Dashboard and Report Design

Are you making these five classic dashboard design mistakes?

By Bernie | September 19, 2018

Mistake 1: Using pie charts (or their trendy cousin) Pie charts get used a lot more than they should. The main reasons for this seem to be… They are easy to understand (good reason) You can make 2 data points look impressive and take up a lot of dashboard space (bad reason) They look a…

The worst Excel user ever?

By Bernie | September 4, 2018

At the start of my career, I worked with someone who used to moan ALL the time about how terrible Excel was. After weeks of complaints, I decided to see if I could help, just to stop the complaining. I sat down next to him and quickly discovered he was using the ‘shapes and lines’…

cartoon person reading report

Choosing the best reporting tool for your KPIs

By Bernie | January 4, 2018

The chances are your preferred tool for managing your KPIs will be a spreadsheet. Whilst spreadsheets are a good solution for many, it’s worth remembering that there are alternative options for recording, displaying and managing performance data. For certain situations, one of these alternatives may be the best reporting tool for your organisation. Here’s a…

Free Excel Dashboard Templates

By Bernie | July 8, 2016

Building dashboards is something many of us have to do on a regular basis. Designing dashboards is often a gut-feel exercise. Are you are fed up with debates about which colours to use, how much data to put on a graph and when to use colour? The good new is that there are research-based principles that give…

Tin of spam. Holds the key to report engagement

Report Engagement, 10 essential lessons from spam email

By Bernie | March 25, 2016

I hate spam, so I am reading a book on marketing emails (Email Marketing Rules: A Step by Step Guide to the Best Practices that Power Marketing Success by Chad White) to figure out how to create engaging emails that people actually want to read and open. Reading the list I realised these rules hold…

Four out of five score on blackboard

Assessing Report Design Objectively – Avoiding Fights

By Bernie | October 28, 2014

There are three situations where it can be a good idea to have a structured review of your reports and dashboards… If some of your team are in denial about the need to change existing reports You want some clear ideas on what needs to be included in improved dashboards or reports You have an…

BlinkReporting

By Bernie | November 19, 2013

Who is this workbook for?  BlinkReporting is for you if you: – Need to produce or revise dashboards and reports – Find your current reports and dashboards confusing – Are frustrated by the length, complexity and structure of your existing reports – Have many different styles of dashboards and reports in use and want to…

Improved KPI reports by understanding thumbs

By Bernie | May 29, 2013

There’s a very interesting article in the Guardian on mobile software design for the real world. One of the points they make is, through watching phone users, the authors of Polar have established that 49% of users drive their phone apps with just one thumb. This is interesting to the app designers for all kinds…

Charts that are clearer- creating a BlinkChart: Step 1 in the BlinkReporting Process

By Bernie | January 26, 2013

Here’s a quick overview of how to create clearer charts by stripping out the clutter from an Excel 2010 default column chart. This is the first step in the BlinkReporting process. I’ll be adding the next steps over the next week or two.

Using 5S to improve report and dashboard design

By Bernie | January 22, 2013

5S is a tool that lots of manufacturing businesses use. It’s a funny tool as it can look quite superficial unless you have been involved in a project where it has been applied properly. What people often miss is the mindset that goes along with it. When you start living and breathing 5S some quite…