Professionals from all walks of life use data to make sense of all kinds of information and make informed decisions. If something is successful, data allows us to see how that success was achieved. If things go wrong, it shows us the problem areas that contributed to the situation.
With data, you can track trends and make accurate predictions. The annoying thing about data is that there’s just too much of it to take in and process. This is where dashboards prove helpful.
They promote a better understanding of relevant or complicated data by rendering it in a simple visual format. So instead of spending hours combing through streams of data, you can gain insights into the critical aspects of your data in real-time.
Thanks to data visualization tools like Shiny, you can create informative, easy-to-understand dashboards to house and extract value from any kind of data.
Shiny is a flexible web application framework that allows you to calculate, manipulate, and display data in an interactive format. It is written in the R programming language.
It’s a simple, fast-to-develop, open-source alternative to data visualization platforms like Power BI and Tableau which are costly to use and require your data to be in a specific format before it can be processed.
You can use Shiny to host standalone apps on a website, insert them in documents and reports, or create dashboards to summarize, analyze, and visualize your data story.
Shiny dashboards can be connected to various data sources and frameworks or integrated with other technologies with minimal effort.
The great thing about Shiny is that you don’t need to have web development experience to build and customize amazing dashboards to suit your needs. There are plenty of layouts, sizes, themes, colors, and functions for you to choose from, so you can let your imagination team free when creating your dashboards.
Also Read: Bad Data Visualization Examples
If you’re looking for ideas to inspire your own dashboard creations, here are some high-level Shiny dashboards that can help you get the ball rolling.
This dashboard was designed to help the City of Pittsburgh visualize available data on low-level criminal offenses also known as non-traffic citations based on reports by the City of Pittsburgh Police.
These offenses include loitering, retail theft, disorderly conduct, and harassment and the offender is usually issued a citation with a fine, rather than being arrested.
As you can see there are 5,584 non-traffic citations in this data set, and each one contains details like the race, gender, and age of the offender. It also states the particular offense, the neighborhood where the citation was issued, as well as the date and time of issue.
By analyzing the information contained in this dashboard, the City of Pittsburgh can gain insight into how factors like gender, age, and race affect the issuance of non-traffic citations.
They can figure out if some neighborhoods get more non-traffic citations than others and why that’s the case. Also, they can track the time and day of the week when non-traffic citations are more likely to occur.
Finally, this data can help them track the number of citations to determine whether these low-level offenses are remaining the same, decreasing, or increasing over time. All of which will make it easier for the city to effectively combat crime and identify the root causes behind these criminal behaviors.
Also Read: Misleading Data Visualization Examples
If you’re looking for a way to collate your sales data and present it in an easy-to-understand format, this Shiny dashboard example is worth considering.
The dashboard gives a rundown of the company’s global sales data. A cursory glance at the dashboard tells you the important details about how the company performed sales-wise in the year under review.
It shows the number of items sold, the market share percentage that the company was able to secure, and the profit margin they generated.
Thanks to the dashboard’s clever use of color, you can identify the performance of each KPI based on the contextual color used. Green suggests incredible success, yellow indicates a good result that should be improved upon, while red means the performance in that area was underwhelming.
The sales breakdown per region is also available for viewing, as is the sales data for past years, so you can make a comparison and figure out if the company is growing, stagnating, or losing money.
This interactive dashboard allows you to choose any football player from the Pro Evolution Soccer game and discover ten players that are most like him.
When you choose a player from the dropdown menu, the dashboard will display details about them such as their height, position, and whether they’re left-footed or right-footed or both.
Also, you’ll get to see a graph for the player highlighting various statistics and abilities like their stamina, speed, dribbling, attacking prowess, kicking power, header, ball-winning, defensive prowess, reflexes, coverage, and more.
In addition, you’ll be shown a list of ten other players who are similar to the selected footballer in terms of playing position and accomplishment.
The dashboard is a simple and fun way to learn about various soccer players.
This advanced Shiny dashboard is brought to you by the City of Boston. It contains the goals and targets that the city hopes to accomplish by 2030, and the metrics it’ll use to implement them and measure success.
On the right side of the dashboard, the various goals of the city are highlighted, while the main dashboard shares relevant notes to help the viewer understand each aspiration better.
A click on any of the goals will reveal Boston’s current performance on the issue and the steps it intends to take to accomplish the set goal.
The dashboard covers various issues from housing problems to job creation, climate change, transportation, premature mortality, education, security, childhood poverty, reducing the wealth gap, and more.
Anyone can browse through this dashboard to understand Boston’s vision for the city and residents in a matter of minutes, and how they can contribute towards actualizing it. This dashboard can easily be adapted for other purposes depending on the data you want to visualize.
