Have you ever gone back to old dashboard designs and picked out areas where you went wrong?

This week, I was working on a sales pipeline demo dashboard for a client, and the specifications included a screenshot of a demo that I built a long time ago. When I opened my archive I found the original source files dated September 2005, that was later re-branded when BOBJ purchased Xcelsius (see screenshot below).

The original dashboard was for Salesforce.com, which in 2005 was making major moves in the marketplace to become the leading software as a service CRM today. The good news is a dashboard design that I built more than five years ago still holds, water. The bad news is at there were multiple elements that were poorly chosen, so I replaced them for my latest iteration of this dashboard.

The first few things to go were my stacked bar chart. This is an inappropriate use of a stacked bar chart because it requires too much mental juggling not only to match the rainbow of colors to a key, but also to figure out the relative $ figures. Instead, I replaced it with a simple bar chart, which is significantly easier to read.

The next item to go was the gauges on the right hand side, now replaced with 3 bullet charts that not only communicate these values better, but also give me a good representation of the actual/target. With that, I now used half of the right bar, so I placed a sparkline showing the closed/won opportunitiy history for a rolling 12 months. Now instead of displaying 3 data points, I have hundreds using the same real estate.

The dashboard should be done in a few weeks, so I will see if I can get permission from the client to post it.

Let me know if there are bad practices that you used to implement that you now stay away from these days.


Author ryan@goodmangroupllc.com

More posts by ryan@goodmangroupllc.com

Leave a Reply

All rights reserved Goodman Group LLC