5 Tips for Anaplan Dashboard Success

Dashboards are a hot topic these days, regardless of the technology being used. A dashboard in Anaplan is a bit different than other tools - it's really the central hub within an application, and what most people will see and use on a regular basis. They can be customized with navigation, areas for input, graphs, charts, and more. However, it is easy to build a dashboard that is cluttered, unclear, or just overwhelming. Here are our top 5 tips to create efficient and meaningful dashboards in Anaplan:

1. Know Your Audience

Every dashboard will be used by someone, and that someone is there for a specific purpose. If your dashboard aims to fit that purpose, it will be meaningful.

For example, build a dashboard for cost center controllers that includes cost center-level expense input and reporting/graphs. Don’t build a dashboard that has low-level input modules and executive high-level reporting – these objects are for two different users, and this will only serve to confuse people.

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2. Provide Instructions

A dashboard may not be as intuitive as you think it is, and not including a set of instructions can cause confusion or lead to inaccurate data. Add a text area and use the formatting that is specifically for instructions – yes, it is important enough that they provided a specific format. In the text area, define the purpose of the dashboard and how it should be used, giving step-by-step detail, if needed.

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3. Scrolling – Less is More

It doesn’t really need to be said that people don’t like to scroll down a page. Therefore, the more concise you can make the dashboard the better. That is not to say skimping on content is better than a long dashboard; it is a balance. Try your best to fit content between one and three vertical lengths of screen.

Here’s an extra tip: Modules that show the full year for reporting purposes can be shortened to only show quarters, giving you more room for other objects.

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4. Make Use of Graphs – But Don’t Overdo It

This one is a no-brainer – too many graphs on a dashboard is just clutter. Only use graphs that are meaningful to the person using the dashboard. Mixing meaningful with useless graphs is just making the user work more to get the information that they need – see the tip about scrolling above.

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5. Incorporate Dashboard Buttons

Dashboard buttons allow you to quickly toggle from one dashboard over to another, saving you the effort of finding it elsewhere and breaking up your workflow. This can be especially useful for executive level dashboards. For example, on a summary dashboard showing the P&L, buttons can be added to flip to a dashboard with a more-detailed breakdown of the data that wouldn’t be appropriate at a summary level.

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Bonus Tip: Build a Dashboard of Action Buttons

Whether you are a system administrator or an end user, putting frequently used or common actions in one place is a great way to increase the efficiency of any process.

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At Platform Specialists, we pride ourselves on creating meaningful and efficient solutions. Want to learn even more ways to improve your Anaplan applications? Contact us today!