make dashboard look professional

How to Make Your Dashboard Look Professional

Professional-looking dashboards provide at-a-glance information about your business, department, projects and even team. Well-designed dashboards create a great impression on your target audience. Here’s how to make your dashboard look professional. These dashboard design tips will help you create beautiful dashboards and make dashboards look better.


How to Make Your Dashboard Look Professional

Here are 5 dashboard design tips to make your dashboard look professional.


1. Use Only a Few  Widgets

The most common mistake people do while designing dashboards is to simply clutter their dashboards with too many widgets & graphs. This not only confuses the dashboard viewers but also misguides them.

Dashboards contain a lot of visual elements and can be distracting. So if you want to make your dashboard look professional using a dashboard reporting software, it is advisable to minimize visual noise, by eliminating unnecessary widgets, charts & reports from your dashboards.

Before adding a widget, determine if you really need it in the first place. Can it be pushed to a supplementary dashboard used for follow-up analysis?

In any case, if you have more than 10-15 widgets on a dashboard, consider splitting them into multiple dashboards – a main dashboard and multiple supporting ones.


2. Organize your widgets

Think about how you will present your dashboards to your target audience – your boss, team mates and even clients. And organize your widgets in a way that supports your story. Most BI reporting software allows you to customize dashboard layouts.

For example, if you wish to talk about overall revenue numbers first and then drill-down to individual product performance then organize your revenue-related widgets at the top, followed by product-specific widgets.

Also, group related widgets by placing them close to each other, and using similar colors. This will help your audience understand information quickly and appreciate your efforts.

Here’s a simple example of sales dashboard you can create in Ubiq

professional sales dashboard created using ubiq



Similarly, you can organize your widgets logically as an inverted pyramid, with the most important KPIs at the top, followed by trends in the middle, and granular details at the bottom.

dashboard design inverted pyramid


3. Use de-saturated colors

If you want to make your dashboard look professional, then don’t use bright colors. It is old-fashioned, harsh on the eyes and slows down users. In short, it creates a bad impression. Also, it distracts your users in too many directions.

Instead, use de-saturated colors.

use desaturated colors in dashboards

Here are 5 Best Color Palettes for Business Dashboard you can check out.


4. Choose the Right Visualization

Another common mistake people make is to use the wrong visualization to present their data. In which of the following 2 charts, is it easier to spot the sales trend?

choose right visualization


The monthly sales trend is obvious in the column graph, whereas in the pie chart, you will end up wasting time between the chart legend and pie slices.

Here’s a simple diagram of how to determine the right data visualization for your data, depending on what you want to display. Most data visualization tools offer a wide variety of data visualizations.

choose right visualization


5. Less is More

Understand what your target audience is looking for in your dashboards and focus on delivering it to them. For this, you need to proactively gather business reporting requirements, before designing your dashboard.

Don’t use too many widgets and visualizations in your dashboard. Use only a few colors and use them consistently across all charts & graphs. If required, use different shades of them same color, instead of using different colors. It’s better if your colors match the ones used by your brand/business.

Clearly mention caveats and assumptions, using footnotes. Break your dashboards into sections using sectional headers. This will make it easy for your users to consume information. Hopefully, the above dashboard design best practices will help make your dashboard look professional.

If you want to create business dashboards, reports & charts, you can try Ubiq. We offer a 14-day free trial!


Sreeram Sreenivasan is the Founder of Ubiq. He has helped many Fortune 500 companies in the areas of BI & software development.