Having an easy selection of data visualizations is easily one of the chief benefits of business intelligence software. They can help you discover new insights and provide an at-a-glance view of your success metrics. It's up to you to choose what visualizations will best tell your data story.
Here are some of our favorite data visualizations for building out solid dashboards, comparing trends, and gaining a greater understanding of the inner workings of your company.
When building your dashboard, the first point to keep in mind is that the visualizations you choose needs to correspond with the dashboard’s primary use. For example, a sales leaderboard will look very different from a dashboard highlighting business forecasting.
A sales leaderboard will use visuals like an area chart that shows profits over time, or a bar graph that displays which salespeople have made the most sales so far that quarter. A forecasting dashboard, on the other hand, will use a stacked column/line combo graph to compare previous forecasts with actual profits, or a funnel chart that easily displays the stages of the forecasting process. (You can see examples of different dashboards on our Dashboards We Love page.)
How do you decide which visuals will help you the most?
First, you need a solid understanding of each type of visualization so you can figure out how to best bring your data to life. Here’s a list of the most important types, including some specific examples of how they’re commonly used in a corporate dashboard: