To improve dashboard usability, give some consideration to these guidelines before you start building dashboards .

Designing for users

  • The language you use on the dashboards should reflect the language, including jargon, of the dashboard users. You want them to feel that this is their customized environment.
  • How will your users access the dashboard? Desktop, laptop, tablet? You need to consider how your dashboard will look in different formats. Try using screen resolution testing software to help you see how it will display.
  • How wide is your audience? Are there special requirements? Do you need to consider color blindness when choosing colors for a dashboard for example?

Dashboard Layout

  • Don’t clutter the dashboard. Keep it simple, it’s more effective.
  • Consider building a landing dashboard in four quadrants. It’s one of the simplest layouts, making it quick to comprehend.
  • Think about splitting models into inputs, calculations, and outputs. Dashboards can be used to effectively display the outcomes.
  • Try a top-down approach, with a summary at the top of the dashboard and detail at the bottom (or, use a button to navigate to another dashboard).
  • Set the Height and Width pixel settings to -1 to ensure that elements will automatically adjust to the screen size.

Using Anaplan features in a dashboard

  • Enable synchronization where users need to see real-time data.
  • Remember, any conditional formatting needs to be added to the data before the item is added to the dashboard.
  • Use the dashboard element menu to narrow the focus of the data in the model; or to filter the view of a grid, ready for publishing to a dashboard.
  • For charts where multiple items are listed, reduce the view by clicking on a chart series to hide that series and rescale the chart axis.
  • Use the drill down option to see the formula and details of a grid (from the context menu, right-click then click Drill Down).
  • Beware of currency formats – only define them if the dashboard refers to a single currency.
  • Number of decimal places? To control the way the grid displays on the dashboard, be sure to define an appropriate fixed number.
  • Remind your users they can use the search function from either the context menu or the dashboard element menu to find specific data.


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