With the holidays behind and the New Year already on its way, it’s time to start taking your New Year’s resolutions seriously. Whether it’s hitting the gym or reorganizing the garage, losing unnecessary weight and clutter is at the top of many people’s priorities for 2017. For most organizations, January also marks a new fiscal year – and that means a new chance to recapture your data reporting.
In our latest iDashboards customer spotlight with Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union (MSGCU), we got some valuable insight into the perks (and possible pitfalls) of starting a dashboard initiative within credit unions. During our chat, MSGCU’s Alex Gefter shared that the biggest mistake he found was trying to put too much information in one dashboard.
Is there such a thing as too much data?
Don’t get us wrong – we love data. But data clutter can actually hinder your reporting process. For MSGCU, data clutter created two problems:
- A non-functional chart (simply too many rows of information in the data source)
- The dashboard was hard to understand and, in the end, hard to use efficiently
The first problem is easy to remedy: Don’t put more data in your chart than it can handle. The second, however, is a little trickier to pinpoint and resolve.Don’t put more data in your chart than it can handle. Click To Tweet
Chicken Nuggets or Turkey Salad: Identifying Lean / Cluttered Data
In many ways, bloated or cluttered data is like a chicken nugget. It probably seems like a good idea at the time but yields little nutritional value or energy in the long run. Lean foods, like turkey, don’t have this problem. They keep your body moving forward with the right nutrients for sustained energy.
The same idea applies to data clutter. The important part is identifying what data is beneficial and what data is simply taking up space in your dashboard and needs to be changed.
How to identify lean data and use it:
- Lean data helps you make decisions, whereas data clutter is not actionable.
- You can use lean data to improve customer service. Data clutter doesn’t improve customer experience.
- Lean data helps you get more sales and retain customers. Bloated data doesn’t.
- Lean data can help you understand your competitors. Data clutter doesn’t help you stay ahead of the curve.
- Lean data lets you measure your success, whereas data clutter hinders insight.
- Lean data is easy to understand and implement, but bloated data is convoluted.
Tidy Up Your Data Clutter with These Tips & Tricks
If your data reporting could use some spring cleaning, you don’t have to start from scratch. In fact, even seemingly cluttered data can make your reporting more effective with a few adjustments. Here are some principles to help you get started:
- Use drilldowns to eliminate excessive rows of data. This way, you won’t have to view thousands of rows of data on one screen.
- On your dashboard, only use text when you need it. Unnecessary words will get in the way of your data visualization and clarity.
- If you need to maintain contrast between data sets, use color and size to differentiate them. On the other hand, group similar data sets with color, size, and shape.
- Draw your viewers’ attention to the most important data set on the dashboard first, then organize everything else after it.
- If your data is hard to understand, users won’t employ it. Make sure your data is clear cut and easy to comprehend.
Could you be getting more out of your data reporting?
Whether your reporting is cluttered or simply due for an upgrade, data visualization can help your organization get the most out of your data. Our customers, like MSGCU, have used iDashboards to not only change the way they see data, but change the way they use it. To learn more about improving data reporting and lean data management, visit our post, Data Integrity: Best Practices for Clean Data.Whether your #reporting is cluttered or simply due for an upgrade, #dataviz can help. Click To Tweet
If you’d like to see how iDashboards can help you, start your 30-day free trial with us today!