Dashboards play a very important role in model building as it acts as a reporting view for the end users. It provides the end users a glance view of its key performance indicators and data relevant to a business process. It can also be named as a Progress Report/Worksheet.
Dashboard Design is an iterative process. It can be difficult to get it right first time.
While working on the tool, I found few features that can further help the users. The below features can further enhance the end user experience.
Tooltips can be added to:
- Grids on the dashboards.
- Line Items published on the dashboards.
- Action buttons.
By using tooltips, scrolling on the dashboards can be reduced.
Also, adding instructions in text boxes take up lot of space on the dashboard, the same can be ignored.
For Tooltips, there is an option to alert the users using a display icon. Also, if you don’t use the icon, the users can move the cursor on that line item or the name of grid/action buttons to see the instructions.
Therefore, modellers should encourage use of tooltips for the clients.
- Personal Views
There is an option of “Personal Views”. When the same is enabled under the head “Dashboards”, it will show the users below two options:
- Save as My View: The users can use this option to save their personal view as per the requirement. Using this option, it will not impact the view of dashboard for the other users.
- Save as Master View: When you are using this option and making any changes on the dashboard. This change will be visible to every user. This option is only available to the Workspace Administrator.
Charts should be used wherever possible on the dashboard, as it provides the users a graphical representation of its data. Also, it enhances the end user experience. Anaplan
has range of charts to choose from like line charts, bar charts, pie charts, map charts.
Therefore, as per the end user requirement and the form data, a correct chart type can be used.
The buttons should always be at the top of the dashboard, charts and grid in the centre of the screen and navigation towards the bottom.
Now, Anaplan has also included the feature of “Automatic Chart Update”, therefore the chart will be updated automatically on the dashboard, if the number changes.
- Conditional Formatting
Use of Conditional Formatting on the line items published on the dashboards should be encouraged. This will make the dashboard more presentable.
This feature can be used to highlight important line items or grids on the dashboard for the end users.
This will further enhance the end user experience.
- Landing Dashboards based on User Roles
Landing dashboard is the one which opens while you log into Anaplan. Landing dashboards are prepared to maintain consistency, also it reduces clutter on the screen and improves end user experience. Also, this restricts the users to only their respective dashboards. There is always a possibility that a group of users will be using the same dashboard, therefore, a specific landing dashboard can be created for the same.
For Example- In the 299 FP&A Case Study, different landing dashboards were created for different user roles like FP&A Manager, Cost Centre Manager, Sales Rep, Sales Manager.
The above are some dashboarding tips/features that I used while working on the tool.