Information Dashboard Design. By Stephen Few About the Author. Stephen Few has over 20 years of experience as an IT innovator, consultant, and educator . Stephen Few, Perceptual Edge garfstontanguicon.tktualedge. The design task is to make information digestible. by Stephen Few entitled “Dashboard Confusion.” . “The exercise content and evaluations in this book are outstanding. Liz “Fitness For Dummies is a real rarity: a f   digital design digital design digital.

Information Dashboard Design Stephen Few Pdf

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Download Read Information Dashboard Design (Stephen Few) PDF Free PDF Free Donwload Here. Download Information Dashboard Design PDF. 1. Download Information Dashboard Design PDF; 2. Book details Author: Stephen Few Pages. Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data [ Stephen Few] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Dashboards.

Take the time now to browse through these examples and see if you can discern common threads that might be woven into a useful definition. By including these examples from the web sites of software vendors and a few other sources, I do not mean to endorse any of these dashboards or the software products used to create them as examples of good design, nor as extraordinary examples of poor design.

To varying degrees they all exhibit visual design problems that I'll address in later chapters. Notice the gauges as well. We'll see quite a few of them.

MD1 Jiinti, 1 Juno. All of the measures are displayed graphically. We'll find that this emphasis on graphical display media is fairly common. Percent Margin Sales vs.

Figure 14 Information Dashboard Design This dashboard from Informatica Corporation displays measures of revenue by sales channel along with a list of reports that can be viewed separately. The predominance of graphical display media that we observed on the previous dashboards appears on this one as well, notably in the form of meters designed to look like speedometers. The list of reports adds portal functionality, enabling this dashboard to operate as a launch pad to complementary information.

The information can be tailored by selecting different months and amounts of history. Once again, we see a strong expression of the dashboard metaphor, this time in the form of graphical devices that were designed to look like fuel gauges.

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Dashboard Design

J Over target ISMS'. MVi Vjnance -t. Despite the one table, there's a continued emphasis on graphical media. Notice also that a theme regarding the visual nature and need for visual appeal of dashboards is emerging in these examples. Chapter One: Clarifying the Vision 19 20 Information Dashboard Design This dashboard from Hyperion Solutions Corporation displays regional sales revenue in three forms: on a map, in a bar graph, and in a table. Data can be filtered by means of three sets of radio buttons on the left.

These filtering mechanisms build rudimentary analytical functionality into this dashboard.

Visual decoration reinforces the theme that dashboards intentionally strive for visual appeal. Here again we see an attention to the visual appeal of the display. Notice also in the instructions at the top that an ability to interact with the graphs has been built into the dashboard, so that users can access additional information in pop-ups and drill into greater levels of detail.

Use of the colors green, yellow, and red to indicate good, satisfactory, and bad performance, as you can see on the three graphical displays arranged horizontally across the middle, is common on dashboards. It is not unusual for dashboards to divide the full set of data into individual views, as this one does by using the listbox in the upper-left corner to enable viewers to select an individual hotel by location.

The great care that we see in this example to realistically reproduce the dashboard metaphor, even down to the sheen on polished metal, is an effort that many vendors take quite seriously.

Chapter One: Clarifying the Vision Figure 28 Information Dashboard Design This dashboard from Celequest Corporation integrates a series of related tables and graphs that allow executives to view several aspects of sales simultaneously.

It exhibits an effort to combine a rich set of related data on the screen to provide a comprehensive overview of a company's sales performance. Chapter One: Clarifying the Vision..

SKK r M mono Figure 30 Information Dashboard Design This dashboard from General Electric, called a "digital cockpit," provides a tabular summary of performance, complemented by a color-coded indicator light for each measure's status. Rather than a dashboard designed by a software vendor to exhibit its product, this is an actual working dashboard that was designed by a company to serve its own business needs. In this example, no effort was made to literally represent the dashboard or cockpit metaphor.

Here again we have a dashboard that was designed by an organization for its own use. This time, the dashboard metaphor makes a token appearance in the form of gauges. The traffic-light colors green, yellow, and red—here with the addition of blue for the exceptionally good status of "ahead of schedule"—are also used. Unlike some of the examples that we've seen that displayed relatively little information, this one makes the attempt to provide the comprehensive overview that would be needed to effectively monitor progress and performance.

C --iiiriH-. As you have no doubt determined by examining these examples, there's a fair degree of diversity in the products that go by the name "dashboard. This clearly associates BI dashboards with the familiar versions found in cars, thereby leveraging a useful metaphor—but the metaphor alone doesn't provide an adequate definition.

About the only other thread that is common to these dashboard examples is that they usually attempt to provide an overview of something that's currently going on in the business. After a great deal of research and thought, I composed a definition of my own that captures the essence of what I believe a dashboard is clearly biased toward the characteristics of this medium that I find most useful and unique.

To serve us well, this definition must clearly differentiate dash- boards from other forms of data presentation, and it must emphasize those characteristics that effectively support the goal of communication.

Here's my definition, which originally appeared in Intelligent Enterprise magazine: A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives; consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance. Just as the dashboard of a car provides critical information needed to oper- ate the vehicle at a glance, a BI dashboard serves a similar purpose, whether you're using it to make strategic decisions for a huge corporation, run the daily operations of a team, or perform tasks that involve no one but your- self.

The means is a single-screen display, and the purpose is to efficiently monitor the information needed to achieve one's objectives. Visual display of the most information needed to achieve one or more objectives which fits entirely on a single computer screen so it can be monitored at a glance Chapter One: Clarifying the Vision 35 Let's go over the salient points: Dashboards are visual displays. The information on a dash- board is presented visually, usually as a combination of text and graphics, but with an emphasis on graphics.

