5 Types of Dashboards

A dashboard, according to the Big Book of Dashboards, is a visual display of data used to monitor conditions and/or facilitate understanding

However, the visual display of a dashboard can vary significantly depending on what conditions you want to monitor and for who you're trying to facilitate understanding. The type of dashboard you need depends on a number of factors including who will use it, how it will be used, how often, and in what medium. Some dashboards are simple and explanatory meant to be viewed quickly without much context. Other dashboards are very detailed and complex meant to be explored. 

In my experience, there are generally five types of dashboards:


This article provides an overview of each type of dashboard, when to use each, and why. Click each image for an interactive, downloadable version in Tableau using SuperStore Sales data. Every dashboard does not fit neatly into of these types. But by grouping them this way I hope to emphasize the importance of considering the audience, use case, update frequency, and delivery mechanism for each dashboard you create.

Samuel L Jackson

Color Coded Tooltips

With viz in tooltips it is easy now to have color coded tooltips that match your legend. This reinforces the pre-attentive attribute and makes it easier to read.

Simply create a heatmap with the discrete variable (region in this case) as the color. And insert the viz in the tooltip. Remove the rest of the tooltip text.

2018 Blue Wave

Stan Lee Cameos

Built in Tableau using the new transparent sheets feature. The visualization was built in Tableau, drawn in ProCreate and then brought back into Tableau. Then a transparent chart is overlaid on top of the image.


Data sources: Box Office Mojo and Wikipedia.
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