Do you sell products online? Do you want to know which of the items you stock sells the most? Where do your sales come from? What time do your sales peak?
The eCommerce Analytics dashboard aims to provide answers to these questions. It analyzes your data set and then tells you which product gets the most purchases and which one sells the least based on an hourly, daily, or monthly time frame.
You can use the time span function to check your retail numbers for a given period. Also, you can drill down into your data and analyze the purchasing data of a particular customer to see which products they bought the least or most within a particular period.
If you like, you can extend this Shiny dashboard example to include more functions like sales forecasting and customer segmentation when building your own version.
Worth Reading: Best Tableau Retail Dashboard Examples
You can tell how developed a country is by looking at the state of its healthcare system. In a highly developed nation, the government would dedicate a sizable portion of its annual budget towards ensuring that its citizens can get access to life-saving healthcare.
The increased health expenditure and improved medical system make it possible for the people in that nation to undergo procedures and get the best possible care, which would allow them to live longer lives.
On the contrary, citizens of a less-developed nation may not get access to these amazing healthcare benefits, and their life expectancy could suffer as a result.
This Health Expenditure dashboard uses data drawn from World Bank reports to analyze the correlation between health expenditure per capita and average life expectancy across the world in any given year.
It utilizes colors to represent the different sub-continental regions. To get additional details about specific regions or countries, you can simply hover your mouse over the corresponding data point in the graph.
This is another great example of the level of detail you can infuse into your dashboards with Shiny.
This stunning Graduate Employment Dashboard was designed with the goal of helping young people and students considering studying in Singapore to determine which degree and university would better position them in terms of income and employment when it’s time for job hunting.
It uses datasets from Singapore’s government database to determine the number of graduates leaving each university every year, as well as the employment rate for the various degrees earned.
This data is then analyzed to highlight the employment rate and monthly gross income for a given university or degree. People can see what salary range they can expect to earn depending on where and what they study, so they can make informed decisions about their education and career path.
The dashboard allows you to filter results based on a given year, salary, or employment rate range. You can check out the rankings of universities according to different metrics like employability and the number of graduates.
Thanks to this dashboard, people can find the information they need to make critical life decisions at a glance rather than spending countless hours doing research and constructing comparison tables.
Measuring and analyzing performance is an integral part of any business. Without it, you won’t be able to tell whether you’re succeeding or failing at meeting your company goals.
You won’t know which activities or strategies contributed to the results you’re getting, meaning you’ll be unable to replicate it if you wanted to.
This one-page Flights dashboard offers a detailed report on an airline’s operations, which allows the company’s employees to understand how they’ve performed over the months. With the displayed information, they’ll be able to figure out what tweaks need to be made to improve operations.
The dashboard displays important statistics like the number of flights, average flights per day, and percentage of flights delayed at the top of the screen.
Passengers can also take advantage of this dashboard to learn about various airlines and choose the one that works best for them. Since the dashboard includes a section highlighting the top destination airports for the selected airline, people can better plan their travels.
The inflation rate refers to the rate at which the purchasing power of a currency decreases while the price of products and services is on the rise.
The government and central bank of a country are tasked with reducing the rate of inflation to prevent the economy from declining, ensure that currency’s value doesn’t fall and prevent deflation.
Deflation comes about when the inflation rate goes below zero or becomes negative. This means that there’ll be a drastic drop in the demand for goods and services, and as a result, their prices will decrease. This will be followed by reduced wages, stock crashes, job losses, and recession.
The inflation rate is an issue that affects everyone from individuals to companies, so it’s important to monitor and plan around it.
This Shiny dashboard helps people do just that. It uses publicly available data sets from International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports to visualize the inflation rates of major economies, as well as regional and economic trade unions from 1980 to date.
All you have to do is select a country or region from the list of options and its inflation rate data will be displayed. You can even download the chart as an image, pdf document, text file, or spreadsheet.
The Transportation Information Dashboard is designed to give residents of Twin Cities real-time updates about bus transportation routes. However, it could be tweaked to suit other functions.
The dashboard provides transportation data for the entire region. Once a route is selected, the dashboard would display the different trips on that route and the different paths that could be used to reach the end destination.
Results can be filtered based on four directions: northbound, eastbound, southbound, and westbound. Each direction is marked with a specific color on the map and the number of vehicles going that way is also highlighted.
The data can be refreshed at various intervals. It’s not static and it updates every 30 seconds, so riders are guaranteed updated information to enable them to adequately plan their commute.
The Virtual Patient dashboard aims to simplify the fundamentals of Ca-Pi homeostasis for students using interactive case studies.
Instead of them spending weeks combing through textbooks and trying to understand what they’re reading, they can learn and retain knowledge faster and longer with the aid of the dashboard.
