I am building a site for managing datasets. The home page will be a portal displaying summary info about the user's datasets and other datasets in the system. I'm trying to decide what to call this page (user-facing name). Portal makes most sense to me, but dashboard is another term that is commonly used in this situation, and seems more intuitive. Are users familiar with 'portal'? Are there are other terms being used in this context?
I think you should avoid it.
Brent Simmons recently wrote about word choice, specifically the "Connect" and "Discover" tabs in the new Twitter for iOS app:
However, it's still vague — it doesn't refer to a location or even something specific, like dashboard (a panel...containing instruments and controls). The word "portal" refers to a way to get there (where?). After all, how often do you talk about doors? Far less than you talk about rooms.
Go with dashboard or something specific. It's clear, simple, and meaningful.
The term was very popular during the end of 90s, specially in countries that have Latin languages (Brazil in my case). The word portal is also associate to a website with a generous mix of content.
I like @tajmo suggestion.