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.