Business Dashboard Fundamentals

This course explains conceptually what makes a valuable business dashboard as well as shows concrete examples of how to create them using Microsoft Excel and Tableau Software (public)
Course info
Rating
(380)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Feb 20, 2014
Duration
3h 36m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Rating
(380)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Feb 20, 2014
Duration
3h 36m
Description

Business dashboards are the cornerstone of Business Intelligence deliverables in today's information economy. The better you can properly visualize and present data in dashboard form the more effective use of your companies data you can make. This course explains all the concepts behind why certain charts and dashboards stand out as more valuable than others and walks you through step-by-step how to build them using tools you already know and love, Microsoft Excel and Tableau Software's free version, Tableau Public.

About the author
About the author

I work as a feedback mechanism for organizations and teams to help them understand what’s going on with their products and processes. I do this by collecting and organizing their data, visually exploring it, enriching it with other data and metrics, then presenting my findings using creative information design techniques. This leads to improved business performance and often sparks a data-driven culture throughout my clients organizations.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Visual Perception
Hi, this is Ben Sullins and welcome to this course on Business Dashboard Fundamentals. In this course, we're going to start off talking about Visual Perception and how the human brain perceives things like; shape size, color, granularity and how to best present information. We'll then move on to Common Chart types. And we'll talk about the basics of which charts go with which types of data and which types of questions. We'll move on to Planning your Dashboard. Actually, some documentation and how to actually tease out the meaningful things that you want to show in your Dashboard so people can find them useful. We'll get into the Design of Dashboard itself. Actually laying the Dashboard out, looking at the different concepts behind design and which direction you should go depending on what type of analysis you're doing. And lastly, for the last two modules we'll talk about building some Dashboards in Excel and we'll talk about building Dashboards in Tableau. We'll use their free version called, Tableau Public so everybody here can do it whether or not you have a license for the full blown Tableau product. Alright, so let's get started here with Visual Perception. In this module we're going to go through an overview of some exercises about Visual Perception. We'll look at some Dashboard examples. We'll talk about why stats aren't enough. Why the numbers alone don't give us enough to really understand the data. We'll look at how to make data beautiful. And then we'll go through this Eliminating Chart Junk exercise, which is kind of a fun one where you can take a chart that's really junky, has lots of decorative features and turn it into something that's really clean and beautiful and let the data really shine through.

Common Charts
This is Ben Sullins from Pluralsight and I'm going to walk you through this module on Common Chart Types. We're in the second module of our course on Business Dashboard Fundamentals. Focusing on the different chart types that you should probably use when you build Dashboards. We'll get into you some basic stuff and we'll get into some advanced stuff too. First, we're going to talk about the basic Data Presentation Methods. The different ways that it makes since to really present data. Then we'll get into the different Chart Types. We'll look at how to choose a Chart Type. We'll talk about some Advanced Chart Types. And then we'll talk about some Chart types that you might want to avoid. So it's all about Chart Types here in this module.

Dashboard Planning
Hi, this is Ben Sullins from Pluralsight and in this module I'm going to walk you through planning out your dashboards. This is the third module on our course on Business Dashboard Fundamentals. And it starts with the Dashboard Development Process, the cycle we go through when actually building these things. Talk about the Request Process, how we can set it up so users can give us the information we need to start actually developing on something. How to Prioritize the different dashboard requests we get. And then the Documentation that we can use to actually help keep track of all these things we get coming in.

Dashboard Design
Hi, this is Ben Sullins with Pluralsight and I'm ready to walk you through this module on Dashboard Design. This is the fourth module in our course on Business Dashboard Fundamentals. And one of the key ones that really helps us understand how to layout our content to have the largest impact for our users. We'll start with some Design Considerations. What are the different things that we need to think about in design in general? And that helps us frame the discussion around what specific to deliver to our end users. We'll talk about knowing your audience. This really is a key part of developing something meaningful is understanding who your audience is? What they're looking for? And what types of interactions that they typically are used to. We'll go through an exercise on Choosing the Right Data. What types of data do you want for what types of analysis? And lastly we'll get into Dashboard Layout.

