Before starting on a dashboard there are a few steps that
should be considered. First, the platform that is used for the dashboard can
have a severe impact on the available functionality. For example, Reporting
Services was mentioned above for its ease of end-user customizability with
respect to data. While this is true, Reporting Services has limitations when it
comes to interaction with controls – something that the .NET platform does not.
Thus, if it is of extreme importance that the user can highlight, zoom or
select points on a Chart then Reporting Services would not be the right
platform to choose. Making this decision before beginning implementation can
save a lot of time, effort and headaches that can occur later in the development
In the same tone as platform choice, data storage choice is
also a factor that should be considered before beginning implementation of a
dashboard. Sometimes organizations will already be using a format for their
data storage and may not be willing to have copies or move the data around.
However, if this is not the case then choosing, for example, a standard SQL
database or an OLAP database will result in very different data structures
designed for very different data sets. Careful consideration should be taken
when choosing a data storage format to find one that best fits the data.
When the above decisions have been made and implementation
has begun, the last thing to do is to follow the best practices. This point may
seem a bit redundant, especially given the topic of this paper, but ignoring
any of the practices can have a serious detrimental effect to a dashboard
project. If you are unsure of how to proceed when creating your dashboard, or
do not have the resources to create one, Dundas Software offers our years of
dashboard experience as an available consulting resource should you require it.
services can greatly speed up the development of a dashboard project as
well as clarify any of the practices outlined above, resulting in an efficient
and useful digital dashboard.