Analyzing data allows managers to figure out what is working and what is not. But there is so much to parse. Internal data from the business’s inner structure and external data, crucial to its sustainability and expansion goals.
More importantly, they provide a means to digest unstructured data formats clearly and understandably through dashboards.
A data dashboard is a reporting tool that visually presents vital metrics to aid the extraction of essential insights. It typically contains panels with data points relevant to the business operation, visualized using line, bar, or other types of charts, tables, maps, or other forms.
Splunk is one of the commonly used data platforms with plenty of dashboard options and customization support. You can create three kinds of dashboards with the software.
- Dynamic form-based dashboards – allow you to modify dashboard data based on values in input fields. Changes in the input field reflect in the visible data on the dashboard.
- Real-time Dashboards – used for constant viewing and best on large screens. Has alerts and indicators to prompt swift response by relevant personnel.
- Scheduled Dashboards – are downloadable as a PDF file report and shareable at set intervals with team members. The actual live dashboard may have limited viewing access.
Whatever kind of dashboard you create with Splunk, it should possess a couple of qualities to be effective. An effective Splunk dashboard should –
- Have Single Screen View: Information on a dashboard should be accessible at a glance with no scrolling necessary. Use tabs to create secondary dashboards for focus data points.
- Have Meaning Description: A dashboard should be understandable by the intended reader. It should have category descriptions and flow designs that are meaningful to the user.
- Load Quickly: The goal of a dashboard is to aid the quick and efficient extraction of information for actionable insight. An effective dashboard should return results swiftly, ideally ten seconds or less.
- Contain Multiple Data Points: Understanding the relationship between different data points and overall performance is key to making intelligent decisions. Multiple data points on a dashboard are crucial to having a complete narrative picture of operational status.
- Highlight Key Information: The most important information should take centerstage with conditional formatting. Use markers, legends, labels to highlight key details.
- Avoid Redundancy: A good dashboard makes efficient use of space. It does not repeat the same details. The display captures every data point in one clear, understandable attempt.
Now that you know what makes a good Splunk dashboard, here are fifteen examples you can use as inspiration for your project.
Even as more businesses move to remote working, managers and business executives still need to keep track of their teams. This dashboard is a simple aggregation of all the relevant information when it comes to remote work.
It covers VPN, with data points like the number of VPN logins and active VPN sessions. Zoom, which has quickly become a significant enabler of remote working, also features prominently. Executives can see how much cohesiveness their team is building through video conference meetings.
There is a tab to drill down into the Zoom data with data points such as the average duration of meetings and meeting types. The dashboard also has a nice map visual for a more in-depth look at the workforce at a particular location.
This dashboard is from a dedicated app by Splunk. However, you can always create a similarly styled one and incorporate other key information, such as a distribution chart of the team’s productivity hours.
If your business depends on 24/7-hour uptime, it is a good idea to have an overview of your security infrastructure. Using Splunk’s Enterprise Security solution, you can build this dashboard that provides a detailed look at the kind of threats your system has faced over time.
While cybersecurity experts should ideally oversee your security, this easy-to-understand dashboard is helpful as a business manager. For instance, the Threat Activity Over Time data point offers insight into when attacks are likely to happen.
Using this information, you can assign additional help to fortify your system during this period.
It also contains a simple XML table detailing the types of threats and where they are coming from. This information reveals possible weak points in your infrastructure that need beefing up.
The dashboard’s information is presented in a friendly, clean, understandable design, with the most critical details taking formatting precedence. It is also dynamic form-based, with input fields that show deeper details into threat subgroups and categories.
This treatment flow dashboard works best as a scheduled dashboard to track the life cycle of a patient’s journey in a hospital.
The design aligns with its purpose, starting on the left with the number of patients in the hospital, the process and type of diagnostic care administered, to their eventual exit.
It is readable, and each data point is color-coded, giving them a distinctive look. More importantly, each one is succinctly and well-described, with single interpretable values. It makes it valuable as a reporting tool for the intended reader, even if they have zero analytics experience.
Also, the dashboard does a remarkable job of keeping the visual focused on the purpose of the analyzed dataset-to determine if the hospital’s capacity and resources are being used efficiently. The horizontal bar chart, Percentage of Hospital Capacity Filled, best illustrates this.
It also gets stylistic points for the arrow design that highlights the title of the section below and the reading direction of the data.
