How to build a dashboard from scratch in 5 steps in 2023

October 2022
How to build a dashboard from scratch in 5 steps in 2023

No matter what area of business you work in, there’s no doubt that a dashboard can help you to achieve better results and make faster decisions. If you want your dashboard to be an asset for your business, in this post we’ll show you how to build it from scratch with tools like Power BI (read more about this here) and Google Data Studio (or here).

What is a dashboard and why is it important for you?

A dashboard is a display of information in a visual format, usually used for much more than one person to view at once. When done well, dashboards can show critical information quickly and clearly so that you can easily answer questions about your business as it unfolds.

Your dashboard is the window into your business. It gives you the big picture and allows for quick action on what’s most important to you.  

A dashboard is important for you because it visually represents all the critical information you need to see, giving you a real-time view of your organization's performance. A good dashboard can help to improve productivity, increase revenues and reduce costs.

Build your dashboard in 5 easy steps

If you have identified a need for dashboards, start with this guide to walk you through the process of building it in 5 steps. The goal is not just to deliver the right data or create eye-catching visuals but also to influence behavior and inspire action.

How to build a Dashboard like this?  
  1. Define your goal and audience for the Dashboard

Before getting into dashboard building, it is important to define your audience and how you can provide them what they are looking for. Customizing your dashboard based on the user type will make it more personal and more effective for you. A sales person, for example, will want precise data about his or her territory with several drill-downs and the ability to cut and slice across multiple dimensions. An executive, on the other hand, may prefer to examine only the most critical Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in order to identify current requirements and pain areas.

Consider which platform will host your dashboard. A significant amount of usage happens via mobile devices and tablets. Consider who your consumers are and what their preferences are.

  1. Gather your ideas for the Business Intelligence data

Creating a great dashboard starts with having a clear understanding what you want to achieve with it. Do you want to use it to track your company's KPIs? Drive strategic decision-making? Or monitor customer behavior? Once you know what your dashboard's purpose is, you can begin to gather the data and visualizations you need to make it happen. There are a few things keep in mind as you gather your ideas for your dashboard. First, consider how you want to present your data. Do you want to use charts, graphs, or maps? Second, think about how you want to organize your data. Do you want to group it by region, by time periods, or by product? And finally, don't forget to include any filters or interactivity that will make your dashboard more user-friendly.  

  1. Select the best dashboard software

After you collected your ideas, it is time to find the right dashboard builder tool. There are many different tools available for building dashboards. When choosing a dashboard tool, there are several factors you should consider, such as cost, features, ease of use, and support. One of the most significant criteria for choosing the finest dashboard software is its report delivery features. It is not enough to just construct dashboards and infographics and notify your staff about them. Take into consideration that most of them will not log into your dashboard software to view your dashboards. On the other hand, it is also important to make your dashboard accessible for most devices.

  1. Start building your dashboard

It's time to construct the visual representation in line with your approved wireframe once you have the underlying data table available. The data table to connect to and the charts you need to develop are both available at this point, giving you everything you need to begin the project.

If your business has established style manuals, maintain them at all costs. Make sure the things you create fit to the branding guidelines. If there are no established guidelines, create one for your team so that you can define its identity. Consider your dashboards' major and secondary colors as well as the typeface, icons, and logo you would employ. It helps with branding and usability when additional goods are introduced to your team's arsenal. Users would be more tolerant of new items if they were more accustomed to the layout and colors.

Most of the dashboards have to be updated frequently, make sure the entire process is automated.

  1. Test it and get ready for launching

Before sharing the dashboard with your users and stakeholders, it is essential to do the required quality checks after the development is complete.

During data testing, ensure that every statistic displayed on your dashboard is correct and matches the figures in your database. You may use your database to run queries to validate these figures. If you utilized features such as hierarchy, actions, filters, navigation buttons, and so on, you must test these features before pushing the reports to the server.

You now have everything you need to launch your product, and it's time to let potential users know about it. Following the launch, you must ensure that the dashboard does not come to a stop.

The best dashboard tools

A dashboard-building tool with an intuitive interface enables you to access priceless data in a matter of minutes without having to write a single line of code. Over time, having this sort of access to up-to-date and pertinent business insights will enable everyone in your organization to use data in their decision-making, boosting output and fostering corporate expansion. Here are some suggestions for powerful dashboard tools:

Power BI

Power BI is a set of software services, applications, and connections that work together to transform different data sources into logical, visually engaging, and interactive insights. Your data might be in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or a combination of hybrid cloud-based and on-premises data warehouses. Power BI makes it simple to connect to your data sources, visualize and find what's essential, and share it with everyone or whatever you choose.

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a free dashboard creation tool that allows you to create visually appealing, customizable, interactive, and responsive dashboards. Panels may be built from templates, the most diversified graphs, maps, and tables can be used, your brand identity can be applied, and other resources can be used — all in a user-friendly manner so that anybody can make and understand the reports.

