Data Visualization Toolkit: Dashboards Tools

Dashboard icon

A dashboard is useful for displaying timely information on key variables that can be seen on one page or screen. A dashboard connects the viewer to the information, and when that information changes so does the dashboard; this time delay can be seconds, every quarter, or yearly, but you shouldn’t have to create a new dashboard when you need updated information. Dashboards can include information on one child, one school/program, an entire system, or a combination, and they are useful for measuring progress.

Dashboards Tools

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel, one of the most widely used platforms for analyzing and charting data, can also be used to develop data dashboards. You can create the dashboard in Excel, linked to a spreadsheet with the selected data for the dashboard. If you design the data spreadsheet to allow for data updates, you will be able to automatically update the dashboard as you update the data.

Web-based Applications

Several web-based applications generate dashboards, such as Salesforce, Dundas, SAP, and IBM among various others. For example, iDashboard uses data from Excel, SQL, Salesforce, Google and other data warehouses to generate dashboards. Here is an example iDashboard that uses K-12 school district data.

For an analysis on how these several applications can help your organization develop dashboards, the Business Intelligence Software has a web-based tool to compare applications (Note that you can sort the organizations based on their application to areas of education, healthcare, or social services by selecting the appropriate “industry” found in the dropdown search option.)


See Interactive Displays Section

Suggest Additional Tools or Resources

Are there additional dashboard tools or resources that you use to present data effectively? Suggest tools or resources for inclusion in the toolkit.