Aside from ensuring data integrity, effective storyboarding, and designing/building the right dashboards, another critical step remains for leading a successful dashboard strategy:
Knowing Your Audience
Now more than ever, millions of people are consuming endless amounts of information every day. The world today brings an even greater drive for data consumption, as levels of uncertainty and desires for answers remain positively correlated.
With such a rising abundance of data, however, it quickly becomes easy for those trying to comprehend it to instead be overwhelmed. The most important data becomes saturated by the surrounding information that it soon loses the integrity it was set out to have.
This is a common theme for organizations who suddenly find themselves using data but not utilizing data – and there’s a large difference when it comes to business optimization. Is the right data actually getting in front of those who rely on it most, not to mention accurately and timely? Organizations may have implemented all the necessary software, databases, and applications for doing their jobs. But “doing their jobs” only goes so far if those sources are outdated, disconnected and lacking intercommunication, and creating duplicated efforts.
So where can organizations go from here?
Across any industry, it means finding a means for more effective communication, more efficient understanding, and transparency to the right people at the right place and time.
One of the most powerful ways to achieve all this? Data visualization.
Know Your Audience
We hear this all the time across various business functions; but what does it mean in relation to data? Knowing one’s audience goes beyond just the knowledge of the demographics, and even psychographics, of those who are being engaged with. It expands to who decisions are impacting and who are those having an impact on the data behind those decisions? When we think critically, the answers to these two may in fact overlap, but don’t always necessarily do.
For all organizations, the work produced by employees across all positions and departments is greatly influenced by data, whether they individually are visibly looking at the KPIs. It guides them towards areas of strength, opportunities to improve, and standards to maintain. It also influences motivation and engagement levels by holding responsibilities accountable to certain results. In turn, their actions have a cumulative impact on what the data shows over time. This cyclical relationship just scratches the surface of showing how important it is to consider the audience for one’s dashboards.
Just as vital to performance for many are those who encompass external relationships – clients, customers, the public, and other various stakeholders. While each is unique to every organization and carry different influential weight depending on the industry, they all share the same symbiotic tie to an organization’s key insights. Some rely on informational transparency for daily purchase behavior, contractual decisions; or perhaps more broadly, for education and awareness, guidance for actions to take and solutions being made, or the influence their decisions have in return. Every individual brings distinct dynamics that drive their actions, but when they can eventually highlight greater patterns, organizations can learn where to adapt and become more proactive and responsive. It becomes clearer for organizations to start going deeper into defining their metrics, what insights they may be missing, or focus areas to highlight. It gives them the scope of which they can relay answers to pressing needs, create achievable goals, and organize all critical data in a single source of truth. Not only for themselves but for all those that rely on the numbers that define who they are.
For example, 65% of people are visual learners and although 99% of all sensory data gets filtered out by the brain immediately, visual data is in the 1% that is left. This means data visualization has to be thoughtful, comprehensive, and be accurate and relevant. In any business intelligence strategy, fast processing is vital – not just the kind of computational processing that lets your data reporting software organize and display data quickly for more efficient decision-making. The principle of fast processing starts with these users, the viewers and learners of all these audience groups.
Sharing Data Securely – Public Access License
Some industries find data and information sharing imperative to their overall success and operational performance. Take for example, those in the Government, Non-Profit, Public Service, and Education space to name a few. While each have their own set of deliverables unique to their services and purpose/mission, they all hold a level of accountability to those they serve and must keep informed. With that accountability follows the critical need for reaching data quality – ensuring data that is accurate, timely, complete and transparent.
- For Education, both K-12 and Higher Ed: This is particularly pressing now with the levels of urgency and information that must be provided to parents, staff, and the greater community on steps being taken to ensure a safe and successful school year in the Fall for everyone.
- For Government and Public Service: Changes are constantly being made based on new data acquisition, leaving no room for error or delay in communicating effectively and accurately to all the constituents impacted by changes in policy, orders, recommendations, or order of operations.
- For Nonprofits: There is a responsibility to uphold values and the greater mission, and to do so all stakeholders (donors, volunteers, the community, board members, and employees) require having the right data at the right time. Every decision makes a large ripple effect for a nonprofit, especially during these unprecedented times, so they know how vital it is to provide data that allows them to be most effective to those they serve or what they stand for.
So for the numerous organizations and businesses that find themselves in this position, how can they get more eyes on their data?
iDashboards has created a way to do just that. With the Public Access License, it becomes easier to share engaging and informative dashboards to all the right people. For example, with a PAL, organizations can:
- Publish dashboards to a website or intranet so viewers can interact with charts directly online while back-end data stays secure
- Share charts and graphs that embed into HTML to create a dynamic and informative experience
We know just how important it is to prove the commitment of transparency and accountability to all those who matter – clients, customers, or constituents. With iDashboards as your dashboard software, we know we can get you there. Check out more on our platform here or contact us today to start a conversation.
Get the Guide Fundamental Design Principles for Dashboards
Even if you’re not the artistic type, this guide will have you thinking like a graphic designer and making informed choices that support your data narrative.