I came across a very useful write-up on dashboard best practices. It’s written by a user interface specialist who also has become experienced with dashboard software. You can see examples of what to do and not what to do. I love Aaron’s medical diagnosis terms for bad design cases: “hyperactive traffic lighting syndrome” and “glossiosis” are two good ones.
You can find the article in Information Management’s magazine here: http://digital.info-mgmt.com/info-mgmt/20101112#pg16