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Dashboards are highly graphical, not because it is cute, but because graphi- cal presentation, handled expertly, can often communicate with greater efficiency and richer meaning than text alone.

How can you best present the information so that human eyes can take it in quickly and human brains can easily extract the correct and most important meanings from it?

To design dashboards ef- fectively, you must understand something about visual percep- tion—what works, what doesn't, and why. Dashboards display the information needed to achieve specific objectives. To achieve even a single objective often requires ac- cess to a collection of information that is not otherwise related, often coming from diverse sources related to various business functions.

It isn't a specific type of information, but informa- tion of whatever type that is needed to do a job. It isn't just information that is needed by executives or even by managers; it can be information that is needed by anyone who has objec- tives to meet.

The required information can be and often is a set of KPIs, but not necessarily, for other types of information might also be needed to do one's job. A dashboard fits on a single computer screen. The information must fit on a single screen, entirely available within the viewer's eye span so it can all be seen at once, at a glance.

If you must scroll around to see all the information, it has transgressed the boundaries of a dashboard.

Information Dashboard Design : Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring

If you must shift from screen to screen to see it all, you've made use of multiple dashboards. The object is to have the most important information readily and effortlessly available so you can quickly absorb what you need to know.

Must the information be displayed in a web browser?

That might be the best medium for most dashboards today, but it isn't the only acceptable medium, and it might not be the best medium 10 years from now. Must the information be constant- ly refreshed in real time? Only if the objectives that it serves require real-time information. If you are monitoring air traffic using a dashboard, you must immediately be informed when 36 Information Dashboard Design something is wrong.

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On the other hand, if you are making stra- tegic decisions about how to boost sales, a snapshot of infor- mation as of last night, or perhaps even the end of last month, should work fine. Dashboards are used to monitor information at a glance. Despite the fact that information about almost anything can be appropriately displayed in a dashboard, there is at least one characteristic that describes almost all the information found in dashboards: it is abbreviated in the form of summaries or exceptions.

This is because you cannot monitor at a glance all the details needed to achieve your objectives. A dashboard must be able to quickly point out that something deserves your attention and might require action. It needn't provide all the details necessary to take action, but if it doesn't, it ought to make it as easy and seamless as possible to get to that informa- tion.

Getting there might involve shifting to a different display beyond the dashboard, using navigational methods such as drilling down. The dashboard does its primary job if it tells you with no more than a glance that you should act. It serves you superbly if it directly opens the door to any additional informa- tion that you need to take that action.

That's the essence of the dashboard. Now let's add to this definition a couple more supporting attributes that help dashboards do their job effectively: Dashboards have small, concise, clear, and intuitive display mechanisms. Display mechanisms that clearly state their mes- sage without taking up much space are required, so that the entire collection of information will fit into the limited real es- tate of a single screen.

If something that looks like a fuel gauge, traffic signal, or thermometer fits this requirement best for a particular piece of information, that's what you should use, but if something else works better, you should use that instead. Insisting on sexy displays similar to those found in a car when other mechanisms would work better is counterproductive. Dashboards are customized. The information on a dashboard must be tailored specifically to the requirements of a given per- son, group, or function; otherwise, it won't serve its purpose.

A dashboard is a type of display, a form of presentation, not a specific type of information or technology. Keep this distinction clear, and you will be freed to focus on what really matters: designing dashboards to communicate. Chapter One: Clarifying the Vision 37 A Timely Opportunity Several circumstances have recently combined to create a timely opportu- nity for dashboards to add value to the workplace, including technologies such as high-resolution graphics, emphasis on performance management and metrics, and a growing recognition of visual perception as a powerful channel for information acquisition and comprehension.

Dashboards offer a unique solution to the problem of information overload—not a complete solution by any means, but one that helps a lot. As Dr. Hovis wrote in that same article in DM Direct: The real value of dashboard products lies in their ability to replace hunt-and- peck data-gathering techniques with a tireless, adaptable, information-flow mechanism.

Dashboards transform data repositories into consumable infor- mation. Dashboards aren't all that different from some of the other means of pre- senting information, but when properly designed the single-screen display of integrated and finely tuned data can deliver insight in an especially powerful way. Dashboards and visualization are cognitive tools that improve your "span of control" over a lot of business data.

These tools help people visually identify trends, patterns and anomalies, reason about what they see and help guide them toward effective decisions. As such, these tools need to leverage people's visual capabilities.

With the prevalence of scorecards, dashboards and other visualization tools now widely available for business users to review their data, the issue of visual information design is more important than ever. The final sentiment that Brath and Peters expressed in this excerpt from their article underscores the purpose of this book. As data visualization becomes increasingly common as a means of business communication, it is imperative that expertise in data visualization be acquired.

This exper- tise must be grounded in an understanding of visual perception, and of how this understanding can be effectively applied to the visual display of data—what works, what doesn't, and why. Like this presentation? Why not share! An annual anal Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No.

Be the first to like this. No Downloads. Views Total views. Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Book details Author: Stephen Few Pages: Analytics Press Language: English ISBN Description this book A leader in the field of data visualization, Stephen Few exposes the common problems in dashboard design and describes its best practices in great detail and with a multitude of examples in this updated second edition.

Examples of graphics and dashboards have been updated throughout, including additional samples of well- designed dashboards.Only when they see some real dancing do they begin to , 59 suspect that there is a world beyond ursine shuffling.

A dashboard must be able to quickly point out that something deserves your attention and might require action. They fight to win our interest by maximizing sizzle, highlight- ing flashy display mechanisms that appeal to our desire to be entertained. Allowing customers to design software through feature requests is the worst form of disaster by committee. Chapter One: Clarifying the Vision 9 While conducting an extensive literature review in in search of a good working definition, I visited DataWarehousingOnline.

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