The dashboard simulates a patient and presents you with a case study related to the subject so the user can come up with a diagnosis and a proper course of treatment.
To arrive at a diagnosis, they can explore any of the tiles on the dashboard by clicking on it. Once a diagnosis is established, they’ll be offered various treatment options which they can select from.
The main dashboard highlights the patient’s personal information and medical history, complete with test results and a litany of symptoms.
The dashboard is stunningly detailed and easy to navigate with a great-looking interface. It’s a testament to the amount and level of data you can visualize if you simply imagine it and dare to build it.
Social media is one of the most effective ways to keep your finger on the pulse and monitor what people are saying about your organization or brand in real-time.
However, it’s not possible for you to manually track and shift through every post that relates to you, especially when you’re working with a large volume of users and posts.
This Conference Tweets dashboard provides an easy solution to this problem. It allows you to track tweets about specific events or conferences. You can use it to explore tweets that contain an event hashtag and even create leaderboards for the top posts.
This way, you can follow online conversations that you’re interested in as they happen, or go back in time and dig up the tweets you might have missed to get a real sense of people’s thoughts and feedback about the conference.
The dashboard displays the number of tweets sent using the relevant keywords or hashtags each day, the number of tweeters, and the frequency of the posts.
It also tells you which of the tweets got the most likes and retweets so you can take advantage of the high engagement levels to promote your brand, leave comments, answer questions, or thank your audience.
If you’re a health nut or you’ve ever tried to gain or lose weight, you know how frustrating it can be to keep track of your calorie intake and make sure you’re getting all the vital nutrients your body requires.
Well, that is exactly the problem that the designers of this Nutrition Calculator dashboard sought to solve. The interactive dashboard enables you to search and add various ingredients from the Canadian Nutrient File database.
You can then calculate the general nutrient data of the ingredients like their caloric value or the amount of fat or sodium present in it. The dashboard highlights the nutrient amount of the specified ingredients as percentage recommended daily values.
There are separate bar graphs for vitamins, macronutrients, and minerals serving as visual representations of the recommended daily percentage value.
It also showcases nutrient amounts and calorie counts that exceed 50% and 100% of the recommended daily value at the top so you can readjust your meal plan and recipes accordingly to generate healthier outcomes.
If you’re looking for an example of Shiny dashboards to draw inspiration from, this Trade Intelligence dashboard should do the trick.
It was developed from data sets generated by New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment. The goal of the dashboard is to gain insights into the nation’s trading profile by visualizing relevant trade data through the use of interactive tables and graphs.
All the data represented in the dashboard is downloadable. It allows users to select and create reports for various markets, commodities, services, or free trade agreements that they’re interested in.
The dashboard highlights the volume of imports, exports, and the corresponding balances for goods, services, and trades. It then measures and displays the country’s long, medium, and short-term growth over 20 years.
A scroll down the dashboard reveals additional information like New Zealand’s top trading partners, existing free trade agreements, and key import and export markets for services and goods. It also shows the key commodities and services that the country imports and exports.
Using the dashboard, it’s easy to understand where the country stands in terms of trade and what can be done to boost its trade profile even further.
Although this Shiny dashboard was created with New Zealand in mind, it can easily be adjusted to produce and analyze trade intelligence for other nations and states.
The dashboard prioritizes its users’ experience throughout its design, so the interface is intuitive, easy-to-navigate, and simple enough to be understood by any random person. It’s responsive so it loads and works perfectly well on both mobile and desktop devices.
In late 2019, the world as we knew it was irrevocably changed when outbreaks of severe respiratory infection by a new strain of coronavirus were reported across Wuhan, China.
A few weeks later, the virus, now named COVID-19 had spread to other countries and was rapidly infecting and killing people in droves. It became important to map the spread of the virus, monitor how far it was spreading, and get a better understanding of the growing pandemic.
The pandemic monitoring dashboard was built for these purposes. It tracked the outbreak of COVID-19 in real-time, mapped the regions that had been affected, as well as the number of new and cumulative reported cases and deaths.
The dashboard made it possible to visualize the evolution of the pandemic and the overwhelming amount of data available on the virus at a global level. Armed with this information, people could understand if the efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 were working.
A visual comparison could be drawn between the coronavirus and other epidemics to support epidemiological studies and scientific research.
Also, the valuable insights generated from the dashboard helped institutions, governments, and the society at large to present more effective responses to address the pandemic.
As you can see, building dashboards is an art, not a science. No matter the kind of information you’re trying to visualize, you can create a Shiny dashboard that gives the full picture.
The important thing to remember when setting up your own dashboard is to keep your project or data requirements in mind. Don’t just copy and paste an idea. If a dashboard example doesn’t quite suit your needs, feel free to customize it so that adequately accomplishes your goal.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.