"Keep it simple stupid” (KISS) is an approach worth taking in any aspect of life. It is especially true with management dashboards.
When tasked with the role of keeping you IT executive(s) armed with the data they need to effectively lead their organizations (Dashboards and/or Scorecards), you may not realize just what you have been signed up for.
The information needs of an executive can change quicker than the information itself (or so it may seem).
The biggest concerns when it comes to providing information at this level include:
- Provide up-to-date data
- The data must send a clear message (KISS: executive summaries are your friend)
- Color coding can make or kill data presentaion (KISS: Red/Green/Yellow is great. All the colors of the rainbow will cause a user to "tune out"
- Roll-up detail date. If you provide too much data on the "front page" you will lose your audience
- Provide Drill-Down: The catch to the previous bullet. Once you make the "front page" clean and simple, you MUST provide drill down to the detail. Pointing an executive to a problem is great, but if they can't drill down to see the details driving the problem, you've just created more work for yourself later.
- Plan your dashboard. The more-is-better mentality does not hold true. Consider having Current Metrics, Weekly Metrics, and Mothly Metrics. Each might be a page of its own (with supporting drill-downs). Trying to mix information of multiple periodicities can cause the users to not look frequently enough at the dashboards and the you risk that they miss crucial information.
Most importantly remember to Keep It Simple Stupid!