/ The ultimate guide to building a BI dashboard

The ultimate guide to building a BI dashboard

As a business owner, you know that making informed decisions is critical to your success. And in order to make the most informed decisions, you need access to accurate data.

But gathering and analyzing data can be a daunting task. There’s a lot of information to process, and you want to ensure that it’s as accurate as possible. If you’re not using a BI dashboard, you’re likely missing out on critical insights that could help your business grow.

A BI dashboard is a visual display of information that allows businesses to track, monitor, and analyze data to make better-informed decisions. Dashboards can be used to track everything from website traffic and sales figures to social media metrics and customer data.

And while dashboards are not a new concept, they have become increasingly popular in recent years as businesses strive to make more informed decisions.

Building a BI dashboard can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. This guide will walk you through the process of building a BI dashboard step-by-step so that you can make the best decisions for your business.

 

 

Why you need a BI dashboard

No matter your industry, having access to accurate data is critical to your success. A BI dashboard can help you gather and analyze data so that you can make better-informed decisions for your business.

There are many benefits to using a BI dashboard, including:

  • Allowing you to track, monitor, and analyze multiple data sets in one place
  • Helping you identify trends and patterns in your data
  • Giving you the ability to make better-informed decisions
  • Allowing you to share data with stakeholders easily and effectively

If you’re not using a BI dashboard, you’re likely missing out on critical insights that could help your business grow.

For example, let’s say you own an online store. Without a BI dashboard, you would have to log in to each individual analytics platform (Google Analytics, social media platforms, etc.) to track your website’s traffic, sales figures, and other data points. This process is time-consuming and can be challenging to keep track of.

With a BI dashboard tool, you can track all of this information in one place. This will save you time and make it easier to identify trends and patterns in your data.

 

How to build a consumer-facing BI dashboard

Now that we’ve explored the benefits of using a BI dashboard, let’s take a look at how you can build one.

There are two types of BI dashboards–internal—facing and external-facing. Internal-facing dashboards are used by businesses to track, monitor, and analyze data internally. External-facing dashboards are used by businesses to share data with their customers or clients.

In this section, we’ll focus on how to build an external-facing BI dashboard.

There are three steps to building an external-facing BI dashboard:
1. Choose the right data sets
2. Design your dashboard
3. Implement your dashboard

Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.

1. Choose the right data sets

The first step in building an external-facing BI dashboard is to choose the right data sets. You’ll want to select data sets that are relevant to your business, and that will give you the insights you need to make better-informed decisions.

The data you choose will depend on the audience the data is being shared with. For example, if you’re sharing data with your customers, you’ll want to select data sets that will give them a better understanding of your business and what you have to offer.

On the other hand, if you’re sharing data with your employees, you’ll want to select data sets that will help them improve their performance.

Some standard data sets that are used in BI dashboards include:

  • Sales data: This data set can include information such as total sales, sales by region, sales by product, and sales by customer type.
  • Marketing data: This data set can include information such as website traffic, social media engagement, and conversion rates.
  • Financial data: This data set can include information such as revenue, expenses, profit margins, and cash flow.
  • Customer data: This data set can include information such as customer satisfaction scores, customer retention rates, and customer lifetime value.

2. Design your dashboard

After you’ve selected the right data sets, it’s time to design your dashboard. Most BI tools offer a variety of templates that you can use to create your dashboard. However, building your own custom dashboard gives you the flexibility to design a dashboard that meets the specific needs of your business.

When designing your dashboard, you’ll want to keep the following factors in mind:

  • The purpose of the dashboard: What insights are you hoping to gain from the data?
  • The audience of the dashboard: Who will be viewing the dashboard?
  • The data sets you’re using: What data do you need to include in the dashboard?
  • The layout of the dashboard: How can you arrange the data in a way that’s easy to understand and use?
  • The visuals on the dashboard: How can you make the data easy to interpret?

Once you settle on the specifics of your dashboard design, you can start building it using a BI tool.

3. Implement and share your dashboard

After you’ve designed your dashboard, it’s time to implement it. Most BI tools offer a variety of ways to share your dashboard—from embedding it on a website to sharing it via email or social media.
Where should your dashboard live? That depends on your audience and how you plan to use it.

For example, if your dashboard is for internal use only, you may want to embed it on an intranet site or share it via email. On the other hand, if your dashboard is for external use, you may want to embed it on a public website or share it via social media.

When sharing your dashboard, you’ll want to make sure that you have a plan for maintaining it. Dashboards need to be updated on a regular basis. Updating your dashboard ensures that the data is accurate and that the insights are up-to-date.

Maintaining your dashboard doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You can set up a schedule for updating the data, and you can automate some of the tasks—such as data collection and processing—using a BI tool.

 

 

Watch out for these pitfalls

Building and sharing a BI dashboard is a great way to improve decision-making in your business. However, there are a few pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid:

Avoid utilizing too much data

A common mistake is including too much data in the dashboard. This can make the dashboard confusing and difficult to use. When choosing data sets to use and metrics to visualize, be selective and only include the data that’s necessary to answer the questions you’re hoping to answer with the dashboard.

Avoid making the dashboard too complex

Another common mistake is making the dashboard too complex. This can make the data difficult to interpret and the dashboard challenging to use. When designing your dashboard, keep it simple and focus on making the data easy to understand. Don’t incorporate too many visualizations into your dashboard. Instead, only display a few visualizations and make the most important one bigger than the rest.

Avoid using outdated data

Another common mistake is using outdated data in the dashboard. This can lead to decision-making based on inaccurate information. When selecting data sets, be sure to only include data that’s up to date. Additionally, set up a schedule for regularly updating the data in the dashboard.

 

The bottom line

Creating an effective BI dashboard can be a challenge, but it’s one that’s worth taking on as a well-designed dashboard can help your business make better decisions. When you have the right data sets and present them in a way that’s easy to understand, you can make better decisions for your business.

Check out some related resources:

Guidance for delivering and measuring BI, analytics and data value

Domo Named a Leader in the IDC MarketScape for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

Domo Named an Overall Leader in the 2022 Dresner Wisdom of Crowds® BI Market Study

Try Domo for yourself. Completely free.

Domo transforms the way these companies manage business.