Top 10 Dashboard Software Features of 2024

Dashboard software tools are digital platforms that are designed to consolidate data from various sources and visually represent them, presenting the data in an easily digestible format. These tools enable users to monitor key performance indicators, track metrics, and gain insights into their organization's performance.

Dashboard Software Diagram

They serve as a central hub for decision-makers, providing information to help data-driven decision-making, facilitate collaboration, and enhance overall productivity by simplifying complex data sets into visually intuitive displays.

1. Interactive Components

Dashboard software has different interactive components. The three features that the latest dashboard software tools typically have include drill-down, drill-across, and zoom.

Interactive Dashboard Example

Drill-down allows users to explore the data in more detail by clicking on a specific chart or table element. For example, users can drill down from a country level to a city level in a map visualization.

Let’s take the example of a web developer who wants to analyze the traffic and performance of their website. They have a dashboard that contains several charts and tables that show various metrics such as page views, bounce rate, average session duration, and conversions. They can use drill-down to see how these metrics vary by different dimensions, such as country, device, browser, etc.

To do this, they can use the drill-down feature of the dashboard software. Click on a specific element of the chart or table to explore the data in greater detail about the website's performance.

Drill-across feature of a dashboard tool allows users to compare the data across different dimensions or categories using filters or cross tabs. Users can drill across from sales by product to sales by region in a bar chart.

Drill-across is a useful feature that allows you to analyze your data from different perspectives and gain deeper insights into your business. It can help you answer questions such as:

  • Which region has the highest revenue and profit?
  • Which region has the lowest customer satisfaction and why
  • Which product or customer segment is driving the sales performance of each region?
  • How can you increase the revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction of each region?

You can use the drill-across feature to compare the metrics of different regions on the same chart or table. For example, you can drill across from the North American region to the Europe region and see how they differ in revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction. This way, you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of each region and take appropriate actions to improve your sales performance.

Zoom is another key feature of dashboard software that allows users to magnify a part of a chart or a table to see the data more clearly. For example, users can zoom in on a line chart to see the trends in a specific period.

It is a useful feature that allows you to explore your data in more depth and granularity. It can help you answer questions such as:

  • Which product category has the highest or lowest sales?
  • How does the sales performance vary by month or season?
  • Which region has the most or least demand for a certain product category?
  • How can you improve your sales strategy based on the data insights?

For example, suppose you have a dashboard that shows your company's sales performance by product category, month, and region. You want to see the details of a specific product category, such as electronics, in a particular month, such as January, and in a specific region, such as North America. You can use the zoom feature to focus on the data you are interested in and filter out the rest.

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2. Filtering

Another important feature of a dashboard tool is filtering. Most recent dashboard tools feature two types of filtering: global and focused.

Global filtering allows users to apply a filter to the entire dashboard and affect all the data visualizations in it. For example, users can filter the dashboard by a specific date range or a specific category. Global filtering is useful when users want to see the overall picture of the data and compare different aspects of it.

Filtering Example

Using the global filtering feature, you can easily identify trends and patterns in your data and find the best-performing or under-performing regions and products. You can also adjust the filter criteria as needed and see how the dashboard updates accordingly. This way, you can gain more insights from your data and make better decisions for your overall sales strategy.

Focused filtering allows users to apply a filter to a specific data visualization or a group of data visualizations in the dashboard. For example, users can filter a chart by a specific value or a range of values. Focused filtering is useful when users want to see the details of a particular segment of the data and analyze it more closely.

Using the focused filtering feature allows you to see the differences and similarities in your data and identify the best-performing segments and channels. The feature allows you to gain insights and optimize your region-wise email marketing strategy.

3. Charting Library & Widgets

A charting library and widgets feature of dashboard software is a feature that allows developers to create interactive and visually appealing charts and widgets for data visualization and analytics. These help you show KPIs (key performance indicators) in your dashboards. Charts and widgets are graphical elements that display data in various forms, such as line charts, bar charts, pie diagrams, maps, etc. These charts give users a better understanding of patterns, trends, and relationships in the data, helping them make informed decisions.

