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Business Intelligence Dashboard: Definition, Best Practices & Examples


Published: June 12, 2023    |     null MIN READ



In this article, we will present you with the definition and benefits of BI dashboards. Moreover, here you can get advice on how to create effective BI dashboards with examples to enhance your understanding and implementation of BI dashboards.

Table Of Contents

In today's business landscape, organizations require a tool that can rapidly and accurately access and analyze massive amounts of data to support strategic decision-making and business development, and that tool is the BI (Business Intelligence) dashboard. BI dashboards play a vital role in solving data mining and data visualization challenges. By integrating essential metrics, data charts, and reports into a centralized interface, BI dashboards provide comprehensive data insights, enabling management and decision-makers to better understand business trends and changes.

This article will introduce the definition and benefits of BI dashboards, including how they enhance data analysis and decision-making efficiency. Additionally, we will share best practices for designing BI dashboards and provide specific examples and use cases to help you better understand and apply BI dashboards.

If you are a business manager, data analyst, or simply interested in business intelligence, this article will provide valuable insights and guidance to help you make the most of BI dashboards.

What is a BI Dashboard?

A business intelligence dashboard, also known as a BI dashboard, is a data visualization tool. It displays the status of key performance indicators (KPIs) as well as other important business metrics and data points for an organization, department, team, or process, using charts, graphs, tables, and other visual elements on a single screen. Compared to static reports, BI dashboards are more interactive, providing real-time analytics, and dynamic data updates and enabling users to explore data, apply filters, and drill down for more comprehensive business insights.

Dashboards are an integral part of most BI software platforms and are widely used to present analytical information to business executives and employees in an intuitive manner. In some cases,  business intelligence dashboards are designed by members of the BI team, while in others, they are created by business analysts and other users of self-service BI tools.

BI Dashboard Example
BI Dashboard Example (by  FineBI)

Benefits of BI Dashboards 

Next, we will explore the benefits of BI Dashboards. BI Dashboards are increasingly recognized as visual tools that help organizations gain valuable business insights from their ever-growing databases. Business professionals are empowered to make wiser decisions by collecting, integrating, and analyzing data.

Well-designed dashboards provide various business benefits. For example,

Presenting data in rich visual formats allows users to quickly understand complex information.
Helping businesses identify and analyze trends related to their operations and leverage opportunities to address issues.
Simplifying the deployment and usage of self-service BI applications for business analysts, managers, and employees.
Enabling the rapid sharing of valuable performance metrics, providing agility and mobility unmatched by traditional data processes.
Enhancing collaboration and data-driven decision-making processes within the organization through information sharing.

BI Dashboard Design Best Practices

Here, we present you the best practices for designing BI (Business Intelligence) dashboards to help you derive maximum value from your dashboards and reports. These include the following six key points:

1. Clearly define goals and requirements: Before designing a BI dashboard, it is important to clearly understand why the report is needed and who the target audience is. This will help you understand the users' priorities and decision-making needs, ensuring that the dashboard meets their expectations and objectives. In fact, understanding your audience ensures the relevance of the report content and meets their expectations and technical skills.

2. Concise and focused design: Avoid making the dashboard overly complex and crowded, as it can appear cramped. BI dashboard design should reflect quick, concise, and clear fact-based communication, highlighting the most important metrics and information. A clear layout and reasonable use of visualization elements can help users quickly grasp key information.

3. Choose appropriate visualization methods: Select suitable visualization methods to present data in a way that users can understand intuitively. Depending on the nature and purpose of the data, choose appropriate charts, graphs, and images to convey information.

4. Provide interactivity and exploratory features: Provide users with interactive reporting and exploratory features that allow them to analyze data according to their needs and interests. For example, add filters, drill-down, and interactive controls so that users can customize the view of the dashboard as needed.

5. Consider usability and user experience: Place usability and user experience at the core of the design. Ensure that the dashboard is easy to navigate, operate, and understand. Use intuitive icons, labels, and indicators to guide users and ensure responsiveness across different devices and screen sizes.

6. Continuously test and improve: BI dashboard design is an iterative process. Continuously test and collect user feedback to understand their user experience and needs. Improve the dashboard based on feedback and insights to ensure alignment with business requirements and consistently provide value to users.

