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    What is and how to build a dashboard?

    What is and how to build a dashboard?

    by Team AllYourVideogames | Mar 11, 2022 | News | 0

    Many people say that information is power, we can conclude that this is not wrong, especially when we analyze it in a corporate context, but what does this have to do with Dashboard? Well, throughout this text you will understand. In the current era, the digital age, this thought has become even more true, due to the huge amount of data that is generated at all times and the greater ease of accessing them.

    However, this is not always a positive thing, as this large amount of information can end up making the process of business analysis and decision-making based on these results even more difficult. To solve this problem, the Dashboard was created and is still used today. For you to know in more detail what a Dashboard is and how to assemble one, we have separated everything you need to know about it in this post.

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    What is a Dashboard?

    To explain what a Dashboard is, we need to take into account the IT context, in this sense, Dashboard is a visual dashboard that centrally presents and has various information in one place, such as metrics and indicators. Thus, this information can be relevant both for the IT area, as well as for business management.

    Regardless of which area the Dashboard will be used, it will serve as a resource to assist in decision making. You can use this tool to present the company's health to the entire team or just to the manager. Thus, a global notion of the entire business will be shown and the data referring to the projects will be organized in an objective and dynamic way. 

    When we talk about a Dashboard for business management, for example, we are talking about an overview of general performance indicators of an organization in the area. However, when we talk about a Dashboard focused on technical issues, it will have the objective of analyzing the performance and availability of devices, also talking about the technological applications in the company's processes.

    All this information will enable processes to undergo improvements, develop new strategies and correct possible failures. Dashboards can also replace other files and make work even more dynamic, thus getting rid of spreadsheets, tables and other heavier documents.

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    A Dashboard allows you to visualize what data?

    One of the many positive points of the Dashboard is that you can put any type of information to be displayed, but it obviously needs to have some value for management and your business. Some of the data as an example that you can use are: sales information from online stores, functioning of critical systems, availability of equipment, etc.

    But if you think data needs to follow this line of reasoning, you're dead wrong. Other types of information are data on factory performance indicators, production processes, percentage of raw material wastage, machine reports and many others.

    As a manager, you can choose whether this information will be distributed by categories or in general. It is also possible to use Business Intelligence tools to generate indicators that are updated in real time or even consolidated periodically. Below, we separate an example of the OP Service Dashboard for you to have a better idea:  

    Image: OP Service

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    What are the goals of a Dashboard?

    As an information tool, we can say that the main purpose of the Dashboard is to facilitate the efficient monitoring of a company's operations and data, thus, this tool will promote corporate transparency. As a result, there will also be a promotion of engagement and integration of various employees in the most varied sectors of the company.

    The Dashboard also has the objective of giving freedom to each company to assemble its panel with indicators in a personalized way, creating its own visual identity. Thus, it is also possible to customize each of the Dashboards for the specialties of each business.

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    What is Visual Management?

    An important point when we talk about Dashboard is Visual Management, its main objective is to integrate the teams of a company and give the same objective to all. That way, all teams will have better engagement and communication. 

    For this to happen, it is necessary to make good use of the information and indicators on the processes related to the vision of employees and managers. The Dashboard is used so that everyone can have access to project progress information. 

    Another benefit that this action offers is the considerable reduction of errors, problems in projects and services and possible losses. Consequently, there will also be better project management and all negative trends can be anticipated and even avoided. In other words, in summary, we can say that there will be greater control over the entire operation of the company.

    It is worth noting that, for Vista Management to work, you need to organize the Dashboard information with the most useful and important ones. If there is an excess of information, it can end up being a negative point rather than a solution.

    Implementation of Visual Management

    To implement Visual Management, you can use more current and technological and other more rudimentary ways. One of the oldest but effective ways is Kanban, which only works with cards that illustrate the workflow of the company's team. 

    Typically, the workflow is organized into three different categories on the cards, namely: To-Dos, Tasks In Progress, and Finished Items. If you want something more digital, you can use e-kanban, which works like the same system, but electronically.

    Now, if you really want a much more complete way to implement Visual Management, your best option will be to use Dashboards. In addition to being able to update information automatically and in real time, it will also be possible to show all data as plain text, graphics or other formats. This way, you also end up avoiding errors and fraud in your system.

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    What are the different types of Dashboard?

    Generally speaking, we can say that there are three different types of Dashboard, each one will work at different levels in an organization. Below, we separate all three models for you to understand better.

    Operational Dashboard

    The metrics presented in the Operational Dashboards must always be monitored, as they will be responsible for maintaining the good performance of operations. These metrics will also help analysts to correct possible failures and errors that may appear in business processes.

