Like the dashboard of a car, application dashboards offer the opportunity to get a sense quickly of everything happening in one centralized place, with up-to-date information presented in an easily digestible format. Dashboards are often composed of key figures, charts and tables. If your organization uses SharePoint, dashboards can be useful to leaders, departments and individuals. This article walks you through making the most of SharePoint with some valuable SharePoint dashboard ideas.
Decide on Intent
What do you need your dashboard to do? If you’re new to dashboards, this may not be such an easy question to answer. However, setting an intent for a dashboard should be your first step, and a good place to start is by thinking about all of the information that you need to keep a close pulse on. Make a list. The idea is to save you time and effort spent fetching the individual pieces of information. Some pieces of information that can help inform your efforts include:
- SharePoint adoption numbers so you can identify and onboard inactive users
- Top pages and other content getting the most and least traffic
- Seeing what users are searching for so you can enhance the user experience
- Inactive content so you can make better use of it
- Seeing who is a recurring user vs who is going online just once and never again or very sporadically
Consider why the key information you identified is important and how it might be distilled into key nuggets of data that can be represented visually. Also, consider who will be using the dashboard, as this will impact how you create it. You can display any type of dashboard inside of a SharePoint page. More specifically, you can see how many people have visited the SharePoint site, how many times they have logged on, and what files have gotten the most views — all potentially great information for a dashboard. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way within SharePoint to compare key performance indicators to one another, which makes it a long and painful process for internal communications teams to fetch the needed data item per item and then try to view it side by side.
Turn Ideas Into Dashboard Components
Dashboards are only as good as the data behind the individual components. Without data, a dashboard is just useless eye candy. If your goal is to maximize the effectiveness of your internal communication efforts, a tool like Tryane provides a powerful solution for understanding what’s happening under the hood, including things like
- Who your active or inactive users are
- Which departments are most active or inactive
- Tracking communication-related deliverables
- Analyzing your users’ behavior on SharePoint
Fortunately, Tryane integrates seamlessly with SharePoint to deliver this functionality. Not only that, but it also works well with other Microsoft products, allowing you to pull in data from Excel and other applications. So the question becomes: How can you turn those kinds of analytics into actionable dashboard items?
- Display important reports with customized views. Put important reports at your fingertips so you don’t have to go digging each time you need them. You can use File Viewer in Web Part to accomplish this.
- Track progress on key performance indicators. This presents the perfect opportunity to add some graphs and charts to your dashboard to easily understand progress on KPIs. Because SharePoint is made to integrate with other applications, you can bring in charts and tables from other programs. File Viewer does the trick, as does Quick Chart Web Part. Alternately, you can just embed some code if you have the tech knowledge to do so.
- Perform project tracking and reporting. A simple status indicator illustrates performance information for your chosen metric. If your position involves project management work, this is a must-have and will greatly simplify your life.
- Automate status reports with alerts. We all get too busy sometimes, and it can be difficult to keep on top of what is coming due or what we should be keeping our eyes on. A SharePoint dashboard can be set up to provide alerts for upcoming tasks or deliverables, ensuring that important deadlines never go unnoticed.
Setting up a working SharePoint metrics dashboard may seem like a time-consuming and daunting task. While it may prove to be both of those things for someone who is not technologically inclined, it’s likely that your organization has a department or person who can make easy work out of dashboard creation. The key, of course, is to provide detailed direction regarding what you need your data to do and what each piece of your dashboard should connect to.
With Tryane Analytics for SharePoint powering your data, a new, high-functionality dashboard can help you easily keep an eye on all of the important information impacting your job. You might just be surprised at just how well Tryane and SharePoint work together. Contact Tryane today to learn more about how it can help you make the most out of SharePoint.