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Common Digital Dashboard Layouts

While business dashboards can adopt many distinct designs in terms of look and feel, there are a core number of basic layouts that they tend to follow. I suppose this comes from grid-based design in general and the prevalence of the template approaches in popular presentation layer technologies such as tiles and struts.

When designing custom layouts for dashboard applications built in-house or creating a custom layout in an off-the-shelf dashboarding software product, I tend to follow the 3 or 4 column approach with portlets of various sizes spanning the different columns as needed. Can’t picture what I mean?

Take a look at this dashboard layout picker from a dashboard software package (iDashboards 5.0).

idashboards dashboard layout

What is your most commonly used layout? Do you mostly arrange portlets containing charts and graphs of various metrics and KPIs? If so, maybe you choose the 3×3 layout for 9 charts. More likely, you mix up wider portlets for text content.

It would be interesting to find out how these various digital dashboard layouts are ranked in terms of usage.

Click on the “read more” link below to see how the iDashboards software product handles the dashboard layout selection process. Screenshots of the dashboards can be found below.

Here is the sequence of actions for creating a new dashboard in iDashboards.

First, take a look at the default sales dashboard that comes with iDashboards:

idashboards sales dashboard default template

As you see, it has a 3 column by 2 row configuration for the portlets. It has the following metrics:

  • Top 10 Shipping Customers
  • Market Share
  • Sales by State
  • Top 3 Products
  • Sales Performance
  • Sales by Province

Note the bottom leftmost section where you will find a “Menu” button. If you click it, you get the following panel where you can select a new dashboard and pick out the desired layout per the screenshot we saw earlier:

idashboards menu dashboard layout picker

If you pick the 2 row layout, you will get the following dashboard template:

Blank Dashboard Template

At this point, you can populate the top portlet of the dashboard with a graph.

Add chart to dashboard iDashboards 5.0 configuration

Use the SQL Custom Query tool to select your data for the chart.

idashboards sql query window

Here is the resulting chart in the top portlet of the dashboard:

idashboards portlet graph

Tags: iDashboards 5.0 Screenshot, idashboards layout configuration, digital dashboards

This is a post by The Dashboard Spy as part of the Dashboards By Example blog. Check out the following Business Intelligence resources:

Dashboards by Example Volume 1
Business Intelligence White Papers

For more information visit Common Digital Dashboard Layouts

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