What is a dashboard, and how do I create one?
A dashboard displays critical data in a variety of visual formats (graphs, charts, etc.) in one place; it pulls together multiple sheets or perspectives of data into a single digital page that users can easily visit for a summary of the data. This is helpful because users can “…compare a variety of data simultaneously… rather than [having to] navigate between several sheets” (Tableau, n.d.). Additionally, any revisions to the data will automatically update in the data source and within the dashboard display. Dashboards help businesses and professionals make informed decisions with the data at hand.
Here is a sample dashboard using Excel 2010:
Figure 1: Image of a sample dashboard in Excel 2010. Taken from Lehman, M. W., Lehman, C. M., & Feazell, J. (2011). Dashboard your scorecard. Journal of Accountancy, 211(2), 20–27. https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.rasmussen.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=keh&AN=57744786&site=eds-live
For businesses (especially large enterprises), dashboards may be built by a consultant or technology/design team, but such consultants or teams should consult with the professionals and decision makers who will be using the dashboard to ensure they are populating the dashboard with relevant data (Shapiro, 2017).
Dashboards can be built and used within a variety of enterprise solutions, software, and applications. Most commonly, students in Rasmussen University’s Business courses will be using either Excel or Tableau to create dashboards; a number of resources with instructions for creating dashboards are provided below. Check your assignment instructions or with your instructor if you have questions about the software you are supposed to use, or for questions about the assignment (including APA expectations).
- Dashboard Your Scorecard (article)
- Executive Dashboards to win over the C-Suite (eBook)
- How Colors in Business Dashboards Affect Users' Decision Making (article)
Excel Dashboard Support:
- Dashboarding and Reporting with Power Pivot and Excel: How to Design and Create a Financial Dashboard with PowerPivot – End to End (eBook)
- Microsoft Excel: Create a Picture-Based Dashboard Report (article)
- Create and share a Dashboard with Excel and Microsoft Groups (Microsoft Help)
Tableau Dashboard Support:
- Mastering Tableau (eBook)
- Tableau Cookbook – Recipes for Data Visualization (eBook)
- Tableau 10 Business Intelligence Cookbook (eBook)
- Tableau Dashboard Help
Shapiro, J. (2017, January 13). 3 ways data dashboards can mislead you. Harvard Business Review, 2-8. http://ezproxy.rasmussen.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=keh&AN=120801504&site=eds-live
Tableau. (n.d.). Dashboards. https://help.tableau.com/current/pro/desktop/en-gb/dashboards.htm