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Dashboards: Should You Customize?

Sep 07, 2022

Dashboards-Should-You-Customize

Your business churns out an overwhelming amount of data daily.  

Can you make sense of it all? Can you maximize its potential value to your organization? Without the tools to harness and organize it, you limit your ability to use it.  

Visualizations help you make sense of data by converting it into at-a-glance insights your leaders need for effective decisions.  

Dashboards are invaluable for several reasons. They include: 

  • making complex data easy to interpret and understand at a glance. 
  • Providing up-to-date, real-time information for instant progress tracking and monitoring. 
  • Saving time and resources by eliminating reliance on IT to format and run reports. 
  • Instant access for info-sharing and quick data-informed decisions and action.  

We don’t need to convince you. It’s clear that visualizations are a must-have in a data-reliant environment. The question remains: should you customize or buy out-of-the-box?  

Out of the box  

Off-the-shelf dashboards cater to the grab-and-go culture that demands convenience. We are conscious about time and how that translates into dollars and cents in the bottom line. So, when cost savings are prioritized, the guiding principle becomes “the faster, the better.” 

These dashboards come with standard industry or business line KPIs already built-in.  

It’s easy to see why they may be the go-to solution for some.  

Faster Deployment 

Who doesn’t want to save time? Once you implement it, you’ll want to start immediately. 

Out-of-the-box is synonymous with “quick and easy.” They’re designed to get you up and running with little training or effort. Save your time and energy for more pressing and complex tasks. 

With pre-built reports and KPIs by industry, department, or role, such as Sales and CRM. 

Reduced Cost  

Yet one size doesn’t fit all. There are limitations because it is impossible to cater to the demands of every business. Prebuilt dashboards may not serve the unique functionality needs of your business. 

For starters, they break one of the fundamental rules of dashboard design—keep the specific user in mind. Going this route may risk not having all the relevant data for the whole picture.   

The Case for Customization  

The main advantages of off-the-shelf dashboards revolve around time and cost savings. But these aren’t the only considerations. What if you have other priorities that trump those?  

You may find that the benefits of customization provide a total ROI that drives more value. It empowers the organization in many ways.  

User-Centric Design 

Dashboards are a way of visualizing data that provides actionable insights.  The communication and understanding of those insights can be subjective and dependent on the viewer. 

  • What are their expectations? 
  • What’s important to them? 
  • What’s their level of understanding? 
  • If visualizations are languages, what language do they speak or understand? 
  • What’s their area of specialty?  

Personalization

Role-specific views cater to the unique requirements of executives, managers, and supervisors. That means immediate impact that gets to the heart of what is relevant.  

Show the right people the right data, and it will deliver insights at a glance. No frills, just straightforward info they need to make timely decisions.   

Customization 

 helps you meet the unique needs of your business in a way off-the-shelf can’t. You have complete control over the look and feel. A good designer will know exactly what visualizations are best for your users and your business. And if the aesthetics matter to you, bespoke dashboards will satisfy that need.  

Integration 

A greater level of data integration is possible. Integrate data from multiple systems and applications. Perform more expansive data processing with the power of your IT infrastructure. 

Flexibility 

Greater overall flexibility to do whatever you want with data.   

The choice of whether to customize comes down to your priorities and unique needs. We hope we’ve helped you make the right decision. 

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About Pixentia

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.  

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