Now that we’ve outlined the must-dos of dashboards, here is a quick list of common mistakes to avoid: 1. Starting off with too much complexity It’s easy to get overly ambitious and want to provide highly detailed, real-time dashboards that cover every business challenge and offers users lots of drill-down options. Don’t spend weeks or months coming up with a “perfect” dashboard. Instead, work in short cycles of prototype, test, and adjust. 2. Using metrics no one understands The way you show and label metrics might make sense to you, but are they meaningful to others? Your metrics can be so familiar to you that you don’t take the step to validate them with others. Make sure your metrics not only support the objectives of the dashboard, but also make sense to the audience that will encounter it. 3. Cluttering the dashboard with low-value graphics and widgets Resist the temptation to make your dashboard too flashy or over-designed with gauge-like graphics and widgets. As pretty as those may seem, they get in the way of your dashboard’s objective: rapidly and easily informing your audience. Keep your dashboard simple in its visual appeal. 4. Waiting for complex technology and big business intelligence deployment projects Traditional business intelligence implementations often take much longer than originally anticipated. Waiting for a traditional BI project to materialize may mean months or years of delay. Use applications that help you build and distribute dashboards quickly. 5. Underestimating the need to maintain the dashboard Rolling out a dashboard is not a once-and-done exercise. If you don’t check in with your audience to validate the metrics are relevant and the data is updated, it won’t get used. Make sure you’re validating the usefulness of your dashboard on a regular basis.