Managers often need an objective picture of the business performance and a solid ground for decision-making for everyone on the team. Dashboards can be a great option. Marketers use them to track customer satisfaction, web analytics, or social media impact. Sales teams adore financial diagrams. Stakeholders and founders get a perspective of company growth opportunities from bar charts and tables.
Arounda has been using dashboards for product strategy and business analysis for startups and SME clients for over five years. We often work on dashboard design as a part of UI/UX development, like in the case of Metricly. Our team has been thinking about a dashboard design article for a while because dashboards are great instruments for taking control of the business process.
There are plenty of vivid dashboard designs for all kinds of analytics, from tracking churn rates to logistics metrics. So, let us introduce you to the ten most tangible examples for marketing, sales, and operation.
Dashboards originally came from the automobile industry. First, they looked like plain boards on the front of the vehicle to protect the passengers from mud. Indeed, they had no indicators or hints of any dashboard design. Later car dashboard showed speed, fuel level, and oil pressure, the most crucial data for the drivers' sake. Meanwhile, modern cars come with climate control, multimedia system, and even AI technology.
Same thing with the business. The more complex it becomes in the modern fast-evolving world, the more under-the-hood parameters you need to track to run safely.
We use dashboards to:
provide summarized historical data
operate live dynamic data
gather and visualize selected information in one place
They give an objective picture of your business performance to everyone inside the team. The best dashboard design allows you to focus on what matters most in every moment of your journey.
We can distinguish three main types of dashboards:
Operational dashboards tell us what is happening right now. They show real-time or transactional data through defined key metrics and KPIs. These dashboards are integrated into daily workflow routines and show data updates up to a minute.
For instance, integration with Google analytics will help immediately monitor new users on your website. And Daily Operational ZanDesk Dashboard shows dashboard design best practices UX to monitor how many agents activity up to this moment.
Strategic dashboards are designed to check KPIs over a specific period. For example, executives can monitor earnings, tax, amortization, or fiscal performance monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Unlike operational dashboards that display day-to-day progress, strategic dashboards enable a comprehensive business overview. Dashboard design best practices
can reveal insights and trends that many would probably overlook without key metrics visualization. Strategic decisions based on data rather than gut feeling give the company an essential advantage in the market.
Analytical dashboards bring together large amounts of qualitative and quantitative data as well as real-time and historical data. Originally data analysts designed them. However, the shift to data democratization and new low-code analytics tools like Power BI allowed non-specialists to gather and analyze data autonomously and create beautiful dashboard design.
Well-done analytical reports support accurate forecasts, help establish realistic targets, and solve problems. Examples of analytical dashboards are digital marketing campaign analysis, healthcare analytics dashboards, or sales trends comparison.
When you hesitate about what dashboard will reflect your processes best operational, strategic or analytical, try to answer the following questions:
What issues do you want to improve?
Who will use the dashboards?
What do we lack in our performance?
What are our goals and tasks?
Where are needed data stored?
How many data sources shall we use?
You can look at dashboard design from different angles. For example, as a founder, you need reliable data to make rational decisions. As a UX designer, you think about visualizing information in the best way. Team players solve their tasks more effectively by looking more broadly at the company's performance from well-designed dashboards.
Keep in mind that teams or executives who will use the dashboard
Define key metrics which you want to monitor
Allocate your data sources
Ask about dashboard integration with Google Analytics, Hubspot, Google sheets, Facebook, and other resources.
Avoid overlap and confusion between parameters, aim for the minimal sufficient data
Test prototypes, gather feedback, and optimize your dashboards
Put the most crucial information in the top left corner or the center of a dashboard
Use contrast colors to create a readable design
Create clear layouts
Choose the pertinent chart type for each separate parameter
Provide interactive designs
Implement data-driven design approach
If we roughly outline the main business areas we need to monitor, they will be:
Each of these business aspects has numerous metrics you might want to track, so the dashboard design depends on your demand for specific data in the first place.
In this section, we hand-picked ten illustrative dashboard examples for major business tasks.
In this dynamic dashboard, you count the pulse of your sales through new customer numbers, revenue, profit, average weekly sales, monthly sales growth, etc. The two-color pattern is minimalistic, and the layout is balanced.
An email marketing dashboard example shows various chart types for appropriate KPI metrics. Although plenty of diagrams are on screen, they don’t confuse or overwhelm.
Despite the simplicity of the layout, this employee performance dashboard serves as a comprehensive portrait of the team member.
The dashboard template in Power BI presents Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Rating (CSAT), and Customer Sentiments in an amiable and eye-catching manner.
One of the best dashboard designs is classical Google analytics web performance. The light and aesthetic design make a perfect frame for data.
The dashboard solution doesn’t need to be sophisticated if it delivers all the necessary data. Look at this example. Traditional bar charts and I-frames can do the job.
A tried-and-true way to stand out from the crowd is to make your dashboard a piece of art. Best practices for dashboard design include original elements, fonts, and backgrounds.
The social media share dashboard layout has four quadrants per data source. Bright labels and icons are easy to recognize, and conversion rate arrows immediately catch your attention.
IT issues need different visualizations related to the specific data. For instance, server up and down stats or average repair time. Dark background with white inscriptions makes the dashboard readable at first glance.
Logistics has its specific metrics like delivery time and transportation cost. Some characteristics are easier to grab from numbers, others from bar charts or a pie diagram.
You might still ask yourself a question, `Why is a business dashboard design important?`. So let`s wrap up with the main benefits of professional data visualization:
Insights. When you analyze your business processes in search of insights, clear dashboards help bring them to the surface.
Decision-making. Easy access to vital data and key metrics through bright visualization empowers sensible management decisions.
Responsiveness. Well-build operation dashboards with real-time data allow you to develop swift solutions and increase responsiveness.
Collaboration. Company performance visualization improves communication inside the team because everyone understands what`s happening.
Forecasts. Best dashboard design not only pleases the eye but has a highly logical organization that structures your thoughts to make accurate predictions about trends and patterns.
Arounda team has completed over 130 product designs for mobile and web applications, corporate websites, and landing pages. Dashboard development often appears at our work as a part of UI/UX design or as an instrument for product strategy and business analysis.
If you are thinking about a reliable and stunning dashboard for your key metrics visualization, just drop us a line!
The dashboard design depends on your demand for specific data in the first place. It must reflect all the key factors you want to monitor clearly and logically. Data parameters shouldn`t overlap or overwhelm the user. Visualizations have to support predictions and decision-making rather than confuse thoughts.
Follow the dashboard design best practices UX. Such a dashboard: shows the most important information in the top left corner or the center of a dashboard, has contrast colors and clear layouts that make the dashboard easy to comprehend, uses the appropriate chart type for each specific metric
There are three main types of dashboards: Operational dashboards — show what is happening right now, Strategic dashboards — provide historical data about a specific time, Analytical dashboards — operate with large amounts of both real-time and historical data.
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