I have to design a dashboard for managers who need to report to their managers on their areas of responsibility. In the past I have just put counts and line charts over time of what they are interested in but this is too overwhelming for some. This is for a case management system where there are new cases and new data for each case every day. At the end of the business cycle which can be years later a case is closed and the information is now tombstone material but still relevant for comparison to the new cases.
I'm looking for best practices or references on how to display information. My reporting tool does grids,charts, drill downs and the usual.
Should I start with an abstraction like percentage change over time and some images to indicate what is changing the most or start with counts over time?
Do users look at the first thing they see and then skip to the end of the page or will they look at the first image that grabs them?
The issues that I want advice on are:
- can you show too much raw data?
- showing what I think is a relevant trend and possibly missing other trends
- pictures first, data later or the reverse?