Celonis EMS

Celonis has software called "Execution Management System." In practice, this implies that digital processes are captured and mapped automatically. The Celonis EMS enables you to operate your whole organization on data and insight rather than just understanding your operations. We have a detailed blog post about Celonis if you want to get to know the tool more.


For marketers, CEOs, analysts, and other decision-makers, Databox is a cloud-based business analytics platform that offers a single interface for viewing numerous key performance indicators (KPIs) and producing reports. It offers mobile apps for iOS and Android smartphones and is appropriate for small to large enterprises.


Tableau assists individuals in transforming data into useful insights. Simple access to data in any format, located anywhere. Ad hoc assessments should be carried out quickly to uncover untapped prospects. Interactive dashboards with cutting-edge visual analytics may be created using drag and drop. Make an effect on your business by sharing your efforts with everyone. The usage of Tableau to see and comprehend data is widespread, from large multinational corporations to early-stage startups and small companies.

Final thoughts to build your Dashboard

Whether you need to visualize supply chain metrics or present comprehensive financial data to the appropriate stakeholders we have guided you through the steps on how to develop a dashboard from a concept into a business-boosting reality.

You'll be able to construct dashboards that help you obtain more thorough access to your most vital data and increase internal communications and efforts by adhering to these crucial dashboard design principles and aspects and drawing inspiration from our useful examples. Gaining assistance from cutting-edge online BI solutions would guarantee a significant increase in productivity, all shown in stunning dashboards and enabling even non-technical individuals to manage massive amounts of data.

To help you make the best decision for your business, we've compiled a list of the top dashboard tools available. Each of these tools has its benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to read through our descriptions carefully. And if you still can't decide which tool is right for you, feel free to contact Makeitfuture for more information.

How to build a dashboard from scratch in 5 steps in 2023

How to build a dashboard from scratch in 5 steps in 2023

Cloud Integration, iPaaS, SaaS, BPA… Ough, hard to keep track of all these terms. They are currently used frequently (and increasingly) in the context of automation, and it is sometimes difficult to make a clear distinction and distinction. We have already written blog posts on the terms iPaaS, SaaS and BPA, but we’ll take them up again here to make the difference.

But let’s start with cloud integration, because that’s the central umbrella term in which we embed all the other technologies in this blog post.

Arrange a free cloud integration consultation now

What does Cloud Integration mean?

What does Cloud Integration mean?


  • Is available in real time
  • Can be accessed from almost anywhere
  • Reduce potential sources of error by entering the same data multiple times
  • Require less installation and maintenance
  • Can optimize business processes

Arrange a free cloud integration consultation now

To illustrate these advantages, an example is suitable that we know well from our everyday work as an automation agency:

The central data to be used here is the data of a major customer. This can be the simplest information, such as the address. This address is required in numerous but completely different processes in the company: on the one hand, for correct invoicing in accounting. On the other hand, in the CRM system, where all the data of the large customer is also stored. But the address is also important in sales, for example, when employees go to the sales meeting on site.

Now the customer announces that the address of the company has changed after a move. This information will reach you by e-mail. There are now two options:

01. The e-mail is forwarded to all affected departments, accounting, sales, customer service, marketing… All persons open their corresponding program, CRM, accounting software, marketing tools (such as newsletter marketing) and change the data already stored there of the customer. This means that in multiple applications, different people do exactly the same thing: change one address.

02. But there is also an alternative: By connecting your applications, thus by integrizing them, the customer’s e-mail, or rather the information it contains about the address change, is automatically passed on to all affected applications: CRM, accounting, marketing, ERP. This does not require any clicks, because the cloud integration detects a trigger, i.e. address change, and thus automatically starts the process.

What sounds unimpressive in a single process becomes more effective when such a process occurs several times a day or weekly. Because there is a lot of data that is available in different applications and should always be correct. If these applications are cloud applications they are suitable for cloud integration.

But cloud integration doesn’t just happen. There are now a variety of applications that enable and implement this. Such tools usually allow us to link the relevant cloud applications on a central platform and define clear rules on when, how, where, how much data should be passed on and what happens to them.

IPaaS, SaaS, BPA, ABC – who can still see through it?

To realize cloud integration, there are various applications and technologies that are sometimes used interchangeably.

We have made a first distinction between iPaaS and BPA here.

We explain the term SaaS in more detail here.

Here the short version, again:
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Cloud integration cannot be done without SaaS, iPaaS and BPA

Cloud integration is rather an umbrella term that includes numerous technologies, such as SaaS, iPaaS and BPA, and this is also absolutely necessary. Cloud integration is a concept that is made possible by appropriate technologies.

However, all terms share the commonality that they are cloud-based and thus offer enormous potential for growth and scaling. In addition, they are often cheaper to implement and maintain because changed requirements are easy to implement.

As an independent automation agency, we implement cloud integration according to your requirements. We use a variety of SaaS tools and iPaas (strictly speaking BPA) software. Together we find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.

Arrange a free cloud integration consultation now

Automation consulting. Automate. Improve. Succeed.

We advise you independently and offer our expertise.
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Automation consulting. Automate. Improve. Succeed.

We advise you independently and offer our expertise.