A great virtue of business dashboard software is that it is suitable for companies of all sizes. No matter how many employees, 10 or 10,000, you have, you stand to benefit from BI applications. Yet, there is one problem. Most of the high-quality apps are expensive. However, as with many other situations, there is a solution. Large corporations can save lots of money placing an order for custom design and development of enterprise apps from a trusted vendor. Small and mid-size businesses can choose dashboard open-source software available over the Internet. Below is a list of 10 tools that might be helpful for you. Take a closer look at these instruments and feel free to ask your questions.
List of top 10 business dashboard software
The choice of best dashboard software requires reviewing hundreds of options available over the Internet. Surely, you will have doubts about the quality, cost, and a set of features offered to you. That’s why DICEUS team has conducted a comprehensive review for you. You will be able to read about free dashboard tools and choose the one that fits your needs.
An open-source platform designed to visualize data and create reports which can be deployed to the Java environment. The tool was downloaded more than 12 million times. Its developers’ community consists of more than 2 million developers from all over the world. BIRT’s website contains a compelling Wiki database where you can read about project organization, project development plan, and different overviews of the platform itself, its architecture, design, etc.
The platform helps create reports in the form of graphs, crosstabs, and traditional text documents. It is able to group on percentages and sums as well. A great benefit of BIRT is that it can be deployed in a wide range of Java-based apps and integrate with the existing enterprise software. To work efficiently with the platform you will, however, need to hire a developer/coder.
A stand-alone platform for creating reports. Like BIRT, Jaspersoft offers reports and analytics that can be embedded in your application.
Another solution offered by Jaspersoft company is its Java reporting library. Users are able to process any data, view, print, and export it in PDF, HTML, Excel, Open Office, and Word formats.
Jaspersoft’s list of clients includes the government of British Columbia, Time Warner Cable, Groupon, and some Universities.
A platform for analyzing data that offers solutions for the following industry sectors:
- Social Media
It is considered to be one of the best choices for data science experts who deal with machine learning, data mining, Python and R technologies.
The platform can be used for building data science apps. A server is a specialized software for team management, collaboration, automation for non-experts. The extensions offered by Knime give additional opportunities to users to access complex algorithms and data types.
A data dashboard software and a BI instrument that gives opportunities to process, group and filter your data easily. With Metabase, users are able to discover connections between their data and track individual records like “who” and “what”. Another great option is the visualization of your results in user-friendly charts and graphs. The tool is able to run SQL queries as well.
By using Metabase, you can create different dashboards and build various visualization aids like charts, maps, graphs, etc.
A free business analytics tool that allows visualizing the data into clear maps, charts and other visual aids and exports those in different formats like HTML, PDF, Excel, etc. Besides, Pentaho provides an edition for the enterprise but it is not free. You will have to buy a subscription to use that edition. If you would like to benefit from Pentaho and customize this tool, you will need a coder to use the tool more efficiently. Pentaho offers a wide range of components to create advanced customizable dashboards. Your coder will surely benefit from communicating with other developers from the community.
An open-source ad-hoc reporting tool that integrates with Jaspersoft and BIRT. It can be used for an unlimited number of people which makes this tool stand out from the crowd. Besides, Report Server offers Team Spaces for collaboration for free. Community FAQ will answer your questions if any. The website provides a lot of documentation like manuals, tutorials, and guides to easily learn about the product.
A modern open-source tool for business analytics that allows its users to build their own analysis, process and analyze their data in one place. The platform is adaptable to different environments. Knowage suite combines a certain number of modules including smart intelligence, Big Data, location intelligence, performance management, enterprise reporting, predictive analysis.
A data science platform that allows visualizing, prototyping, and deploying different types of data. With this tool, you will be able to create different charts and to work with machine learning algorithms like clustering, classification, regression, etc. In case you need the tool for multiple users you will have to buy a subscription for the enterprise edition.
Microsoft Power BI
Provides up to 1 GB of data that can be transformed into different formats. Power BI Desktop is absolutely free and accessible. It offers a wide range of services from connecting to a bunch of data sources to embedding your charts on public websites.
Qlik Sense Cloud Basic
A free cloud-based tool that can be accessed from any place. A great feature of this tool is that it demonstrates all updates and changes made to images and documents in real time. Qlik Sense is available for free during a 30-day trial period.