These key points will help design a powerful and user-friendly BI dashboard that provides decision-makers with intuitive insights and data-driven decision support.

BI Dashboard Examples and Use Cases

Organizations deploy various types of analytical dashboards to support decision-making at the enterprise level and across departments. The following are examples of some common types of BI dashboards designed for different functions, along with descriptions of what they contain and how to use them.

Marketing Dashboard 

Marketing BI dashboards are widely used by executives, business managers, sales teams, and marketing teams within organizations. These dashboards provide a comprehensive view of marketing activities, customer acquisition, revenue generation, and overall strategies. They include data on costs, market share, response rates, customer growth and retention rates, advertising spend and ROI, lead generation, and other marketing metrics.

The above are just some examples of common marketing dashboard metrics, and the choice of specific metrics depends on the goals, strategies, and focus of marketing activities of the enterprise.

Marketing BI Dashboard.jpg
Marketing BI Dashboard Example

Human Resources Dashboard

This interactive business intelligence dashboard designed for the Human Resources department provides key indicators and data on employee and organizational performance. Modern interactive dashboards leverage HR analytics platforms to easily combine data from all systems and explore it directly within the dashboard. HR dashboards typically include metrics such as employee turnover rate, recruitment numbers, performance management, training participation rate, salary structure, and employee satisfaction survey results, among others.

With this, the HR team can quickly find insights that help improve recruitment, optimize workplace management, and enhance employee performance. It assists them in monitoring, analyzing, and optimizing various HR activities, supporting strategic decision-making and HR planning.

Human Resources BI Dashboard Example
Human Resources BI Dashboard Example

Financial Dashboard

A financial dashboard is a tool used to monitor and analyze financial data, designed to help business managers and finance teams gain key financial indicators and insights for use by CFOs, other executives, and employees in the finance department. The range of metrics in a financial dashboard includes revenue, operating expenses, and profitability for a specific period, as well as metrics related to cash holdings, assets and liabilities, working capital, profit margins, and more. 

These metrics enable organizations to gain a deeper understanding of their financial condition through real-time analysis. They help improve profitability, manage expenses, optimize cash flow, and ensure financial stability, driving financial success and ensuring the financial health of the organization.

Financial BI Dashboard Example
Financial BI Dashboard Example

Retailing Dashboard

To succeed in today's highly competitive retail industry, retailers must continually optimize processes to enhance their ability to serve customers. A retail dashboard visualizes and reports all critical retail KPIs in a centralized interface, transforming collected data into actionable insights.

With a retailing business intelligence dashboard, retailers can identify consumer patterns, enhance inventory management, reduce return rates, and ultimately increase sales and profitability.

Retailing BI Dashboard Example
Retailing BI Dashboard Example

Logistics Dashboard

The value of business intelligence (BI) tools in the logistics industry is particularly evident. Logistics companies generate a vast amount of data during their operations, including transportation times, inventory levels, order fulfillment rates, and more. A logistics dashboard can centralize this data on a single page and provide real-time analysis of logistics activities through visual elements such as charts, graphs, and dashboards.

With a Logistics Dashboard, logistics managers can gain a comprehensive understanding of various aspects of logistics operations and take timely actions to address issues and improve processes. This, in turn, helps improve logistics efficiency, reduce costs, and provide better customer service. 

Logistics BI Dashboard Example
Logistics BI Dashboard Example

Medical Dashboard

A medical dashboard monitors medical KPIs in a dynamic and interactive manner. With the help of modern healthcare analytics and specialized dashboards, hospitals can access and interpret key information related to patient care, operational efficiency, and overall healthcare performance. Key metrics in a medical dashboard include physician allocation, outpatient and emergency room wait times, average length of stay, medical error rates, healthcare costs, patient readmission rates, and medical process efficiency.

These medical business intelligence dashboard reports contribute to improving performance and patient satisfaction, leading to better outcomes and more informed decision-making.

