8 Simple Steps for Creating a Successful Dashboard (Part 2): Steps 1 – 4

  • by Ingo Hilgefort, Vice President of Product Management, Visual BI Solutions
  • November 14, 2016
In this second part of a three-part series of articles, learn about the first four steps of this new approach to building better dashboards.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will:

  • Get an in-depth look at the first four steps for creating a successful dashboard
  • Learn about the business requirements
  • Learn how to define the right key performance indicators (KPIs) for your dashboard
  • See how to use a white-boarding session to create the initial navigation path for your dashboard
  • Learn about the first set of prototypes
Key Concept
One key for creating a successful dashboard is to have a complete grasp of the actual business problem that the dashboard should solve. This process also includes interacting with business users and keeping them involved in a true collaborative fashion. To ensure this, getting guidance about how to involve business users in the overall design process helps guarantee that new dashboards meet their requirements.

It is not uncommon to have business users ask for quick and fast delivery of dashboard-style content based on their requirements. At the same time, business users want to be part of the dashboard-building process as well, as they should be. It used to be that business users would just state the requirement and then wait for the final result. That is no longer viewed as the optimal way to build dashboards. As a result, you need to use a process that helps you act on the new requirements, as well as keeping the business users involved in the process.

In this second article in my three-part series, I walk you through the first four steps (of eight) for creating a better dashboard (Figure 1). They are:

  1. Observe and understand
  2. Define
  3. Ideate
  4. Prototype

Figure 1
The complete eight-step process for building a better dashboard

In my next and final installment of this three-part series of articles, I cover the details for steps 5 through 8.

Ingo Hilgefort

Ingo Hilgefort started his career in 1999 with Seagate Software/Crystal Decisions as a trainer and consultant. He moved to Walldorf for Crystal Decisions at the end of 2000, and worked with the SAP NetWeaver BW development team integrating Crystal Reports with SAP NetWeaver BW. He then relocated to Vancouver in 2004, and worked as a product manager/program manager (in engineering) on the integration of BusinessObjects products with SAP products. Ingo's focus is now on the integration of the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite with  SAP landscapes, such as SAP BW and SAP BW on SAP HANA, focusing on end-to-end integration scenarios. In addition to his experience as a product manager and in his engineering roles, Ingo has been involved in architecting and delivering deployments of SAP BusinessObjects software in combination with SAP software for a number of global customers, and has been recognized by the SAP Community as an SAP Mentor for SAP BusinessObjects- and SAP integration-related topics. Currently, Ingo is the Vice President of Product Management and Product Strategy at Visual BI Solutions, working on extensions to SAP’s product offering such as SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP Lumira. You may follow him on Twitter at @ihilgefort.

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