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This is an excellent example of applying an essential quality of effective dashboards, having multiple data points. It contains eight data points in total, including –
- Website performance metrics
- Account management and customer logins
- Application incident management (issues encountered and how often its resolved)
- Unique Visitors
It uses the best visualization style for each data point, giving it an intuitive feel. Also, excellent use of space allows this dashboard to pack a large amount of information without looking crowded. Lastly, the consistent use of cool colors gives it a temperate look, avoiding visual assault from color clashes.
However, this example is ideal as a real-time dashboard due to the multiple data points, which are more easily viewable on a large screen.
Secondly, the design works better with constantly changing data, as shown by using the time-based panels, Currently Running Process, Account Management, and Customer Logins.
Are you a game developer? Would you like to know how your users are engaging with your creation? See how much time they spend playing the game? This Splunk dashboard provides those answers and more.
It takes your data set and dives into its historical records, revealing how the user base and engagement levels have changed year on year. It lets you measure a user’s interest in the game with the number of times they play within a period.
Additional data points like Single Game Users and Multi-Game Users also provide insights into how users prefer to play. Do they prefer playing alone or with friends?
Furthermore, the dashboard tracks user performance, allowing you to pinpoint creative choices that may be fuelling interest or disinterest in the game.
Finally, this Splunk Dashboard example juxtaposes the performance and user data, giving you a clear view of how both categories influence each other.
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Splunk is renowned for its enterprise uses, but it suits individual tracking and analysis too if you can afford it. In the case of this dashboard, it has been used as a personal exercise tracking tool across three categories – running, biking, and swimming.
At the foot of the dashboard is a table with detailed records of each exercise. The date and time it was performed, name of the activity, duration, mileage, and contextual notes.
The dashboard comes to life in the middle section with a vertical grouped bar chart comparing the exercises on each day. It is color-coded, which makes it easy to understand. The bar chart also has a chart overlay indicator that shows the progression over time.
Although simple-looking, the dashboard is flexible, with status indicators providing context to the single values. It also has input fields to filter for the duration, time range, distance, timespan, and activity.
This Runner Data Dashboard is another great example of the practical application of Splunk dashboards.
In long-distance racing, there is an increased health risk that could prove fatal. That is why it is vital to keep track of every relevant metric on each runner. In this case, the dashboard tracks the heart rate, body temperature, and live pace.
Without proper context, though, fluctuations between those metrics can be misleading, hence, the pairing against weather and topographical data. By doing so, viewers can see how the change in weather or location feeds into significant changes in the runner’s metrics.
The dashboard uses tables to categorize each user, and individual metrics have dynamic colors for safety performance. Green means safe, Orange warning signs, while Red means danger zone.
As is, the dashboard is effective. But when creating your own, you could add additional elements like an alert or notification to boost its responsiveness to danger.
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Coming up with and executing an idea for an app are two components of building a successful mobile app. You also need to understand how users use the app and optimize for the differences between their behavior and your design assumptions.
This management dashboard is an excellent way to keep track of user habits. You can design it with Splunk MINT’s management console. It is very detailed, with multiple data points that offer insight into how users connect with the app.
The connected dataset provides values such as the dominant app and OS versions, crash rate, daily active users, and top devices by session and crashes.
This information can help you resolve technical issues before they become widespread and also improve targeted marketing for your app.
Also, there are additional dashboards to analyze other aspects of the app. It allows you to monitor network performance, transactions, and errors.
COVID-19’s time as a global pandemic might be numbered. However, analysts and investigators can still use this coronavirus-inspired Splunk dashboard to track any other global phenomenon.
It could be used by businesses to track the popularity of a product or service. Marketers can also use it to observe the market metrics like fanbase distribution of an artist or piece of art.
One of the good things about this example is that it can be any type of dashboard. It can be dynamic form-based, real-time, or scheduled. It also combines different visualization styles (tables, maps, histograms) to create an informative picture on top of layered data points.
Thanks to these qualities, the dashboard was of immense help to experts, journalists, and the public to track the pandemic in real-time. It helped millions identify countries that needed immediate attention and those whose control efforts had yielded positive fruits to replicate their methods.
The benefits can also be of immense advantage to businesses and creative projects hoping to stay on top of the narrative.
A homelab is a system removed from the ‘real world,’ where you can experiment without causing any lasting damage to corporate income or equipment. You can think of it as a science laboratory, but for technology.
There are different kinds of homelabs, and they contain different types of devices. However, users of any can benefit from creating this type of Splunk dashboard. It provides a detailed overview of various aspects of the homelab.
In this example, these include the backup status, amount of leftover storage space, network performance, and battery status. It also has secondary dashboards in different tabs that provide even more detailed insight into the Power and Storage state of the homelab.