Medical BI Dashboard Example
Medical BI Dashboard Example

Manufacturing Dashboard

The manufacturing industry can also greatly benefit from interactive business intelligence dashboards. Manufacturing BI dashboards help manufacturers track and optimize production quality and serve as valuable analytical tools for effectively managing all associated manufacturing costs. Key metrics in a typical manufacturing dashboard include production efficiency, production plan attainment, equipment utilization, cycle time completion, defect rate, and labor efficiency.

By monitoring manufacturing KPIs that align with modern management processes and understanding and leveraging their potential, organizations can enhance work efficiency, production quality, and manufacturing capabilities.

Manufacturing BI Dashboard Example
Manufacturing BI Dashboard Example

BI Dashboard Software Capabilities

BI Dashboard software provides a set of capabilities that allow you to easily generate customized interactive business intelligence dashboards that play a role in data-driven decision-making. When evaluating BI dashboard software, keep these five key capabilities in mind:

1. Easy data integration: BI dashboard tools are part of end-to-end platforms that include data integration and analysis capabilities. This allows you to easily combine data sets from across your organization, such as databases, spreadsheets, or specialized software systems. Under this circumstance, if you are worrying about the data integration problem of your BI dashboard, I highly recommend a popular BI tool FineBI. FineBI supports data integration from multiple sources, including popular databases like Hsql, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle. 

FineBI connection from multiple data source

Once the data preparation is complete, FineBI provides a user-friendly interface similar to Excel, allowing you to visualize, edit, filter, merge, and calculate data without the need for coding. The intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create visually appealing BI dashboards.

FineBI Drag-and-drop Interface

2. Customizable dashboards: An outstanding dashboard should be customizable according to your specific needs and preferences. By selecting relevant metrics, arranging visual components, applying filters, and setting thresholds, you can always focus on the key information. 

FineBI offers 50+ built-in chart types and custom chart options, covering a wide range of basic and advanced charts available in the market. It also provides impressive dynamic effects and powerful interactive experiences to visually present your data story.

FineBI support 50+ types of charts

3. Data security and governance: BI dashboard software prioritizes data security and governance. It offers features such as role-based access control, data encryption, and audit logs to ensure data privacy and compliance with regulations. 

If you have concerns in this area, FineBI can help address them. It supports multidimensional access control, allowing control at different levels for different departments, positions, roles, and users, making it convenient for self-service data retrieval.

4. Alerting and forecasting: Many BI dashboards in the market lack monitoring and alerting capabilities for potential risks or historical data analysis, which can weaken an organization's risk management capabilities. This highlights the need for alerting and forecasting capabilities in modern BI dashboards. 

FineBI enables the setting of trend lines and alert thresholds to visualize trends in charts and provide alerts for abnormal indicators. Additionally, FineBI's scheduling feature supports sending analysis templates via email, SMS, or platform notifications when the alert conditions are triggered, enabling users to perform timely analysis and decision-making.

5. Collaboration and sharing: BI dashboard software allows team members to share dashboards, reports, and insights with others, promoting collaboration among team members. FineBI supports the collaborative creation of dashboards, where multiple users can simultaneously access and edit the same dashboard. Furthermore, features such as public links, platform sharing, and directory publishing make it easy to share dashboards with stakeholders.

FineBI Data Sharing

Conclusion & Guidance

In conclusion, by significantly reducing the likelihood of human errors and streamlining decision-making processes that rely on data interpretation, business intelligence dashboards prove to be a cost-effective solution.

It offers numerous benefits, including streamlined data visualization, improved decision-making, and enhanced collaboration among team members. By following best practices, organizations can maximize the benefits of BI dashboards.

One outstanding example of a BI dashboard software is FineBI. With its easy data integration, customizable dashboards, robust security measures, alerting and forecasting capabilities, and collaboration features, FineBI empowers businesses to unlock the full potential of their data.

We encourage you to take the next step in harnessing the power of BI dashboards by downloading and experiencing FineBI firsthand. Start visualizing your data, gaining actionable insights, and driving your business forward. Download FineBI today and embark on your journey towards data-driven success.

Remember, with FineBI, your data tells a story, and your decisions become data-driven. Don't miss out on this opportunity to elevate your business intelligence capabilities. Download FineBI now and experience the difference it can make for your organization.

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