Have you ever wondered if your tableau dashboard has too much information? Like me, you probably didn’t think either. As analysts, most of the time we do different calculations to reach one conclusion and we feel this overwhelming urge to take our audience through all the steps we took. Result? A lot of time dashboard becomes jam-packed with information and ends up looking unprofessional. I can almost hear a lot of you say, “Well, I already know what you mean”, so what’s the solution?
“They are not interested in how you got there, they are rather interested in what you found there.”
Let’s have a look at this, let’s say “overpopulated” tableau dashboard. This was my third dashboard. What are you feeling? I bet the first thought would be “I am not sure what I am looking at”. Without explaining what each chart represents and why I put them, it will be really hard for anyone to understand the purpose of this dashboard. However, if I explain to an analyst, we might have a fruitful discussion about how many more stats I should include to validate my point. But a C-suite executive would probably have zero interest in full statistical analysis, rather they would be interested to see a few key numbers to make decisions. They are not interested in how you got there, they are rather interested in what you found there.
“Who am I making this for? what is the purpose? what is the most important part that should draw eyes?”
So, when building the dashboard always ask yourself, “Who am I making this for? what is the purpose? what is the most important part that should draw eyes?”. If you have answers to these questions, then it is time to start removing charts that don’t align with your answers. I was able to reduce the number of charts from 13 to just 7. The improved dashboard still conveyed the same message but without throwing charts left and right. It gave the dashboard required negative space and charts inside the dashboard some well-deserved breathing space.
“…how many charts you are using”
When choosing charts and visualizing data, always ask yourself if the chosen chart conveys the information properly and efficiently. Thanks to short-form content, people’s attention span is trending downward. Now if you can’t capture your audience in 3 seconds, they will probably be bored to see through the rest of it. This is why, you should always consider the type of chart you are using and how many charts you are using. For example, you can make a line chart for current assets and another line chart for current liabilities. Alternatively, you can make a line chart for the current ratio. Then put information about current assets and current liability in the tooltips. This way you are conveying the same amount of information to your audience, but using one chart instead of two and in a much more professional manner. Feel free to read about 3 crucial considerations before choosing your charts for your dashboard.
So, let me ask you, if you wanted to redo any of your tableau dashboards from the time you started your journey, how would you re-make them?