Business Intelligence Dashboard

What is a BI dashboard, best practices, and examples.

Screenshots demonstrating a rich Qlik Sense dashboard on both desktop and mobile devices

BI Dashboard Guide

This guide provides examples and practical advice to help you create a best-in-class BI dashboard of your own.

  1. What is a BI Dashboard?
  2. BI Dashboard Benefits
  3. How to Create a BI Dashboard
  4. Examples by Job Function
  5. BI Dashboard Software Capabilities
  6. Analyst Perspectives

What is a BI Dashboard?

A BI dashboard is a business intelligence tool which allows users to track, analyze and report on key performance indicators and other metrics. BI dashboards typically visualize data in charts, graphs and maps which helps stakeholders understand, share and collaborate on the information.

The best business intelligence dashboards make it easy to combine data from a variety of sources and to explore and analyze this data directly within the dashboard itself.

More resources:

Learn how to design world-class dashboards.

BI Dashboard Benefits

The main benefit of BI dashboards is to help organizations answer questions and uncover insights that help them make smarter, data-driven decisions.

Transform raw data into business insights
Illustration showing how the Qlik data analytics platform helps you turn raw data into insights by offering data integration to build a business-ready data catalog, and data analytics to explore, analyze and visualize data.

A true business intelligence dashboard turns raw data from multiple sources into actionable insights. This means that the dashboard must be built within an end-to-end solution that includes a data integration platform and a modern data analytics platform.

Improve data literacy

BI dashboards built on governed, trusted data allow all users across an organization to more easily understand and interact with data. This encourages a more data-driven culture at all levels of your business.

Help make your case

Simple but compelling data visualizations help you make your case for important initiatives and secure approval from decision makers.

How to Create a BI Dashboard

Here we discuss five key best practices toward creating a world-class business intelligence dashboard.

  1. Integrate your data. Long before you can create any dashboard, you’ll need to collect raw data and then turn it into clean, analytics-ready information. This means bringing together data from a variety of sources and performing data replication, ingestion and transformation to combine different types of data into standardized formats stored in a data lake or data warehouse.
  2. Define your goals. Make sure to clearly define the business objective you’re trying to analyze, measure and optimize. For example, are you trying to identify new geographical markets to enter or determine which stage of your marketing funnel needs the most attention.
  3. Keep visuals clean and simple. Tell a clear, compelling story with your data by keeping your visualizations clean and simple. Spend time up-front identifying the KPIs and relationships that really matter and then choose the graphs, charts, and maps that most directly present your story.
  4. Allow exploration and collaboration. Self-service BI allows anyone in your organization to dig into the dashboards and find insights of their own. The best tools offer an associative engine which allows users to freely explore all connections within the data rather than being limited to linear queries.
  5. Leverage AI. Modern BI dashboards incorporate augmented analytics, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to bolster human intuition by suggesting insights and analyses and allowing search and natural language interaction.

BI Dashboard Examples by Job Function

Below are six business intelligence dashboard examples for specific roles.

  • Screenshot of a Qlik Sense IT dashboard

    IT Dashboard

    IT managers need to better anticipate upcoming technology needs and identify underused systems and applications. Effective dashboards can also help them improve security, scalability and data governance.
  • Screenshot of a Qlik Sense Supply Chain dashboard

    Supply Chain

    Supply chain leaders use dashboards to keep a close eye on risks and immediately improve supply chain performance. An interactive digital dashboard can also streamline planning by presenting KPIs that help surface connections between disparate data sets.
  • Screenshot of a Qlik Sense Sales dashboard

    Sales

    Sales managers need to continually grow revenue, improve their forecasting, and watch for key trends. A well-organized BI dashboard allows them to quickly assess their KPIs and meet their goals.
  • Screenshot of a Qlik Sense Human Resources dashboard

    Human Resources

    This example shows high-level KPIs such as employees by role and location, plus data such as training progress and gender ratios. This allows HR leaders to quickly review and analyze critical KPIs in a single screen.
  • Screenshot of a Qlik Sense Marketing dashboard

    Marketing

    True BI dashboards combine data from many different sources, such as CRM, MAP, and web analytics. This helps marketing teams boost ROI by understanding each phase of the customer life cycle.
  • Screenshot of a Qlik Sense Finance dashboard

    Finance

    This example shows a simple but effective dashboard focused on break-even analysis. Finance teams also use dashboards to analyze procurement, contract and expense data, and find new ways to manage costs, control risk, and increase profits.

Build and share your own custom dashboard.

BI Dashboard Software Capabilities

A modern business intelligence tool makes it simple for you to produce custom, interactive business intelligence dashboards that go way beyond tracking KPIs and visualizing data. Here are five key capabilities to keep in mind as you evaluate BI dashboard software:

  • Easy Data Integration. A true BI dashboard tool is part of an end-to-end platform that includes both data integration and data analytics capabilities. This allows you to easily combine data sets from across your organization.
  • Full interactivity. All stakeholders should be able to easily explore and analyze data right from the dashboard itself.
  • Augmented analytics (AI). Today’s best dashboard software offers AI that suggests analyses for you to perform, and insights to gather from your data.
  • Fully functional mobile. You and your teams need to be able to work with your dashboards from anywhere at any time, with full touchscreen and interactive functionality.
  • Flexible cloud deployment. You should also be able to access and share your dashboards between on-premise and cloud analytics deployments. A flexible, multi-cloud architecture lets you scale your data while keeping governance and trust standards high.

Analyst Perspectives

Here are the latest analyst reports comparing BI dashboard software.

BARC: The BI & Analytics Survey 2021

See how top dashboard and analytics tools stack up in the world’s largest independent survey of BI users.

  • Image displaying the comparative matrix of BI vendors from the BARC BI & Analytics Survey 2021.
    Qlik Sense earned 11 number one category rankings including Dashboards and Customer Experience and 44 leadership positions.
  • Image displaying the comparative ranking of BI vendors for dashboards from the BARC BI & Analytics Survey 2021.
    93% of surveyed users rate Qlik Sense’s functionality for creating dashboards as excellent or good.

Want more dashboard examples?

Take data visualization to a whole new level with Qlik Sense.

Take your dashboards to a whole new level with Qlik

The ability to deliver flexible, best-in-class dashboards is just one way Qlik Sense® sets the benchmark for next-generation data analytics technologies. Our one-of-a-kind associative analytics engine and sophisticated AI empowers people at all skill levels to freely explore data, make bigger discoveries and uncover bolder insights they can’t find using other analytics tools. With Qlik, you can support nearly any use case and massively scale users and data, empowering everyone in your organization to make better decisions every day.

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