Why your dashboard doesn’t need another chart

Austin McDaniel
Apr 17, 2024
Copy link


If you're like most people, you probably interact with a variety of dashboards, whether it’s for keeping tabs on website traffic, monitoring sales data, or even tracking your personal fitness goals—or perhaps you've even created your own. But do these dashboards really provide you with the insights you need, or do you find yourself skipping over the overwhelming sections to get to specific pages that actually offer value? It's a common scenario: we assume that more charts mean more insights, but often, they just add to the clutter. So why does this happen, and what can we do about it? Let's try to figure it out.

What's wrong with today's Dashboards

Most modern dashboards always run into these few key issues. First being too much informations that isn’t actionable. This means that while there may be a lot of data presented, very little of it actually helps users make decisions or effectively take action. When dashboards are cluttered with non-actionable information, they serve more as a distraction than a tool for insight.

Look but don’t touch

Then there's the information overload problem. Having too much information can be just as dangerous as having too little. When users are overloaded with data, it becomes difficult to determine which information is essential. This can lead to important details being overlooked, essentially reducing the dashboard's visibility and effectiveness.

Cluttered Chaos or Dashboard?

Another key issue is the use of incorrect chart types. The wrong visual representation can deceive users and lead them down rabbit holes, making the data misleading. This misuse of visuals can strip the dashboard of its intended value, turning what should be an asset into a liability.

What exactly you want to show?

Simple solution

The best way to fix a cluttered dashboard isn’t to add more to it, but to make sure that everything on it is really needed. Here’s how to do that:

  • Focus on the User: Think about who is using the dashboard and what they need from it. We at GC believe in making dashboards that are quick and easy to use—our users aren’t logging in for fun; they need to get in, get what they need, and get out. Our dashboards give a clear, big-picture view of what’s going on, which helps users see the key points right away.
  • Charts with a Purpose: Every chart on the dashboard should have a clear reason for being there. If you can’t click on a chart to see more details or figure out what action to take next, then it probably shouldn’t be on the dashboard.
  • Remind Users of the Value: Make it clear what benefit the dashboard provides. For example, show how much data you’ve managed and how much time you’ve saved. This helps users see how the dashboard makes their jobs easier.

To see what we mean, think about these two situations:

Imagine a dashboard that’s so full of charts and numbers that you can’t even figure out what to do next or if something’s wrong. This is a sign of a dashboard that has too much going on.

Now, think about a dashboard made just for a CEO. It only shows information that’s important for security decisions. This kind of dashboard makes it easy to see what the problems are and what needs to be done about them. It gives value, clear visibility and fully actionable.


So, in conclusion a good dashboard will make it easier for the user to understand data and make impactful decisions. By focusing on what users really need, making sure every part of the dashboard has a clear purpose, and always showing the value it provides, we can make dashboards that really work.

About Good Code

Are you ready to craft dashboards that leave a lasting impact? Dive into this guide for insights, or connect with us at to find out how we can help you create dashboards that make a real difference. We're here to make your data shine and your decisions clear—because sometimes, keeping it simple is the key to success!

© All rights reserved, Good Code, LLC 2024.