Building Dashboards in Excel Part 1 - Working with Data
This is Ben Sullins with Pluralsight, and in this module we're going to talk about Building Dashboards in Excel. I split this into two parts, the first focused on working with our data, the next part will be focused on visualizing our data. This is the fifth module in our course and this is where we get into the practical examples of actually building dashboards in Excel. We're going to start by looking at how to acquire data. Probably a lot of our data already comes ready to work within Excel, but Excel also has some built in capabilities for us to pull in additional data sources for our analysis. Then we'll look at how to massage the data. This is how we can add some context to it, maybe create some calculations in different hierarchies and flavors of the data, all things that we can use to prepare the data for easy analysis when it comes time to visualize it. Let's get started.

Building Dashboards in Excel Part 2 - Visualizing Data
I'm Ben with Pluralsight, and in this module I'm going to talk about visualizing your data. This is the second part of the module on Building Dashboards in Excel, which is in the practical side of this course when we get into the actual functional aspects of building these things in Excel and delivering them to our end users. We're going to start by looking at how to build charts, some of the different chart options that Excel gives you, some of the things that we can do to actually format those better and get them ready for presentation, show you how to pull those together in dashboard style so you have single page view with many different charts on it giving you a high level view of the questions or the process that you're trying to analyze. And then I'll show you how to build the detailed versions of those dashboards where you have scorecards showing the individual pieces that summarize to make up the data you see on the dashboard. And lastly we'll talk about how to distribute your dashboards, how to protect your workbooks and kind of protect the users from themselves so that way they don't mess anything up when they're looking at the data. Let's get started.

Building Dashboards in Tableau Part 1- Working with Data
Ben Sullins from Pluralsight, and we're going to talk about Building Dashboards in Tableau in this module. We'll split this module into two parts. Part one is going to be working with data and part two is going to be visualizing your data. To check in with the course, we're in the last module here, the practical examples of actually building dashboards. We've just finished looking at building dashboards in Excel, now we're going to take a look at a new piece of software called Tableau, which allows the dashboard creation process to be a little bit more streamlined, as well as gives us some interesting ways of sharing our data on the web using their free service called Tableau Public. We're going to start by looking at getting set up. You have to download the software, install it, we'll look through how to do that. I'll show you how to connect to data. Using the free version, which we'll be using here, our choices are somewhat limited, but I will review those and talk about the additional ones if you were to purchase the full-blown software. And then I'll show you how to work with your data in Tableau. Tableau has a really robust metadata layer that allows us to do things like create hierarchies, create calculations, rename things, change data types, and convert our data set into something that's really easy to work with for analysis including all types of analysis, not just dashboarding. Let's get started.

Building Dashboards in Tableau Part 2 - Visualizing Data
This is Ben Sullins with Pluralsight, and in this module we're going to talk about Building Dashboards in Tableau. This is the second part of this module where we actually get into visualizing the data. This is the last module in the course, we've already went through all the conceptual stuff, the practical examples in Excel, as well as the practical examples now in Tableau. We're going to start by talking about building charts, the basics of visualizing your data in Tableau, different types of charts and different ways to visualize the data. Then we'll look at pulling all that together into a dashboard. A dashboard is merely a collection of charts with maybe some additional controls on them, and Tableau allows us some really interesting ways of doing this. We'll get into formatting. As I've mentioned before this is probably where you'll spend most of your time getting everything pixel-perfect so when the audience actually sees your dashboard for the first time their eyes are drawn exactly to the data you want and they can find the answer to their question as fast as possible. Lastly we'll talk about sharing work. Tableau offers many different ways to do this. In this case I'll actually show you an example of using their public service as a way to convert your workbook into something you can email around or just keep internally without having to actually buy the full-blown product. Let's get started.