Your business intelligence dashboard serves several people, including employees, executives, and vendors. Therefore, you must spend adequate time in designing a dashboard that is intuitive to use and serves the purpose quickly and efficiently. Color choice is critical when it comes to creating business intelligence (BI) dashboards.
Why Does Color Scheme Matter?
A BI dashboard helps its users identify trends so that they can take action based on the data that they are absorbing. When appropriately used, color can enhance, clarify, and add insight to dashboard visualization. However, when misused, color can hamper understanding and distract the user from taking the right action. Therefore, you need to take the time to understand that the design that you are choosing is helping the user and not obscuring any data.
Patterns Should Stand Out
When you design your business intelligence dashboard, it should not only be aesthetic but should also inform your users about critical aspects of your data. For instance, you could use different color schemes to encode quantity, indicate groupings, and create a contrast so that critical data is highlighted and grabs attention. You could use either sequential or diverging color schemes to encode quantity.
Use Color to Represent Qualitative Data
You could also use color to represent qualitative data in addition to quantitative data. When representing qualitative data with color, values must be mapped to colors in such a way that the data is represented faithfully. You also need to ensure that each color stands out from the other and is not merely a different shade.
Depict Groupings with Color Schemes
If you need to group specific data together, you could use color schemes to create these groupings on your BI dashboard. As long the colors are distinct from one another, the user of your business intelligence dashboard will get the message immediately and will be able to perform his job quickly and efficiently. If you are not sure of your color schemes, you can conduct some usability testing with focus groups and make any modifications if necessary.
Data visualization is a critical aspect of business intelligence. We all recognize the aesthetic role that color plays in data visualizations, but we sometimes may not understand the power it plays in communicating important data. The power of color scheme as a communication tool in a BI dashboard should not be overlooked. Leverage proper color schemes to design your dashboards and make them useful and meaningful.