Understanding Dashboards: When, Why, and How to Build One for Your Digital Product
A dashboard is an essential business tool for monitoring, analyzing, and visualizing diverse types of data in real-time. While dashboards are frequently associated with key performance indicators (KPIs), they can display a vast array of operationally relevant data.
This potent instrument is especially advantageous for digital products, as it enables businesses to track user engagement, performance, and overall success. In this post, we will examine the concept of a dashboard, determine when a company needs one for its digital products, and describe the process we use to create customized dashboards.
What is a Dashboard?
A dashboard is a graphical representation of data that serves to make complex information easy to interpret.
Typically, it displays a range of data points, such as KPIs, metrics, hardware information, content, and other pertinent information, in a user-friendly format, such as charts, graphs, and tables. Dashboards assist businesses in making data-driven decisions, monitoring progress toward goals, and identifying improvement opportunities.
When Do Companies Need a Dashboard for Digital Products?
Companies may need a dashboard for their digital products in the following cases:
- Identifying Trends: To recognize emerging patterns and trends in user behavior, which can help inform future product development or marketing strategies.
- Setting and Tracking Goals: To establish clear objectives and monitor progress towards achieving them, providing a visual representation of the company's success.
- Enhancing Decision-Making: To make data-driven decisions by having real-time access to critical information and analytics, including hardware control and organization metrics.
- Improving Collaboration and Teamwork: To facilitate communication, organization, and collaboration among team members by providing a single source of truth for all relevant data, including task allocation and time management.
- Project Management Systems: To track progress, task assignments, deadlines, and other key aspects of a project.
- Web Analytics Tools: To monitor traffic, user behavior, conversions, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) of a website or app.
- Digital Marketing Platforms: To manage advertising campaigns, social media, email, and other online marketing channels.
- Personal Finance Applications: To keep track of income, expenses, savings, and investments, and help users make informed financial decisions.
- Business Intelligence (BI) Tools: To analyze and visualize company data, such as sales, revenue, customer trends, and performance metrics.
- Human Resources Management Software: To monitor and manage information related to employees, such as hiring, terminations, leaves, training, and performance evaluations.
- E-commerce Platforms: To manage inventory, orders, shipping, and online sales analytics.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: To monitor and manage interactions with customers, sales, support, and other activities related to the customer-business relationship.
- Infrastructure and System Monitoring Applications: To track the performance, availability, and resource usage of hardware and software within a business network.
- Social Media Analytics Tools: To analyze user engagement, activity, and trends on social media platforms.
Our Process for Building a Dashboard:
To create an effective dashboard tailored to your company's needs, we follow a structured process and leverage modern technology stacks and tools:
- Define Objectives: Determine the goals you want to achieve with your dashboard, such as monitoring data points, tracking progress, or identifying trends.
- Identify Metrics: Choose the key data points and metrics that will help you achieve your objectives and are most relevant to your digital product, including hardware control, team organization, time management, and other factors based on the company's needs.
- Design and Layout: Create a visually appealing and user-friendly design that clearly presents the data and allows for easy interpretation. Our front-end development team uses React, NextJS and Tailwind, along with tools like Material-UI, Stitches or Style-components for UI components and styling.
- Test and Refine: Conduct user testing and gather feedback to refine the dashboard and ensure it meets the needs of its intended audience. We employ various testing methodologies and tools such as Jest for unit testing, Cypress for end-to-end testing, and performance testing tools like Lighthouse.
- Deploy and Maintain: Launch the dashboard on a reliable cloud infrastructure, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) using services like EC2 and S3, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with App Engine and Cloud Storage. Monitor its performance using tools like AWS CloudWatch, Google Stackdriver.
- Security and Authentication: Integrate security and authentication tools to protect sensitive data and maintain user privacy. We use tools like OAuth, JWT (JSON Web Tokens), and Auth0 for authentication, and ensure secure data transmission using HTTPS and SSL certificates.
A well-designed dashboard is a powerful tool for companies with digital products, providing real-time insights to drive informed decision-making and improve performance. By identifying when a dashboard is needed and following our structured process, you can create a customized dashboard that delivers meaningful insights, including hardware control, team organization, and time management, and helps your business achieve its objectives.