Business Dashboards

Designed properly, a good business dashboard is an indispensable tool that informs with a glance. Unfortunately, too many dashboards are bloated, sluggish and ultimately too hard to use. Good dashboard tools should provide:

  • Interactivity: Filtering, highlighting, and other dashboard solutions
  • The ability to combine multiple data sources
  • Fast creation by a business user
  • Easy sharing with support for existing security
  • Visual analysis best practices

Tableau allows non-technical users to create interactive, real-time dashboards. In minutes. Adding filters and drilling down is as simple as a few clicks. Sharing those dashboards on Tableau Server or Tableau online and embedding them into wikis, corporate portals or any web page is point-and-click. And visual best practices are baked in, so you can build a great dashboard and communicate effectively.

Executive Dashboards
Understand your business at a glance

An executive dashboard is like a thermometer for your business. You don't need to go to the doctor every day, but you can take your temperature in a few seconds. Like a thermometer, an executive dashboard gives you a quick, reliable indicator that your business is doing fine - and can alert you in an emergency if you need to see a specialist.

This workbook consists of three important business dashboards. The first dashboard gives you at-a-glance understanding of profitability, with views presented by geography, product category, and customer segment. The second dashboard focuses on products and the third on customers—each visualization offering you much deeper layers of information, allowing you to identify specific problems and opportunities in minutes.

Using the filter panels on each dashboard enables you to further navigate the data with your own criteria, giving you greater control and flexibility. In short, you get to dive into the information that is important to you.

Operational Dashboards
Manufacturing business reporting
Dashboard software that tracks issues before they become headaches

Sometimes you need to track information throughout the course of daily operations. Understanding the status of your production, machine utilizations, web traffic, or other critical systems can help you anticipate and avoid problems before they become topics in a monthly report. In Tableau you can combine multiple data sources to keep track of sensor data, operator inputs, and real-time systems all in one dashboard.

This dashboard lets you choose a facility by clicking on the map. Then you can see detailed defect information for that facility in the top right view. In the lower right view you can see production (bars) and defects (circles) at that facility over time. Notice how high defect counts generally lead to lower production levels in the days immediately following the defect.

Interactive business dashboard
Provide a highly interactive window into your data, right in a web page

Sometimes a dashboard is more than a dashboard-- it’s a full interactive application that lets users explore data in a rich and detailed way.

Tableau’s flexibility lets you build a tabbed application with a wide range of options for filtering, drill down and finding additional data. The published application truly lets users answer their own questions, without ever having to learn Tableau Desktop. You can provide an unprecedented level of interactivity and a new window into your data right in a web page using Tableau.

This comparable home finder lets users understand the housing trends for a very specific slice of the local market. First you drill into an area and filter to the number of bedrooms, home size and price that is relevant. Then you can view all the recent sales that meet that criteria on a map, see pricing trends for that kind of home, and finally view details for individual homes. The filters you select on one tab apply to the entire application, so you can refine your analysis as you go, unlike many other dashboard tools.

Ad-hoc Analysis
Get insight when you need it, quickly and easily

Dashboards are powerful because they let you relate different views of information visually. And while some business reporting dashboards are used over and over again, it’s often useful to create a dashboard on the fly to investigate an issue or provide background for a strategic decision.

The key to providing this kind of valuable decision support is to allow the business user to quickly and easily create or modify a dashboard. If every new dashboard or change request requires IT support and takes weeks, then you can’t get the most out of your data.

This video shows how easy the process of creating and sharing a dashboard is in Tableau. You simply drag different views into the dashboard to add them, then add filtering and highlighting with a few clicks. Publishing is just as easy: simply point and click to publish, then share a live and interactive dashboard right in a web page.

In this case, you may be evaluating your business in different regions and deciding whether to invest in additional personnel. By looking at the overall growth trend, geographic distribution of sales, and top customers, you can quickly access all the information you need to make a decision.