4. Responsive Design

Responsive design is a feature of a dashboard software tool that allows the dashboard to adapt to different screen sizes and devices. The design feature ensures that the dashboard is user-friendly, accessible, and consistent across various platforms, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This is done by automatically adjusting the dashboard's layout and content to fit the screen's size.

Responsive design is essential for dashboard software that aims to deliver high-quality data visualization and analytics to its users. It can improve the user experience, as users can access content that is appropriately adapted to any device. This feature is especially important for businesses with employees or customers who use various devices.

If you are looking for a dashboard software that has a responsive design, there are a few things you can do:

  • Read the software's documentation to see if it mentions responsive design.
  • Look for screenshots or videos of the software being used on different devices.
  • Ask the software vendor if the software has a responsive design.

Responsive design ensures that users have a consistent and intuitive experience, regardless of the device they are using. The text and images on the dashboard software are readable on all devices. What’s more, the buttons and other interactive elements of the software are easy to tap or click on.

5. Automated Schedules and Alerts

One of the most useful features of dashboard software is the automated schedules and alerts. The feature allows users to set up notifications based on certain conditions or thresholds. For example, a user can create an alert that will send an email or a message when the sales revenue exceeds a certain amount or when the inventory level falls below a minimum value. This way, users can stay informed of the changes in the data and take timely actions.

Scheduling Example

The automated schedules and alerts feature can help users schedule reports to be delivered at regular intervals, e.g., daily, weekly, or monthly. This can save time and effort for the user, as they do not have to manually generate and send the reports or dashboards. The user can also customize the format and content of the reports or dashboards, such as adding filters, charts, or tables. Scheduled reports or dashboards can be sent via email or published to a shared location, such as a website or a cloud service.

This feature of dashboard software tools can also improve the visibility and compliance of the data, as well as the efficiency and productivity of the user. Using automated schedules and alerts, users can monitor the performance and trends of the data, identify issues and opportunities, and communicate the results to the stakeholders, all without having to use the tool manually.

6. Device Cross-Compatibility

The device cross-compatibility feature of dashboard software is the ability of the software to display data and visualizations on different types of devices. This feature ensures that users can access and interact with the dashboard regardless of their operating systems. It also enhances the user experience and the accessibility of the dashboard.

Some of the benefits of the device cross-compatibility feature include the following.

  • Allowing users to view and analyze data from PC, Mac, Linux, and other operating systems without being limited by the device they use.
  • Enables users to share and collaborate on data with other stakeholders, who may use different devices.
  • It improves the dashboard's performance and responsiveness, as it adapts to the device specifications and network conditions.
  • Reduces the maintenance and development costs of the dashboard, as it eliminates the need to create separate versions for different devices.

Dashboard software with the device cross-compatibility feature allows users to create dashboards for all kinds of users. They also provide options to customize the layout and design of the dashboard for different device types.

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7. Flexible Data Source Integration

The flexible data source integration feature of dashboard software is the ability of the software to connect to and access data from various sources, such as databases, files, web applications, cloud services, and more.

This feature allows users to combine and analyze data from different sources without having to move or transform the data beforehand. It also enables users to create dashboards and reports that reflect the most current and accurate data available.

Data Integration Example

Some of the benefits of the flexible data source integration feature include the following.

  • Reduces the complexity and cost of data integration, eliminating the need for data warehousing, ETL (extract, transform, load), or custom coding.
  • Increases the speed and agility of data analysis, as it allows users to query and visualize data from multiple sources in real time.
  • Enhances the quality and reliability of data, as it avoids data duplication, inconsistency, or corruption.
  • Expands the scope and depth of data analysis, as it enables users to explore and discover new insights from diverse and rich data sources.

Dashboard software with the flexible data source integration feature allows users to connect to various types of data sources, such as spreadsheets, PDFs, big data, cubes, relational databases, web analytics, ERP, CRM, social media, and more. They also provide options to customize and optimize the data source connections, such as adding filters, joins, calculations, or parameters.

