Before starting to create a dashboard, there are some important considerations that need to be taken into account. Matt introduces the four questions that every dashboard should answer: Who?, What?, Where?, and Why? The answers to these questions guide the decisions for every element in the dashboard.
- [Instructor] Whatever dashboard you're going to build in Tableau. We have to consider four important questions for every single dashboard. These are really important, because they're going to impact every single design choice, that goes into building that dashboard. I like to call these, the 4 Ws of Good Dashboard design. Firstly who. Who is your target audience for this dashboard? Is it going to be you? Is it going to be your department? Is it going to be the general public? Understanding who the final viewer of your dashboard is critical. Secondly, where is that audience member actually going to view your dashboard? Is it going to be a desktop machine? Is it going to be on their tablet? Understanding where impacts things like the dashboard size. Why? Why are we building this dashboard in the first place? What is the purpose of that dashboard? Then finally what? What is the final one? Because depending on the other three answers, we then can think about what elements do we want to include? What do we want to exclude? Let's look at some of these in a bit more detail. Firstly the who. Who is the audience? Is it going to be you? Is it going to be the department? Is it the general public? That's important, because you have to understand what do they already know? What technical detail do they know about the data? How experienced are they in looking at data visualization? This is going to tell you how much detail to include, and importantly how much to exclude. Once we understand who is going to look at our data, we need to know where are they actually going to consume it. Where is this dashboard going to be viewed? Is it going to be on a large screen, or a small screen? Is it going to be a desktop, or a laptop? What about if they want to print it out? I know we like to make interactive visualizations, but some people will still print out our dashboard to take to a meeting, or take offline. We need to consider that. What about if the primary source of viewing this information is going to be on a mobile device, or on a large desktop machine? The where determines the ultimate size of the dashboard. That's crucial, because that tells us how much real estate we have for all of the dashboard elements that we want to include. The next thing to consider is, why are we sharing this data in the first place? What is the purpose of our dashboard? Is it to inform our users? Is it to explore the data? Is it to explain something that we've already discovered within our data set. Maybe it's a measure towards some kind of a goal, a KPI dashboard. Understanding the purpose of that dashboard is going to be crucial in knowing what information to include, and what to exclude. After we've considered all of these, we can then start thinking about the what. What information are we going to show? What question should it answer? In the case of an exploratory type dashboard, where we haven't got a single question, we need to provide a high level of interaction, because we want this dashboard to be multipurpose. For a KPI we want it to be focused on showing how close we are to a goal. We need to consider what do we want the audience to take away with them. After they've viewed the dashboard they should have some kind of answer, or insight into our data. The answers that we give to these questions is going to guide our design process. Every element that we add, or remove to our dashboard, we can think about how that reflects in the 4 Ws. This isn't a linear process, so don't think that you start with the who, and end up with the what. It kind of goes round and round. Everything that we add to the dashboard, or take away to the dashboard is going to have an influence on the 4 Ws. We're going to move backwards and forwards throughout all of them, but ultimately this going to give us a great dashboard design.
- Explain the core principles of dashboard design.
- Identify how to construct a dashboard using simple structural elements.
- Summarize how to extend dashboard functionality using dynamic components.
- Recall how to extend dashboard appeal using visual elements.
- Identify how to integrate interactive dashboard features.
- Summarize how to create a data narrative using stories.
- Recall how to create various dashboard types based on specific goals.