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6 free dashboards to analyze your data

A study by Aberdeen Group shows that with a dashboard, 48% of business leaders find important information themselves, without the help of an employee. 74% of them can quickly make strategic decisions at the best time. A real time and productivity saver!

The implementation of a dashboard facilitates data visualization (or visualization of your data) using diagrams, graphs, maps, icons... Via a simple graphical interface, you can have a precise and deep understanding of the state of health of your business and progress towards your goals.

Want to know how to build a dashboard that makes data visualization easy? Discover our advice in this article, as well as 6 tools to create effective dashboards!

6 free dashboards to analyze your data
6 free dashboards to analyze your data


The dashboard, the visual representation of your performance

First of all, let's see together the concept of dashboard, or dashboard in French. This tool aims to track and present all of your company's Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in one place. This allows you to monitor the health of your activity, a service or a specific process.

Indeed, to be fully effective, we advise you to divide it by department or objective: marketing, finance, HR, sales management, etc.

The dashboard uses data visualization to simplify complex datasets. Instead of reviewing the columns or rows of a spreadsheet, you can directly analyze your data through a table, graph or charts.

To do this, the dashboard brings together data from various sources. It connects to your files (an Excel spreadsheet, for example), your attachments, and your tools (like a CRM or marketing automation platform).

It is therefore fully customizable to meet your needs and help you achieve your business goals. You can therefore choose the data to display, as well as the model to use to visualize the figures.


Why is the dashboard important?

The dashboard is a valuable tool for planned, data-driven decision making. These are transformed into actionable information and reports that are easy to read, preventing misinterpretations and saving time.

Although it can be used for many purposes, the primary purpose of the dashboard is to provide you with complete visibility of your activity. You know, at all times, what is happening in your business, what works or not.

For example, your sales dashboard can show you exactly the volume of sales since the beginning of the year, the number of opportunities missed or, on the contrary, which generated conversions, the number of appointments made by salespeople, etc. You quickly detect the efficiency of your sales force and any points of friction to be corrected (for example, if the number of calls that do not lead to an appointment is higher than usual, there is surely corrections to be made).


Other benefits include:

  1. The ability to identify trends
  2. An easy way to measure the effectiveness of your services
  3. The ability to generate detailed reports with a single click
  4. The ability to make more informed decisions


The different types of dashboards

Whether it is Business Intelligence, Marketing, Sales or Finance, dashboards can be classified into 3 categories:

The operational dashboard

Generally used by production plants, the operational dashboard offers a complete and instantaneous overview of performance related to the day's operations. The data it contains is updated in real time.

The strategic dashboard

This type of dashboard is used to align departmental performance with overall business strategy. It is used to look at performance data from the last quarter, for example, and compare it to the current period.

Data in strategic dashboards is static for a given period and is updated less frequently than operational dashboards.

The analytics dashboard

An analytics dashboard contains a large amount of data created and intended for executives. It provides the business with a complete overview of performance, is used to identify trends, compare data and create predictions and targets.


Understand the data visualization used in a dashboard

Simply put, data visualization is a graphical representation of data. It presents these as an image or graph to help identify patterns and understand difficult concepts.

With technology, you can make data visualization interactive by creating dashboards that users can click on to see more details, for example.


The benefits of data visualization

Data visualization remains an effective way to universally share complex concepts. Why ?

  1. Visuals are more effective than text: "a picture is worth a thousand words", it's well known!
  2. Charts and graphs convey information faster than a large spreadsheet or report: especially when you consider that, on average, companies use 400 data sources managed in 6 different tools (according to IDC and Gartner).
  3. Visual metaphors are a universal language: if you work with different nationalities, everyone will have the same understanding of the information.


Techniques used in data visualization

To present the data in the dashboards, several techniques are used such as line graphs, diagrams, maps… Everything will depend on your needs.

Line charts show you results at time T, but can also help you compare time periods. The charts show distributions, while the maps show trends. The key is to find the model that will best transcribe the information necessary for your decisions.

The key to choosing the right dashboard format is to ask yourself these questions before editing each graph:


  1. What data should be highlighted?
  2. Do I need to compare it to another? If yes which one ?
  3. For whom should the information be presented?

This last question is essential, because employees do not all need the same level of information. While a manager may be satisfied with global KPIs on the revenue generated, the sales manager will surely want to know the performance of each point of sale or each salesperson.


6 dashboard tools to use to analyze your data

To create your dashboards and improve the management of your business, there are complete tools for creating visual dashboards. Overview of our 6 favorite tools!


Free dashboard tools

Let's start with the free tools to format your dashboards.


1. GoogleCharts

Cloud-based GoogleCharts service lets you create line graphs, maps, and charts to display your key data in a clear and understandable way.

Dynamic, it allows you to obtain information in real time. Which is practical for making quick and informed decisions.

Finally, Google Charts presents a library of charts to draw from to best present your data. Each model can be fully customized to your needs.


2. Metabase

An advanced data visualization tool, Metabase allows you to build tailor-made dashboards. Equipped with collaborative functions, it allows all members of your team to create, share and organize data. Perfect for monitoring the performance of your various services.

You can connect it to almost all your data sources: Google Analytics, Apache servers, SQL database, cloud platform…


3. Dashbuilder

Whether you want to create static or dynamic dashboards, with real-time data, you can use Dashbuilder ! Working with Java, it offers you the possibility of extracting information from your tables, your text files and your databases.

You can start from existing models or create your own graphics, from A to Z.


Paid dashboards

For more advanced functionality, we recommend these dashboard builder tools.


4. Tableau

With Tableau , you automatically refresh your dashboard with data from apps like Google Analytics or Salesforce (which is the creator of this tool, by the way).

Its advantage? Offer levels to users: creator, explorer or spectator. Thus, you can collaborate on dashboards, but also share them with external teams, partners and customers.

  • Price: $42 user/month (billed annually)


5. Klipfolio

A cloud-based application, Klipfolio makes it possible to create and share dashboards, updated in real time, on the web, via television screens and on mobile devices. It connects to over 100 apps like Twitter, Moz, Pingdom, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Instagram, Xero, etc.

The particularity of Klipfolio? You can create your own formulas, to cross-reference data, and generate dashboards that fully meet your needs.

  • Price: From $24 / 5 users


6. Datapine

Datapine lets you view and monitor your most relevant KPIs in one place. A really powerful tool, it offers advanced analyses, using personalized formulas based on your activities.

You can also schedule automated reports to save time and build interactive dashboards.

Another interesting point in this tool: thanks to artificial intelligence, Datapine detects trends, to eliminate guesswork in your business decisions.

  • Pricing: Starting at $249 per month + $55 per user/month


Our tip for creating dashboards

Dashboards play an important role in the growth of a particular company or department. However, collecting data and creating dashboards remain time-consuming tasks. The secret ? Automation! By automating your reports, you benefit from constantly up-to-date information to better manage your activity.




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