With it, you always have control over the homelab, wherever you are. You can troubleshoot and make knowledgeable recommendations when necessary from a distance.
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Whether you are a fan or not, website analytics is a critical aspect of site management. You need it to track your website’s content quality and technical performance to rank higher on search engines.
Google and Bing have their handy analytics tool. But their personalization qualities are not as robust as using a Splunk Website Analytics dashboard – more specifically, the Splunk App for Web Analytics, a dedicated tool built for this purpose.
With it, you can create a dynamic form-based dashboard with a line graph, displaying your page views over time. You can input fields to compare pageviews from different periods and measure the changes in visits to your website.
The dashboard includes additional information that can help you figure out improvements for your website. It contains data points like sessions, average time on page, and bounce rate.
What’s more, you can use input field options like time period, site, and dimension to get into the nitty-gritty of each data point. You could track pageviews by Browser dimension to discover the browsers used by site visitors.
If you have multiple products or services, it is essential to know which one of them is driving revenue the most. Understanding the product your customer wants more informs how you allocate capital and other resources to maintain or improve its quality.
This App Purchase dashboard for Buttercup Games shows the number of purchases for each game category. There is a small graph visualizing the purchase trend. It shows if a category’s total purchase value is an increase or decrease on previous trends.
The informative yet straightforward dashboard contains a pie chart that shows the contributing share of a category to the game company’s revenue. There is also a filter option to analyze the changes in this value over a time range.
Also, a panel with a grouped vertical bar chart analyzes purchases in relation to other milestones in the conversion funnel. You can observe the effectiveness of each game category based on the investment in marketing and other measurable metrics.
There are so many parts to running a successful business. It is almost impossible for all of them to work efficiently at all times. Since you can fix only so much, your optimization efforts are better spent on parts that directly affect revenue and improve customer satisfaction.
But how do you extract insight from both aspects of customer behavior? By using this Splunk Business Analytics Dashboard. It expertly combines revenue analysis with customer experience in real-time to track how one affects the other.
The top panel in the revenue section shows single values of revenue vs. cost. Under it is a panel with different sub-tabs that provide a location and product-based in-depth look at revenue and cost drivers.
On the other side, you can track customer sentiment about your brand and the performance of your customer support team. From here, you can see which region is suffering from a decline in revenue from patronage due to increased support calls.
The dashboard is a valuable reporting tool for businesses with customer satisfaction at the cornerstone of their model.
Either through buggy updates or poorly-designed system tools, downtimes are part of operating an online business. Unfortunately, during downtimes, a business loses money through lost potential revenue or unplanned paid work hours.
This Incident Report Dashboard is a way for managers to observe the health of their online infrastructure in relation to business needs. The essential details, the number of incidents, and the downtime cost are big and bold and at the viewer’s direct eye line.
Also, viewers can filter the values shown in this panel through different input fields at the top of the board. With this, managers and engineers can identify the most significant cause of downtime along with their financial impact.
It also shows the resultant unscheduled work time to determine if your engineers are devoting enough attention to fix the problem.
The pie charts at the bottom provide additional information on the causes of incidents. A business can improve its incident response time by combining analysis from both sections and prevent burnout.
The last Splunk dashboard example on this list is a blend of static and real-time data for hotel bookings and reservations. It uses advanced indicators, choropleth charts, and combo charts to contrast the customer experience on the hotel’s website.
As always, the main numbers are at the top of the dashboard. The first two sections of the panel contain measurable customer metrics like bookings and reservation numbers. The metrics with influence on those numbers, errors, and response time are in the last two sections.
The second panel digs further into those numbers. The Booking Conversion section uses a composite bar chart to contrast completed bookings with reservations.
The dashboard uses a basic bar chart and a trend line overlay in the Traffic and Performance section to communicate the relationship between traffic and response time.
Lastly, it uses choropleth charts to create location-based analysis into bookings and website traffic. With this dashboard, a hotel manager can accurately determine how to boost bookings, especially in areas with high traffic but low booking conversions.
By now, I am sure you see that creating dashboards is an essential tool in making intelligent business decisions and taking better control of your systems.
There are many Splunk dashboards you can use to gain hidden insights into the inner workings of your operation. To extract the information you want to know and discover what you didn’t think you needed to know.
However, it is crucial to remember that focus must be placed on only relevant data when creating your dashboards.
Populating a dashboard with vanity data points robs you of important space and time to analyze key operational details and ultimately leads to inefficiency.
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.