8. Data Refresh

The data refresh feature refers to the ability of the software to update the data and visualizations on the dashboard based on the latest information from the data sources. This feature ensures that the dashboard reflects the most current and accurate state of the data, and allows users to monitor and analyze the changes and trends in real-time.

There are two main types of data refresh:

On-demand refresh: This is where you manually update the data in your dashboard. This is useful if you need to update the data immediately, such as if there is a sudden change in your business metrics.

Scheduled refresh: This is where the data in your dashboard is automatically updated at a specified time interval. For example, you could set your dashboard to refresh every hour, every day, or every week. The feature increases the efficiency and productivity of the users, as they do not have to manually refresh or reload the dashboard to see the latest data.

The data refresh feature can be configured in different ways depending on your dashboard visualization tool. However, the basic steps are usually the same:

  • Connect your dashboard to the data source.
  • Select the data that you want to refresh.
  • Set the refresh schedule or frequency.
  • Click the refresh button.

This dashboard software feature is important for keeping your dashboard up-to-date. By refreshing the data, you can ensure that your dashboard always displays the most accurate information. It can help you to make better decisions and improve your business performance.

The data refresh feature improves the relevance and reliability of the dashboard, as it avoids showing outdated or stale data that may lead to incorrect or misleading insights.

9. Embeddability

The embeddability feature refers to the ability of the dashboard software to be integrated into other applications or websites. This feature allows users to share and display their dashboards and data visualizations with a wider audience, such as customers, partners, or stakeholders. Embeddability also enhances the user experience and the interactivity of the dashboards, as they can be accessed and manipulated using different platforms and devices.

The most advanced data visualization tools have low-code or no-code embeddability features. It enables users to create applications or websites using visual interfaces and drag-and-drop components instead of writing code.

Embedding Example

Low-code or no-code dashboard platforms can simplify and accelerate the process of creating and embedding dashboards as they eliminate the need for technical expertise or programming languages. They can help you pass information from application to dashboard and from dashboard to application.

10. Export and Sharing (PDF, .xls, .ppt, .png)

A key feature of dashboard software is the ability to export and share data in various formats. This feature allows users to easily communicate their insights and findings with others, as well as use the data for further analysis or presentation.

Export Example

Some of the formats that users can export and share their data via are:

  • PDF: This format preserves the layout and appearance of the dashboard, as well as the interactivity of the widgets. Users can export the entire dashboard or a specific widget as a PDF file and then share it via email, cloud storage, or other platforms. PDF files can be opened by most devices and applications and are suitable for printing or viewing.
  • XLS: This format exports the raw data behind the dashboard or a widget as an Excel spreadsheet. Users can use this format to manipulate, filter, sort, or calculate the data using Excel functions and formulas. XLS files can also be imported into other applications or databases for further analysis.
  • PPT: This format exports the dashboard or a widget as a PowerPoint slide. Users can use this format to create presentations that showcase their data and insights. PPT files can be edited, animated, or customized using PowerPoint tools and features. They can also be shared via email, cloud storage, or other platforms.
  • PNG: This format exports the dashboard or a widget as an image file. Users can use this format to capture a snapshot of their data and insights at a specific point in time. PNG files can be inserted into documents, reports, websites, or social media posts. They can also be edited using image editing software.

These are some of the ways that users can export and share their data using dashboard software. By choosing the appropriate format for their needs and preferences, users can enhance their data communication and collaboration with others.

Final Thoughts

Dashboard software is a powerful visual analytics platform that can help you visualize and understand your data better. These tools help you make better decisions, improve efficiency, and increase customer satisfaction.

When selecting a dashboard software, you need to consider various features. The feature comparison of the latest dashboard apps will help you select the best software that meets your exact requirements. Analyzing the features mentioned in this blog post will help you find a dashboard tool that best suits your business goals and data exploration needs.

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