The Six P’s
The six P’s. Prior Preparation and Planning Prevent Poor Performance.
There is also a seven P’s version as well but I’m not sure how familiar people are with that one. It is an emphasis on the level of poor performance 🙂
Understand what your customer is looking to get out of it. Is it trends? You will need some line charts. Comparisons? Bar charts. In your face KPI number? Text box.
Once you’ve got an idea of the sort of information you’re trying to communicate then you can move on to the next, crucial step.
Where are you getting it from? What transformations do you need to carry out? Is it an on-going thing or one-off? If the former, then what does your pipeline look like and how are you going to deal with currency? What is the volume like? If it’s massive and cumbersome to access I would suggest taking a snapshot to establish your visualizations and then point to the entire dataset once everything is established so you’re not sitting there watching the ‘spinning wheel of death’ while it processes all of your information.
Wireframe your dashboard/visualization. Think about where you’re going to place things to achieve maximum ‘flow’. If your dashboard doesn’t look nice it’s not going to hit the mark as well as it could. If you have your own corporate template that’s awesome. If not, there are heaps of templates and examples out there and imitation is the best form of flattery. Check out what other people are doing and piece together bits and pieces to suit your own specific requirements.
Once you’ve done all that, then I think it’s the right time to get started on building your dashboard out. I’m a big fan of progress then perfection. Include your stakeholder on the journey and touch base throughout to make sure you’re on the right track. I’ve even sat in on meetings and sketched out what I think they’re after in our requirements gathering stage.
This is an important step to ensure ongoing longevity of your dashboard. Ask for, and incorporate feedback into your dashboards to maximize their utility.
By: Jon Manning