Dashboards are a popular and effective tool for distributing data across teams. However, they are not our only tool when it comes to gathering and analyzing important information. People often forget to acknowledge the problems that dashboards sometimes come with. In our latest article, UXAX examines the common pitfalls of working with dashboards and why they aren’t always the best solution for your team.
Common Problems with Dashboards
Keep These Issues in Mind When Deciding How You Want to Gather Data
- Dashboards are overused: People don’t need to create a dashboard for every task they need to complete. When an engineer builds a dashboard just to gather data for ad-hoc analysis or a VP requests a dashboard to add some charts to their upcoming presentation, these piling requests can drain a team’s resources and time.
- They don’t always answer all of your questions: Dashboards can give viewers useful and interesting information. However, they do not always answer everyone’s questions. In an attempt to dig for information, people may try to apply hundreds of filters to a single dashboard. But many times, they end up defeated and irritated when they can’t get the answers they want.
- They are not always trustworthy: When people see dashboard numbers that go against their predictions, they often blame it on “bad data.” These trust problems can hinder people’s abilities to analyze dashboard numbers in an objective manner.
Case Study: John Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard
John Hopkins University’s dashboard on the number of coronavirus cases both nationally and internationally is both visually appealing and informative. Users can quickly view the number of confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries according to state and country. However, these numbers lack context. The dashboard does not cover the timeline by which certain areas implemented social distancing measures or record which countries have tests that are readily available to their citizens. As a result, people can not make informed decisions or actions based on this dashboard alone.
A Solution? Try Portrait Mode
Data Notebooks Offer a Variety of Benefits for Users
Over the past few years, data notebooks, such as Jupyter, have grown in popularity in the data science field. These data-heavy notebooks offer a variety of benefits including:
- The ability for viewers to see an author’s code and commentary on the data they have gathered
- The power to ask detailed and thought-provoking questions on the data
- The opportunity to share one’s data with a wider audience
However, while the opportunity to present your data to the masses is available, people are still looking for ways to make these data notebooks more accessible.
Finding a Notebook for the Masses
Companies such as Count are dedicated to building a comprehensive data analysis platform around data notebooks. Everyone from beginners to data experts can take advantage of these innovative notebooks. No longer do you have to worry about teaching team members Python or SQL in order to allow them to create their own data notebooks.
With a single click, team members can obtain different visual graphics or auto-join different tables together. As a collaboration-focused software, Count’s data notebooks are shareable with the entire companies. Team members can even write comments and call-outs on different parts of your notebook. By using these features, team members can gain powerful data insights they need to make informed and smart decisions.
This data gathered by the team can be used in a variety of manners, for example:
- Analysts can use notebooks instead of confusing SQL scripts to create a few base tables that other teams use. These notebooks are viewable (and interpretable) by anyone.
- The data team creates a handful of base reports which help guide readers on how to interpret the numbers and any considerations to take.
Since everything is consumable by everyone, and in a single place, the trust issues start to improve (or, in reality, just become about something else). They aren’t creating dashboards for people who won’t use them, or thousands of filters to accommodate every need since people have more power to create the reports they really need. The scenes they describe prove that the small shift from the dashboard to the notebook can have a dramatic impact on the way your team utilizes data.
Ready to tackle your current data measuring symptoms and give them a little upgrade? Contact the team at UXAX today to get started.