Planning your dashboard

An effective dashboard is one that makes your data unmissable and easy to grasp, so your team can see progress at a glance, keep goals in mind, and seize every opportunity.

Dashboards do... Dashboards don't...
Display your most important business information and data Display all your data
Use simple, easy-to-understand visualizations Give you 100s of ways to visualize a piece of data
Display what can be acted upon right now Enable deep analysis of historical data
Adapt to your business cycles and encourage experimentation Lock you in to specific ways of working

Your dashboard has no limit to the number of widgets or widget types that can live on it, but when thinking about what to display, the following tips are worth bearing in mind:

Think about your wider business objectives

What are you measuring your success against in the immediate future? Your dashboard should ideally communicate information aligned to these objectives.

Consider the audience

Each dashboard should be relevant and actionable to whoever in your team will be following it. Think about where your TV dashboard will be located and consider building targeted dashboards for specific teams, clusters of desks or to serve mixed groups of people in a particular part of your office to make sure they can see the metrics they need.

Focus on communicating information that’s actionable

Will you take action based on what a widget is showing? If not, you should consider leaving it out. Less is often more when it comes to choosing what to display. Start with a few integrations and widgets that make sense for your business. Build on it as you become more comfortable with how everything works.

Plan your dashboard's layout

Some people find it helpful to plan the rough layout of their dashboard in PowerPoint, Keynote or on paper beforehand. This can help you to get a feel for what information is useful, or what can be left out.

Review your dashboards often

Dashboards should evolve with your business. As you and your team align yourselves around new objectives, tweak or rebuild dashboards accordingly.

Get started with Geckoboard

Getting to grips with Geckoboard? This article is part of a series introducing you to all the ways that Geckoboard can help you broadcast live business metrics, KPIs and goals to your team in an easy-to-understand way.

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