Building World-class Business Dashboards - Full Day - Marketing Analytics Summit
Wednesday, June 5, 2024
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

South Mountain

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Building World-class Business Dashboards – Full Day

During this one day workshop, attendees will learn fundamental principles around the design and development of user-centered dashboards to delight and inform users.

The session will blend principles from UX, user-centered design, agile software methods, and data visualization design best practices with a tool-agnostic approach that will leave attendees with immediately applicable techniques they can apply in their work.

  • Understanding your users: Exploring the UX frameworks and assets for understanding who your audience is, how they will use the dashboard, and how that influences your design decisions. We’ll think through the ways dashboards are really analytical products that can borrow from some of the methods used in agile software development to develop and maintain new software products.

  • Dashboard Layouts: Identify how to structure and layout dashboards to enable data exploration, following the broad principles from Ben Shneiderman around big picture first, zoom and filter, then details on demand, and considering. We’ll distinguish between the use of dashboarding tools to develop visuals for story-finding (exploration) and storytelling (explanation).

  • Charts for Dashboards: Explore different types of charts used to address common analytical needs, including tracking KPIs, making comparisons, visualizing time, part to whole comparisons, and exploring underlying distributions in data.

  • Fine-tuning and Formatting – Learn how to apply design principles and best practices to dashboard design, moving beyond the design defaults and making purposeful decisions in decluttering, creating meaningful groups/white space, the use of color, and the use of text.

  • Common conundrums and considerations: During the final part of the day, we’ll talk about common challenges dashboard developers face throughout the process of developing and launching a new dashboard, managing expectations around enhancements, and serving the needs of many audiences. We’ll talk through your questions, including questions about dashboard tech stacks, tools, and recommended resources to continue the learning journey.

Throughout the session, we’ll move between microlectures, Q&A about your specific interests and use cases, and hands on practice wireframing a dashboard for an illustrative user persona.

Note: Instruction and examples focus on general best practices and are not tool specific. You do not need to bring a computer. Just bring whatever you like to use to take notes.



Amanda Makulec has worked with global health programs, community organizations, private sector corporations, and federal agencies to design and teach others how to create effective data visualizations for nearly fifteen years, with a focus on visualizing data responsibly. She has helped establish processes and standards to develop user-friendly reporting ecosystems with a focus on integrating human-centered design, UX, and agile methods into dashboard development. She co-hosts the popular Chart Chat podcast with the authors of The Big Book of Dashboards and is currently working with her co-hosts on a new book, Dashboards that Deliver, being published by Wiley in 2025. Amanda volunteers as the Executive Director of the global Data Visualization Society and teaches data visualization as an adjunct at the Maryland Institute College.


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