Best Practices for Building Custom Executive Digital Dashboards
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by Dundas Software
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Build a Dashboard

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 cycle.

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. Our consulting 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.

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