similar. 

To provide an example, let’s say you work for a jeans company, and your goal is to improve sales of a specific style of jeans. Simply tracking the total sales of that product doesn’t tell sales teams enough to improve on their goals. Instead, you need to analyze the data by breaking down sales figures by product, region, audience segment, and sales channel to identify specific areas for improvement. Astrato can assist in presenting these critical insights quickly, allowing you to guide your sales team in the right direction. With Astrato, you can create a customized KPI dashboard that reveals winning sales tactics. For instance, your detailed KPI dashboard might reveal that by increasing social media advertising in a particular region, you can attract more online sales from younger target demographics.

Now what your data visualization audience is thinking

Step 2: Verify your data 

A dashboard is only as effective as the data that populates it. As a result, for a dashboard to be effective and serve its purpose, the data it displays must be valid and accurate.

Data accuracy is paramount when creating a dashboard. Inaccurate data can lead to under-informed decision-making, negatively impacting an entire organization. To learn more, read our definitive guide to creating data visualizations

When creating a dashboard, users can ensure their data is accurate by verifying their collected data against multiple sources. In addition, depending on your industry and what data you’re collecting, it might be considered best practice to use an automated data capture method to ensure that all data is accurately recorded and stored for future analysis.

Step 3: Find the right tool for the job 

When creating a dashboard, finding the tool for the job is vital. Above all, you should select a platform that allows for easy collaboration and reporting while being accessible to users of all skill levels. Thankfully, one such tool on the market does all that and more. 

Astrato is powered by an intuitive no-code framework that allows you and your team to build powerful data visualizations, dashboards, and custom data applications. We’re revolutionizing the BI industry by making it accessible for all, regardless of your level of expertise in data analytics. 

Step 4: Define your design 

The key to creating impactful dashboards that resonate with your audience lies within the user experience (UX), particularly the UX design. Finding the most suitable data visualization and design type is significant to convey your message and helps your intended audience understand the metrics you wish to share.

As referenced in our “How to create powerful data visualizations” blog, data visualization is an interactive visual exploration that requires finding the most captivating and relevant ways to present information to your audience. Whether you choose a pie chart, line chart, or even an interactive dashboard, the most crucial aspect is to design a dashboard that works for your target audience. 

Need help determining what works best for your project? Take a look at our workbook gallery to see some of the eye-catching examples Astrato users have created!

Step 5: Consider the user

As highlighted above, the most important thing to remember when creating a dashboard is that it should appeal to your target audience and be easy to read and understand for users of all data literacy levels. Use our Dashboard Checklist to ensure everything is ready before you share your workbook with the world! 

Build data dashboards with confidence with Astrato

The perfect solution 

Astrato is a simple and intuitive way of building impactful dashboards that resonate with your target audience. Moreover, due to our no-code framework, Astrato is highly user-friendly and approachable for even those who aren’t technically savvy. 

In addition to its ease of use, Astrato is also Cloud-based, meaning you don’t need to download our program to your desired device. Astrato can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and it also allows data to be taken directly from multiple sources. As such, this enables you to quickly and efficiently build visually compelling dashboards wherever you are, all while using live, accurate, and reliable data.

So what are you waiting for? Why not try Astrato and see how easy it is to create eye-catching and effective dashboards? Take advantage of our free trial today!