     An example of this operational model that we can cite is the vision of a team that works with a service desk. The Dashboard ends up showing the results of each analyst in their work. Other information such as work overload or backlogged calls can also be checked. 

    Tactical Dashboard

    The second model that exists is the Tactical Dashboard, where you can check the specific resources of the company that were mobilized at a departmental level and the objectives that can be achieved in the medium term. In other words, it allows you to follow the indicators that lead managers to decision making. 

    It is important to emphasize that the tactical indicators are the responsibilities of the management of each of the sectors, not of the top management. An example that we can give is that of a bus company, which uses a Tactical Dashboard to find out which lines are the busiest and which are the least profitable. 

    Strategic Dashboard

    Last but not least, we have the Strategic Dashboard, as we can conclude, a company's strategy is composed of a set of tactics. If you plan to use a Strategic Dashboard, you cannot fail to use key information for strategic purposes, in fact, you need to prioritize them. 

    By doing this, the progress data, referring to the company's performance in previous periods, can be used as parameters to measure the current progress and project the possible growth of the company. It is important that you share all this information with the company's employees, generating greater engagement. It is worth mentioning that this strategic information can have a macro scope, with financial data, number of sales and monthly performance.  

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    The main mistakes made when building a Dashboard

    You need to always be on the lookout, as most of the mistakes that can destroy your Dashboard are easily avoided and related to excess. You need to always group the essential information and not go outside the scope of this tool. Below, we list the main mistakes that many make when building a Dashboard.

    Many colors

    Always try to use cooler and less vibrant colors, in addition, avoid using red, green and yellow too much, as they convey a sense of alarm. Thus, positive or more regular information may end up being understood as important, negative or essential. Data considered priorities can also end up being sidelined with this. 

    Using too many colors can also make your panel tiring, and it needs to have a nice visual aspect with the information and graphics, thus, the absorption of information is facilitated. Using fewer colors also keeps your dashboard looking more organized. 

    Many visual effects

    It's also important that you don't overdo the visual effects on your Dashboard too much. Using too many effects like 3D or transparency can cause your dashboard reader to get distracted and not focus on the data. 

    excess of information

    As already stated in a few moments above, the Dashboard needs to contain only the essential information. Before assembling your panel, always analyze what are the main information that your employees need to have access, thus making it available on the screen in the best possible ways. This prevents the panel from losing its reason and keeps only what is a priority for the company. 

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    The step by step to build a good Dashboard

    Now that you understand in more detail what a Dashboard is, we have separated some tips that you can follow to build an excellent information panel. 

    Keep the goal in mind

    First of all, you need to have the main and fundamental questions that will be answered with your Dashboard, that is, define what the objective is and how the management of your company is connected. Thus, seek to define in advance which data and indicators will pass on this central information. 

    Choose the right type of Dashboard for each of the demands

    As you already know, there are different types of Dashboard, one of the main points is to define the correct type and choose the best option to achieve your goal and meet your demands. In addition, you also need to define in advance the hierarchical scale at which the dashboard will be needed. 

    This is important because it is not only managers and administration who need this data, IT professionals and other employees can benefit from this tool, improving their work more and more. In each of the modes, you can also create a custom Dashboard. 

    Create a Dashboard Space

    The next step is choosing the best software or space to create your Dashboard, a very common option is creating Excel dashboards, which offers some useful graphing tools that you can use as a draft. Although this option is not very practical for the final project, as it is quite complicated and advanced to use the real-time update tool, it is a good start to sketch everything. 

    Another concern you need to have is the engagement of your entire team, which needs to participate even in the initial phases of project design. Ask for opinions and involve them even in the sketch part. 

    Create the layout after validation

    The next step will be to finally develop the layout of your Dashboard, however, as much as it may not seem like it, it is one of the steps that will need the most verification. At this point, think about the time employees need to look at the panel, try to develop the panel with a more sophisticated and lightweight design, focusing a lot on the graphic design. At that time, if you are not familiar with it, we recommend hiring a professional in the area or a company specialized in the development of this document. 

    Choose the best software to create the project

    The market has several software that can be used for the development of the Dashboard, one focused exactly for this is OpMon Dashboards. So, you need to go after the best tool that will be enough to meet all your needs when creating your panels. Other graphic design tools can be great choices.

    Make the Dashboard available across the enterprise

    Don't think that the work is over after finishing the Dashboard, there is one more fundamental step. Always try to make the panel available throughout the company, you can leave access only for managers and administrators to make decisions easier, or for all employees. It is possible to spread it on screens or company computers, or use more rudimentary ways and print to paste on murals in all sectors.

    Also schedule a meeting with all employees so you can present the dashboard and all relevant data on a single screen. Thus, you can explain the importance of this tool for the operation of the company and how the engagement and help of employees is essential. 

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