What is a Dashboard?

Dashboard is a borrowed word from the Car industry but this community is focused mainly on the Digital Dashboards. These dashboards are called by various names depending who is talking and who is the audience.

Some of the related terms are

  • “Business Dashboards” – Business related dashboard
  • “Executive Dashboard” – Dashboards meant to be used by CEO, CFO, CTO, Managers etc
  • “Operational Dashboard” – Dashboards that monitor day to day activity
  • other names ‘BI Dashboard’, ‘Database Dashboard’, ‘Web Dashboard’, ‘Performance Dashboard’, ‘ScoreCard’, ‘KPI Dashboard’, ‘Metrics Dashboard’

Dashboards are designed to help us monitor what’s going on at a glance—or at least, that’s what they’re supposed to do. Unfortunately, any time a vendor combines more than one chart on a single screen, they call it a dashboard, no matter what its purpose, which creates a great deal of confusion. To give people a means to rapidly monitor what’s going on, dashboards must be designed in particular ways to take advantage of the strengths of visual perception and cognition and to work around or augment their weaknesses.

If you surf the web for dashboards you may come across where people selling tools to design a web-site also name their product as ‘Dashboard Designer’. Some folks even call a Portal as a Dashboard. Website design tools are not “Dashboard Tools”. They have their own term and it is known as ‘CMS’ for ‘Content Management System’. Please stop the abuse of the word ‘Dashboard’ (The car industry could blame the BI guys for abusing their term)

At dashboard zone we try to study various dashboard-examples and evaluate the pros-cons of the design.

If you come across any such design and would like to share your opinion please feel free to send us an email dashboardzone[AT]gmail dot com

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