Brand new workshop: “Beyond Dashboards”!

As a number of people reading this already know, I’ve been working on a new workshop for quite some time. After several successful trial runs, I’m happy to announce that I’ve begun delivering the one-day Beyond Dashboards course in private, on-site training workshops. Two public, open-registration workshops have also been scheduled for this fall:

A brief description excerpted from the Beyond Dashboards course information page:

Despite the fact that books and courses on information dashboard design have been available for years, many dashboards still fail to meet users' and organizations' expectations. Users have trouble finding answers to basic data-related questions and fail to notice urgent problems because they’re hidden behind clicks, hard to notice, or possibly not even shown at all. Because of these and other problems, many dashboards still end up under-used or even abandoned.

Based on Nick Desbarats’ experiences designing dashboards for over 50 large organizations and teaching dashboard design to thousands of professionals, the one-day Beyond Dashboards course uncovers the real reasons why so many dashboards fail to satisfy users and organizations; reasons that go far deeper than the visual design on which most dashboard books and courses focus. Participants will learn a practical, actionable framework for creating a system of purpose-specific displays (problem-scanning displays, metric diagnostic displays, performance analysis displays, etc.) that enables users to get answers to their data-related questions quickly and easily, including basic ones such as, “Is everything O.K. at the moment?”, often for the first time.

If you’re familiar with the courses that I already teach, you may be wondering why I decided to develop a new dashboard course since I already teach Stephen Few’s excellent Information Dashboard Design. The short answer is that organizations need a variety of different types of information displays in order to meet all of their users’ data-related needs, in addition to the types of displays that are covered in Information Dashboard Design. For example, almost all organizations need “slice-and-dice” displays for browsing and filtering large datasets (transactions, patients, customers, etc.), “item detail” displays for showing all of the information related to a single item (a student, a website, a portfolio asset, etc.), as well as a number of other types of information displays. In workshops, I’m regularly asked about these other types of information displays so I finally decided to build a course that covers how to design all seven major types of information displays that are used in organizations. The course also provides guidance on how to determine what information and features go on what types of displays, as well as how to connect displays into a cohesive system that enables users to find answers to a wide variety of data-related questions quickly and easily.

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