Seeking Examples of the Best Dashboards To Date

During the next few months I’ll be writing a new edition of my book Information Dashboard Design. When I wrote the first edition, which was published in 2006, I could not find any examples of well-designed dashboards to include in the book. The few that do appear in it, I created myself to illustrate best practices. Also at the time, no software existed that could easily support all of the dashboard design practices that I taught in the book. Today, several products can be used to create well-designed dashboards and fine examples can now be found on the Web.

I’ll be adding a great deal of content to the second edition of the book, including a number of well-designed dashboards. I don’t want to limit my search for examples to those that can be found on the Web, however. You can help me with this. If you’ve created one or more dashboards that in your opinion are well designed, I’d love to see them. Your work could be featured in the book.

To be clear, I define a dashboard as a computer-based display of information that is used to monitor what’s going on. It is not a display that people use to explore and analyze data. The assumption is that an identified set of information must be monitored to do a particular job and the dashboard displays it in a way that can be used to rapidly update one’s situation awareness on a frequent basis (e.g., daily or perhaps more frequently, such as in real time).

If you have a dashboard to share, please send me a high-resolution screen print of it in the form of an image file (jpg, png, tiff, bmp, pdf, eps, etc.). You’re welcome to provide a description of the dashboard and its use as well. If I need any more information from you, I’ll email you to ask. Please keep in mind that by sending me an example, you are granting me permission to display it on this website and in my book. Please email submissions to info@perceptualedge.com.

If you’re an expert dashboard designer, but can’t share any of the work that you’ve created for publication, I’ll be announcing another opportunity next week that might interest you. A few years ago I judged a dashboard design competition for DM Review magazine. I included several examples of submissions by contestants in the first edition of Information Dashboard Design. I provided contestants with information for a sales dashboard in an Excel file and they were allowed to use whatever tool they had to design a dashboard to display it. Reviewing several examples of dashboards that were all designed for the same purpose and based on the same data turned out to be informative. So much so, I’m going to do this again to generate examples that I’ll include in the book’s second edition. This time the content won’t involve sales. I’m currently in the process of putting the pieces in place for the competition, which I’ll announce in a few days. Stay tuned.

Take care,

9 Comments on “Seeking Examples of the Best Dashboards To Date”


By Scott Eaton. July 5th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I really enjoyed the first edition. It helped guide the standards that were used at my previous employer. I am hoping to introduce those standards to my current employer once we have a dashboard vendor selected. I look forward to the second edition and the new content that will be added. Again, keep up the good work.

By Andreas J.A. (Xeradox). July 10th, 2012 at 11:27 am

I am looking forward to it, I might submit some dashboards myself. What is the worst that can happen? Well, Stephen could say No and maybe throw in some good advice on top of it , -)

By Scott Eaton. July 11th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Stephen,

I know you are getting ready to start writing it. When do you think it will be available for purchase? My current employer will purchase and we will give this book to our business users to read as a guide on how to create dashboards.

By Richard. July 11th, 2012 at 7:32 am

I read this post and I am intrigued. I read your book on Dashboards and I did notice there were few examples of how to do it right. I essentially figured the book was pointing out that software at the time could not provide a good example. I took it from the perspective this is not what to do. I really learned a lot from the website here, especially from the “Examples” page and I hope something like that makes into your book.
I also have made a dashboard and I may submit one as well. I am no expert by any means but it will be fun to try.

By Stephen Few. July 11th, 2012 at 8:14 am

Richard,

Based on my recent experience with the second edition of Show Me the Numbers, I expect the new edition of Information Dashboard Design to become available by around April of 2013.

By Angela. July 20th, 2012 at 11:05 am

Hi Stephen,

I’m very interested in entering the dashboard design competition you mention in your post above. Do you know when you’ll be posting the competition info? Or have I somehow missed the annoucement?

Cheers.

By Stephen Few. July 20th, 2012 at 11:09 am

Not to worry, Angela. My timeline was overly optimistic. I’m preparing the data for the competition, which should be ready in two weeks from now. I’ll be on vacation next week, otherwise it would happen sooner.

By Matt. July 28th, 2012 at 5:32 am

Hi Stephen,

Is there a deadline for submitting an existing dashboard example?

By Stephen Few. July 29th, 2012 at 9:13 am

Hi Matt,

I’ll continue to accept dashboards for possible inclusion in the book at least until the end of August.