Larger datasets that are more complex are continuously being generated at a rate never seen before. Modern businesses thrive by amassing these huge amounts of data. However, amassing alone brings no benefits unless some useful information is extracted from it. This is where Business Intelligence comes into the picture. Business Intelligence (BI) is a tool that has proven to present numerous opportunities for increased growth and greater profitability through smart analysis that drives digital transformation.
Microsoft’s Power BI is one of the numerous toolsets used within the BI space. Microsoft’s Power BI Suite is a cloud-based business analytics solution that assists in extracting useful information from the massive inflow of data across silos. Some of the key features of Power BI include power queries, easy and seamless integration with applications, and a secure and robust access control system. One of the major features in Power BI is the customizable dashboards that house the Power BI visualizations for various metrics in the datasets.
Dashboards can be a powerful medium to communicate insights extracted from large datasets. By simply putting some proper thought into designing the Power BI dashboard and choosing the right visualizations, businesses can enjoy the full power of Power BI.
GUIDELINES FOR DESIGNING AN EFFECTIVE DASHBOARD
A good rule of thumb for anyone that presents data should be that the data presented should be easily comprehensible to the target audience. Simple design changes can make a huge difference in design and clarity. Apart from this rule, some general guidelines to follow are:
- Consider your audience – While designing your Power BI dashboard, you need to decide how a dashboard will be used and design for next-step actions. Decide how much detail is necessary for the audience to successfully interpret the visualization. Try using a colour-blind friendly pallet of colours and icons.
- Use best practices dashboard design – Good design should convey the required information without overwhelming the audience with clutter and noise. Keep the Power BI dashboard modest with 3 to 5 key values, tables, or charts. Remember to provide adequate context to facilitate proper interpretation of the data.
- Avoid common data visualization issues – Choose appropriate charts for visualizations. It is important to consider the fact that it is difficult for the human brain to interpret circles. It is also important to be consistent with chart scales on axes as well as the chart dimension ordering. Avoid mixing levels of precision and time. Make sure that periods are represented clearly. Do not have one chart that has last month next to filtered charts from a specific month of the year in your Power BI dashboard.
- Prioritize simplicity – With so many options for visualization in Power BI, it is easy to be carried away with fancy shapes and representations. These options are definitely useful, but only when there is a reason for applying them. Pay attention to your fonts, colours, and text size. Use space efficiently and in a consistent manner.
Effective Power BI dashboard design in itself is a science and an art. More recently, the topic of storytelling with your data representation has been extremely popular. To improve your dashboard designing skills, consider learning basic Gestalt principles for visual perception and how to communicate information in context.