8 Simple Steps for Creating a Successful Dashboard (Part 3): Steps 5 – 8

  • by Ingo Hilgefort, Vice President of Product Management, Visual BI Solutions
  • December 12, 2016
The first two parts of this series of three articles reviewed the motivations and the value-add of this new process for creating dashboards. In this is third and last part, learn the details about the final four steps, including the actual dashboard design phases and its roll-out to users.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn:

  • Key aspects of the actual dashboard design phases
  • What is relevant when moving from the dashboard-design phase to the roll-out phase
  • About training and documentation and how these topics are relevant for projects
Key Concept

The demand for shorter project timelines, combined with increasing requests for stronger data visualizations, require a new approach for creating dashboards. Using agile concepts and a design-thinking approach that involves stakeholders early in the project are key to ensuring the success of your next dashboard project.

After going through all the steps of the dashboard-design process, and after you have mastered the details and deliverables for each step, my goal is to make you confident that you can leverage these tips as part of your next project. Review and use the steps outlined in this article to help you become a more efficient and successful dashboard designer. An important aspect of this process it to fully incorporate the agile and design-thinking concepts. This means to review items early and often, gather feedback from your users early in the process and often, and include your stakeholders in a collaborative way so that they feel like part of the process and part of the solution: the final dashboard.

In the first four steps—observe and understand, define, ideate, and prototype (covered in my “8 Simple Steps for Creating a Successful Dashboard (Part 2): Steps 1 – 4,” BI Expert article)—I discussed how to gather all the requirements from stakeholders, defined the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are required as part of the dashboard design, and explained the importance of involving stakeholders by using a collaborative approach early in the process. With these final four steps (steps 5 through 8) I show how to take those prototypes and turn them into the real dashboards, and roll out the dashboards to all your users. An overview of all eight steps is shown in Figure 1.

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

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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