Dashboards and Data Viz

Ashley McKown live blogging from the #Dashboards16 Conference where Andrew Gissal sat down with Warren Singh and Karan Bandal to discuss the art of storyboarding.

Warren is one of our resident storyboarding experts. He has done over 200 customer implementation service engagements around the world. He explains the storyboarding concept as the formation process for a successful dashboard. The idea is to plan oStoryboarding Presentationut your dashboard project on paper or on a whiteboard to save you time and effort during the build.

Karan who is responsible for implementing over 50 products each year, had to spend some time planning out which key performance indicators (KPIs) would be important for their story at Cummins. They started out looking at 30 KPIs and who would be consuming those metrics at an end-user level.

When narrowing down those KPIs they asked 4 questions.

  1. Is this KPI a strong indicator of the process we are trying to accomplish?
  2. Does the KPI have a strong correlation to the output? (One of Karan’s output indicators was on time delivery.)
  3. Is the data for the metric easily available? Is it being captured?
  4. Is this KPI important from the management perspective?

From those questions Karan’s team selected 20 KPIs to move forward with. Did that mean they created 1 dashboard with 20 KPIs or 20 dashboards with 1 KPI? No, they were able to come up with groupings, which became 7 dashboards.

“When we finalized those 20 KPIs, we realized putting them in 1 dashboard wouldn’t make sense.” – Karan

Warren reminds, “When you think about the metrics, it’s not just about the data you have, but its more about what decisions are you going to be making from that metric.” It’s always important to create dashboards that drive behavior.

It’s always important to create #dashboards that drive #behavior. Click To Tweet

Read next: The Ultimate Guide to Storyboarding

After creating the dashboards, Karan dedicated an entire week to obtaining feedback from the end users. What he found was very interesting.

“As a company we put a high importance on safety. We realized there was only 1 dashboard that focused on safety which was not in line with our strategic vision. We then added 1 safety component to each dashboard to create more focus.” – Karan

Obtaining feedback from your end users is key in evolving the dashboards and constantly improving. It doesn’t have to be perfect in the first iteration. “You’re not trying to duplicate every single report. Think about the KEY performance indicators.” – Warren

You’re not trying to duplicate every single report. Think about the KEY performance indicators. #KPIs Click To Tweet

Don’t know where to start? Take Warren’s advice, “One of the ways to get a quick win is to create a prototype. Start with Excel and make some mock ups to test the design even if it’s dummy data.”

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Ashley McKown Enterprise Account Manager @iDashboards

Ashley McKown provides strategic direction and successful dashboard implementations to educational institutions as well as state and local government entities across the U.S. Prior to joining iDashboards, she studied abroad in China and Japan, and remains an avid world traveler.


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