Arranging the charts is where the science of a dashboard project starts to cede some of its control to art. There are many things to consider when arranging and sizing charts and selecting fonts and colors. How visualizations are composed in a dashboard can either facilitate or hinder the decision making process.
In the dashboard that we have been working to create with this book, we ended up with thirteen individual charts, monitoring eight different metrics. Some metrics were monitored twice so the current status, as well as a trend analysis over time, could be analyzed. When we started to create the dashboard we ended up with thirteen charts in three zones. By grouping charts and metrics that are closely associated with each other it gives us a larger picture.
Here we can see revenue and operations metrics shaded in blue, marketing metrics shaded in orange and user metrics shaded in green. Group charts that are about similar topics together.
Determine the aspect ratio of the device (iphone, laptop, tv, etc) the dashboard you are building will ultimately be delivered on by consulting with the Point Person. View our templates to get ideas about how you could compose visualizations together.
View more here: Dashboard Templates in Figma
Also now is a good time to use google and apps that you use with a dashboard interface to get inspired about what combinations work.
Here is a great layout used by Google Analytics:
While being innovative in dashboard design can challenge the way we look at things in a positive way it is also likely to confuse the audience. Stick with simple arrangements that don’t violate the ACES dashboard design qualities in What Makes a Great Dashboard (ACES)
At Chartio we have also noticed that dashboards with multiple chart type get more views to a point. Viewership peaks when three different types of charts are used, and it
In addition to not including too many cool BI Tool features in your dashboard, remember to not include too many visualizations in your dashboard either. There will be many opportunities to overload the dashboard with too much information. Information overload deteriorates the power of the dashboard.
At Chartio we took a look at the number of visualizations per dashboard and found that it is heavily skewed, the vast majority only use a few charts.
If information needs to be viewed as is and aggregated at a more granular level, you need a second dashboard containing this has a more drilled down view. Don’t be afraid to link out to other dashboards. This preserves the decisions and goals of the dashboard at hand and let’s people explore the data in more detail if they wish.