A well constructed dashboard makes spotting trends and predicting future ones easy. One aspect of the InetSoft data exploration tool that helps display trends is brushing. With brushing, when a segment of data on any chart on a dashboard is selected, that data segment's proportions are highlighted on all other charts in the dashboard. Brushing helps users see how any specific segment of data relates to other segments of data.
Data exploration can also be encouraged by adding filters to a dashboard. Filters narrow the range of data that is visualized, by selecting a date range, a range of dollar amounts, or selecting any particular category of data. When a user would like to study a specific event or phenomenon and would prefer to only see that specific piece of information presented to them, filters are quite useful. InetSoft's dashboards can be built with a range of filters, including range sliders, calendar date selectors, selection lists, and radio buttons.
In addition to regular filters, InetSoft's flyover viewing tools filter information displayed when a user puts the mouse over various regions over a chart, table, or crosstab. This allows the data points on a chart to behave like a selection element, greatly expanding the potential for exploring data.
The ability to depict more than two dimensions on a graph is another useful way to get more insights out of a single dashboard. This feature is called multi-dimensional charting and the InetSoft, tool can make chart elements adjust their size, color, shape, and fill to reflect different dimensions and measures. Having multiple dimensions allows for a deeper look into rising and falling trends by adding a third dimension to determine “why” things are happening. While the InetSoft tool can theoretically plot data by seven dimensions/measures at once, in most cases it is recommended that you keep the number down to several, to enable easy viewing.
If the above best practices for dashboard design are followed, your dashboards will be both communicative and aesthetically pleasing, while offering the option of deeper exploration for those who desire it. Register now to learn more about InetSoft's dashboard building software and to take advantage of the many factors listed above.