How to get a custom-designed BI or KPI dashboard software?
Of course, you can call on dashboard builder but you will get something that will be similar to thousands of those things created and used by other users. In case your organization needs the software that will meet your business goals and needs, you should think of a custom-designed application developed by professionals. So, what aspects do you need to consider when prototyping your app?
The first thing you should do is define what benefits your KPI software will bring to your employees. The following questions help determine what type of dashboard your company needs:
- Who will use the software?
- What benefits will it bring to a team?
- Which type of software do I need?
Responding to the question “Who will use the software” you will face some challenges. The matter is that some applications are to be used by multiple audiences having quite different needs and requirements. To handle the potential conflicts, you should prioritize your audiences and their tasks. Here’s a table provided in a Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use that contains the factors related to your audience and the implications to consider in design and development.
Performance dashboard software may meet different goals like tasks prioritizing, educating employees, setting objectives for teams, monitoring the workflow, providing alerts and notifications on time, communicating, and many others.
Defining the type of software you need is a daunting task. The only thing you should know about this is that the best dashboard must contain the most important information about your business. You must clearly understand the following things: scope, business role, time horizon, customization, level of detail, a point of view.
Usually, a business intelligence dashboard best practices are used to monitor success and drive strategies. The best metric framework should include accessible credible data, common interpretation, transparent, simple calculation, and actions. Besides, a metric must contain clear goals.
Structure and form
Dashboard’s structure is all about the blocks from which it is built. Usually, these blocks are divided into 4 categories like form, structure, design, and functionality. Together, they define the format of the dashboard, how well it must be structured, what factors affect design decisions, what features and functionalities a dashboard will provide.
To decide which format your dashboard must have, consider the following questions:
- How often will the data be updated?
- Should the dashboard look attractive or can it be simple?
- Do your employees need to access the data on the go?
- Will the software offer more detailed information?
- What benefits will users get from using the dashboard?
According to Stephen Few, author of Information Dashboard Design, the items that relate to one another must be placed close to one another. The content must reflect the nature of the information used by employees. To develop an effective application you should clearly understand how the entire organization works.
In a Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use, it is recommended to consider high-priority design principles while developing an application. Here is a list of some principles you may take into consideration:
- Modularity and compactness. Compact tools can fit properly inside our heads. They are easy to use and make people more productive.
- Gradual reveal. It is recommended to reveal data as users express their interest. You may use the increasing levels of reveal like beginning your dashboard page with metrics, context and ending with detail.
- Guide attention. To grasp users’ attention to the most important things, your dashboard must have visual cues like alerts, notification, different colors.
- Lead to action. Enable users to complete their assignments quickly and understand the actions which should be taken based on the results. You can create guidance about who to contact to address problems highlighted in the app
- Explanations. Users need explanations and context to understand unfamiliar activities. Many dashboards provide time to interpret the results and create a summary before presenting to employees.
As you can see, the most important thing about dashboards is information. The words of Edward Tufte, a famous data visualization expert prove that:
Above all else show the data.
Today, content is a king. Nothing should distract users from important information in the dashboard.
What is a difference between a dashboard and data visualization software?
Dashboards and data visualization tools are different in how often their data is updated. Data visualizations are built based on a certain amount of data whereas dashboards are updated and modified on a regular basis. Dashboards work with the databases of different volume and shapes. They allow users to understand what is behind those visualizations like charts, maps, tables, etc.
To sum it up, dashboarding is one of the important steps to make the company’s data accessible and clear to employees. It allows technical experts working more effectively within a team. They are able to share their results with other team members quickly and easily.
How can DICEUS help you?
If you are on the road to effective dashboarding, feel free to consult our experts about the following issues:
- How to get a clean and simple layout for your dashboard?
- How to choose colors?
- What font will be the best-suited?
- How to choose the right graphs and charts to represent your data?
- How to create a clear design?
- Recommendations on additional functionalities.
Along with training and consulting services, our team develops custom-designed ERP solutions with effective dashboards for companies of any sizes in different industries. Besides, explore our blog. We’ve got a lot of articles on the ERP topics.
In case you need a custom-designed tool, we can help you design the right solution that will meet your business goals. Tell us your requirements now and get an instant response.