Your assignment and task for designing and creating a dashboard is an important one. Creating oversight, insight and alerting for consumers to see how performance is progressing, is a real challenge. Most of the times an assignment like this starts with a document providing an overview of the requirements consumers need. But oftentimes organizations struggle translating and adding value for each and every consumer with solutions like these.
It is quit normal for people of a data-driven project not knowing exactly what consumers need. Lets face it, it is not about the few people involved in a project like this to be designing a difficult insight like that.
Why? Well, lets look at it from another example. Everybody needs a mobile phone nowadays. Have a look at how people added apps, content and features to those devices. That is what they need.
Personalization is not a new phenomenon. It goes a long way back, back to the days on which people demanded other colors for their cars. And from there it evolved. The phase we are in now is characterized by trends like ‘bring your own device’ or ‘bring your own app’. And that is exactly a result of why it is difficult for a select group of people to decide for everyone. In the field of design this means that we need to rethink how we help consumers of dashboard solutions to personalize stuff for their own jobs and tasks they need to accomplish.
In a way ‘personalization’ could also mean ‘self-service’, but people also need help. This means there is a spectrum that ranges from static consumption to self reliant (DIY). Within that spectrum you’ll need to address what users can handle which complexity and flexibility. This insight needs to be mapped to their jobs, activities and tasks to accomplish. This will provide a multi-dimensional insight which should help to determine what the range of freedom is, developers need to allow and design for in a data-driven solution like a dashboard.
The next step is to do a thorough analysis of the data that needs to be in the solution. But all data needed to do business analysis will never be in structured logic or systems, if you think this is the case, dream on ;). Data and context needed to make decisions can come from anywhere. And if that data happens to be unavailable, it will definitely have an impact on decision making. I expect one of the coming trends with this example to be ‘bring your own data’.
We should be expecting things like that. Because if we keep expecting things like that, we are actually open-minded enough to design solutions with personalization in mind. Try and think of this concept and talk to colleagues about it, see what they think and act accordingly.
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