1. Dashboards and Visualization
  2. Dashboards
  3. Design Dashboards

Dashboards enable you to present data to other Anaplan users. A single dashboard tracks a number of metrics, often, in real-time. Dashboards provide users with a consistent and intuitive user experience that provides both meaningful information and cues for activity.

Talk with your users to equip yourself with enough information to produce relevant dashboards. We’ve outlined some of those questions here, but there may be other site-specific questions that you will need answers to before diving into the Dashboard Designer.

We’ve also provided some recommendations about how to structure a dashboard, how to create consistency across dashboards and elements, and how to optimize your use of Anaplan features to improve data presentation and user experience.

Who is the audience? How many audiences are there?

Talk to users and make sure you’ve got a full understanding of the information they need and what they want to do with that information. Understand the associated work and data flows and their relationship to business processes. This will give you a better insight into how the data will be consumed and what level of detail should be built into different dashboards.

The greatest level of complexity is usually required by the users who slice-and-dice the data to analyze trends and issues. Generally, the more senior a role, the more summarized the data required.

When you’ve developed your dashboard, talk again with the users — dashboard design is an iterative process and it can be difficult to get it right first time.

What do they need to know?

Different users require different information. It’s usually not a good idea to deliver a small number of complex dashboards. Create role-based dashboards that achieve specific goals.

To meet requirements and inform and direct workflow, simpler dashboards, targeted to specific requirements, will be the most effective. Using a single simple dashboard enables the user to scan the data quickly and comprehend it rapidly. Be careful not to overload the dashboard with information that isn’t relevant.

Dashboard consistency

Try to develop dashboards that provide a familiar, consistent interface with the minimum number of keystrokes to achieve an objective. Develop a standardized layout that users can anticipate — you might always put buttons across the top of the dashboard, charts and grids in the center of the screen, and navigation towards the bottom. Users will quickly learn where to look for particular functionality, regardless of which dashboard they have open.