Open Dashboard Methodology

As we gain hands-on experience with the design, implementation, launch and maintenance of business intelligence dashboards, we accumulate best practices and design patterns that we can rely upon and toss aside activities that lead us astray. After several dashboard projects, we come to realize the value of a dashboarding methodology. Of course, when discussing business dashboard best practices in collaborative environments such as this blog, Dashboards By Example, digital dashboard practitioners quickly realize that by joining together and sharing their experiences they can shortcut the dashboard development process and ensure better results. Learning from each other’s pitfalls and successes by sharing methodologies becomes the route to better and more useful dashboards.

In this spirit of open collaboration, The Dashboard Spy invites you to join a newly-formed initiative called The Open Dashboard Methodology Group.

The brainchild of dashboard veteran and Dashboard Spy reader Tomas Greif, the ODMG will strive to provide an open collection of dashboard design and implementation methodology steps.

As Tomas first wrote to me and other dashboard practitioners,

Do you know of any good dashboarding methodology? Is there anything like CRISP-DM for dashboards? (CRISP-DM is publicly available methodology for data mining). If not, would it be interesting for you to create a platform-independent, publicly-available methodology for dashboards design and development? I would love to start or join such an activity. It would be a great asset to the business intelligence dashboarding community. I have already identified over 40 steps/tasks you need to complete to create a good dashboard and I am sure the list is not exhaustive.

I worked with Tomas on some initial brainstorming for the effort and we are now ready to start assembling the troops! We are looking for individuals willing and able to leverage their years of dashboard experience to contribute to a comprehensive dashboarding methodology. Whether you are a dashboard user, analyst, designer or programmer, we need your knowledge of the dashboarding process!

Please visit the LinkedIn group called Open Dashboard Methodology

Here are some more details:

Open Dashboard Methodology

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a complete dashboarding methodology that documented all the techniques and processes learned from years of implementing business dashboards? Well, let’s put one together! Our goal is to create an open and platform-independent methodology for business dashboard design and implementation. We are looking for members who are willing to participate in this effort by contributing their business intelligence dashboarding skills and experience. We would love to have people with different backgrounds on board so whether you are an analyst, business user, designer, programmer or software vendor, you are welcome. If you feel you can contribute to the development of this open dashboarding methodology, join us! This project is non-profit and in the spirit of open source. The results will be available at no cost for everyone. The only benefits we can offer are: your company will be listed in the document, you will be listed as either author or contributor, and you will work with some great people who share your passion in dashboards.

Please join us in this exciting collaboration. Aren’t you interesting in seeing the steps we’ve come up with so far for business intelligence dashboarding?

For more information, come visit the LinkedIn group.

You can also link to Tomas Greif or Hubert Lee (that’s me, The Dashboard Spy!) and we’ll give you more information.

One thought on “Open Dashboard Methodology

  1. Hi

    I’ve been giving this some thought.

    I like the concept, but have a few doubts about the execution.

    If we look at the “dashboards” debate for example – I go with the Stephen Few definition:
    “A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives; consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance.”

    And yet when we debated it openly through this forum, we ended up with a definition of dashboards something along the lines of “a dashboard is anything you want it to be, everything can be a dashboard, a table of contents or a phone book can be a dashboard”.

    OK – I’ve exaggerated a little there, but I see an enormous difference between the two definitions and I guess it leads me to the following observations:

    For any methodology to be effective, it must produce high quality results.

    In the case of data visualisation, quality can be defined as “the extent to which data visualisation provides clear, unbiassed information which facilitates the making of the best decision that can be made with the available information”.

    To me, the greatest sin would be to mislead somebody (intentionally or otherwise) and thus lead to a poor decision being made.

    Which leads me to the real question.

    Will an open dashboard methodology facilitate this?

    The answer is simple – it depends on how clear it is in its aims, whether those aims if followed will take us to the right destination, and how well it sticks to those aims.

    I think this could be either great or awful and that this will largely be determined from inception, so I would like to see more about what this will be / look like before going further.

    Hope this sounds OK.

Leave a Reply