Best Practices for Creating Useful Dashboards

Identifying Key Roles

In a dashboard or data visualization project, just like any business project key roles need to be identified.  Those key roles are all important to the completion of the project and identifying the people is as important as identifying their responsibilities.  

Each role plays a vital part in the completion of the project, not only understanding who they are but also understanding where their area of responsibility ends and begins.  This lesson will outline the key or vital roles and lay out some of their potential responsibilities.

Key Roles

Business Owner (BO)

The business owner is the one that is requesting the dashboard.  This is the person who has the business need for creating the dashboard.  They will need to involved in all of the decision points, as a matter of fact, this person will likely be the one making the decisions.

Let’s take a look at some of the responsibilities that this role will have on their plate:

  • Identifying the Central Premise Question
  • Identifying Key Metrics
  • Data Gatekeeper role Identification
  • Consumer role Identification
  • Any stage Approval


The consumer of the data project is the audience.  This role is the most passive of the entire project.  

There are no responsibilities for this role, but they will play a key role in determining many of the key issues of the project and how they are completed.  Pretty much every decision that is made in this project should be made with the Consumer in mind. Their product or business knowledge, business role, and any cultural or other sensitivities NEED to be considered when completing almost every step of the dashboard project.


This is the person that is creating the dashboard, and managing the project.  This is likely you. You will need to be in charge of coordinating all efforts of the project.

Major responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Role assignments
  • BO sign off.
  • Data Gatekeeper Liaison
  • Metric Calculation
  • Chart determination
  • Dashboard build

Data Gatekeeper

This is the member of the data team that understands the data source and any other library that will be used to create the metrics.

Their main responsibilities include setting up permissions and access to the data needed to calculate the metrics and any help with deciphering the data source schema that might be needed to access the data and understand it properly.


Creating a great dashboard is a team effort, and all roles are vital in its completion.  It is possible, and many times likely that tools like Chartio can help combine roles into one person, but the fact of the matter remains, regardless who is holding what position for each project, the roles are vital to a successful dashboard creation project.