Building an ideal IT dashboard should be managed like any custom development project because that’s essentially what it is. Sure, on the surface, a dashboard is simply displaying data. But when you think about it, there’s actually significantly more functionality required. Most will need drill-down capability, where an alarm on the first dashboard tier needs to let an IT administrator quickly drill into more data to identify the problem. Maybe that’s included in the dashboard at a lower level or maybe it simply opens another management tool; either way, it’s additional software functionality.

Role permissions, as mentioned earlier, is another key consideration. Are the right people seeing the right data and only the right data? This requires business-grade log-in functionality, IDM integration, and possibly auditing capabilities. Finally, there’s reporting to think about. Keeping track of data over time means including the ability to show historical snapshots and answer time-related queries. It’s all fairly basic stuff, but definitely additional software functionality above and beyond data display.

This level of custom code will require a lot of testing and fine tuning to get right. Depending on a company’s size and its areas of focus, prototyping various options and combinations is a good approach, either by using tools already included in your existing management portfolio or by building a quick-and-dirty version of your dashboard using low-code development tools.

If that suddenly sounds a lot more daunting than you had in mind, then remember that this will be an evolving project. “Getting a good foundation makes it easy for a business to slowly expand its dashboard into other areas, especially as they grow,” said Jayaprakash.

Have any questions you need answered about IT Dashboards? Join the PCMag@Work business community on LinkedIn, and you can ask vendors, other professionals like yourself, and PCMag’s editors.

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