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Top 5 Ways to Transform Dashboards into Data Apps

Top 5 Ways to Transform Dashboards into Data Apps

Proven Strategies to Enhance Efficiency, User Experience, and Impress Your Stakeholders

In today’s data-driven world, users often struggle with navigating non-linear data experiences. Non-linear data experiences involve navigating complex data sets that do not follow a straightforward path, making it difficult for users to find and interpret the information they need. This complexity can overwhelm users, hinder decision-making, and decrease overall efficiency.

Creating interactive and insightful dashboards with guided analytics is essential to easing users into the experience and improving adoption. With Astrato Actions, you can handhold your users as they navigate your dashboards and interact with the data. Additionally, you can appify your analytics, transforming them into functional Data Applications. This approach enhances decision-making and boosts user engagement. Here are five powerful ways to achieve this:

1. Hide/Show objects: Optimize Dashboard Real Estate with Conditional Display

For each dataset there are many types of data visualizations that providers answer to many different business questions. You run the risk that you either clutter your dashboard with way too many visualizations, driving up the cognitive load of the user, or you end up dividing the charts into multiple thematic sheets. But then you lose the ability to combine charts from different sheets in one single view. The smart way to solve both problems is to maximize the utility of your dashboard real estate by dynamically showing and hiding objects based on filters or button triggers. This capability allows you to organize your data more effectively, making more information accessible on a single sheet without overwhelming the user.

Example Use Case:

  • Fast change of charts (viz -> table)
  • Fast change of dimensions via tabs (By Country, By Region, By Product Category)
  • Fast change of measure types (Absolute, vs period on period)This approach ensures that your dashboard remains clean and user-friendly, allowing users to access detailed data without cluttering the interface. By tailoring the view based on the user’s selection, you facilitate a more intuitive and insightful analysis process.

2. Real-Time KPI Monitoring: Big Screen Carousel with Conditional Alerts

Analytics isn’t just confined to desktops; it’s often displayed on big screens in hallways, meeting rooms, lobbies, and production facilities. But how do you engage with the data without a keyboard or mouse? The solution is to let the data interact on its own.

Enhance the functionality of your big screen dashboards by implementing a carousel that loops through visible sheets. By setting conditions, you can display an alert sheet when specific criteria are met, ensuring that crucial information is highlighted and never missed.

Example Use Case:

  • Scenario: A hospital uses a big screen dashboard to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as bed utilization, patient wait times, and staff availability.
  • Action: The dashboard continuously loops through different sheets showing real-time data. If bed utilization reaches capacity or patient wait times exceed a threshold, an alert sheet is displayed.
  • Benefit: Critical issues are immediately visible, enabling timely and effective responses to maintain optimal hospital operations and patient care.

This approach ensures that your team is always aware of essential metrics, facilitating proactive management and swift action when necessary.

3. Interactive Commentary: Enable Users to Add Comments and Interact

As users skim through analytics, often a data point, insight, or visualization prompts them for action. A comment, addition of context, a question or sometimes a suggestive correction. 

With Astrato’s writeback feature, users can provide feedback, share insights, and discuss data points, transforming the dashboard into a dynamic, collaborative space. Enhance collaboration and interaction by enabling users to add comments directly on the dashboard. All comments are securely stored in your data source, such as Snowflake, Databricks, or Google BigQuery, ensuring data integrity and security.

Example Use Case:

  • Scenario: A sales team reviews performance dashboards during weekly meetings.
  • Action: Team members add comments, share insights, and discuss strategies directly on the dashboard.
  • Benefit: Facilitates real-time collaboration and decision-making while ensuring that all feedback is securely stored and easily accessible for future reference.

By securely storing comments in your data source, you can maintain the highest levels of data security and compliance, providing peace of mind while fostering a collaborative environment.

4. Customizable Drill-Through: Filter and Change Dimensions on the Fly

Drill through dimension

The next best question in an analytics journey, is often seeing a data point within a different context. A different dimension. Using Astrato Actions you can empower users with a customizable drill-through experience. Users can filter table data based on cell values and change dimensions according to their needs. This is perfect for detailed analyses, such as income statements, where different line items need to be examined dynamically, by drilling down into the next level of more granular detail.

Example Use Case:

  • Scenario: A finance team analyzes an income statement.
  • Action: Users drill through data to filter by specific account types and adjust dimensions like time periods or departments.
  • Benefit: Provides deep insights and flexibility in data exploration.

5. Proportional Brushing: Visualize Segment Contributions to Totals

When analyzing sales by segment, it’s crucial to understand each segment’s contribution to the overall total. Proportional brushing allows you to see this relationship clearly, providing a more comprehensive view of the data.

Example Use Case:

  • Scenario: A retail company analyzes sales performance by segment.
  • Action: Users apply proportional brushing to visualize how each segment contributes to yearly sales totals.
  • Benefit: Offers a clearer understanding of segment performance and its impact on overall sales.

Bonus: Personalized Defaults: Customizing Dashboard Access and Filters for a tailored User Experience

Elevate user satisfaction and streamline your dashboard experience by allowing users to personalize their dashboard view. With Astrato’s writeback capabilities, users can configure which sheet they want to open first and what filters should be applied. This self-service approach empowers users to tailor their experience while freeing up your data and analytics team for more value-added activities.

Example Use Case:

  • Scenario: An organization uses a shared dashboard for various teams, including sales, marketing, and finance.
  • Action: Users utilize input forms to select their preferred starting sheet and set default filters based on their roles and needs. These preferences are securely written back to the data source, ensuring a personalized experience every time they access the dashboard.
  • Business Story: By customizing the dashboard experience, users can immediately access the most relevant data without having to navigate through multiple sheets or reset filters. This personalization enhances user efficiency and satisfaction.
  • Benefit: Empowers users with true self-service capabilities, reducing the burden on the data and analytics team and allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks.

This personalized approach not only improves user engagement but also optimizes the use of your team’s resources, driving greater value from your data initiatives.