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Dashboard and KPI Design–the Definitive Industry Standard

First of all, the title is intended to be a little tongue-in-cheek – just a little bit.  I’ll explain.  Last week while I was teaching a class on report design, one of the students asked “what is the definitive, industry-standard guide for proper dashboard & KPI design?”  I thought, well, I know several authors in the industry who have written about this topic but I wouldn’t consider any one of them to be THE definitive guide.  Sure, Edward Tufte has written at least seven volumes about how information has been visualized – good and bad – through ages past and on into the modern business world.  I’m a firm believer that if it hasn’t been done – and that it needs to be done – that I can do it... in a series of articles about effective report UI visuals, how to choose the best presentation option for a given scenario.  This first post will just be a simple starting point to frame the discussion and set the stage.

I will begin by reviewing these books and discuss the pros, cons and the applicability to the subject of dashboard and KPI design using the Microsoft product stack.

  • Edward Tufte – The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
  • “ – Envisioning Information
  • “ – Visual Explanations
  • Stephen Few – Information Dashboard Design - Effective Visual Communication of data O’Reilly
  • Nils Rasmussen – Business Dashboards: A Visual Catalog for Design and Deployment
  • Ken Withee – Microsoft Business Intelligence for Dummies (Wiley)
  • Ron Person – Balanced Scorecards & Operational Dashboard with Excel (Wiley)
  • Turley/Bruckner – SSRS Recipes: for Designing Expert Reports. (Wrox)
  • SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence 24-hour Trainer
  • Knight’s Microsoft Business Intelligence  24-hour Trainer


Weblog by Paul Turley and SQL Server BI Blog.

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