Author: Joanne Tudor

A Business Analyst’s Dashboard

As a business analyst, I have often felt that there are so many different types of information that I need to track.

For example, I always need to know what items I’m waiting for answers, what items are being placed into the next deployment, what outstanding questions are still unanswered, or what issues are currently causing angst in production.

For a while, I struggled with my own personal organization. I couldn’t easily remember items that I need to address. I used to use a task list in my email client as well as reminders on my calendar as a means of keeping myself organized. However, I realized that this didn’t quite meet my needs. But, all that changed when I realized that it would be incredibly useful to have a dashboard with all the relevant
information that I needed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

When people think of the word dashboard, they tend to think of a screenful of charts and tables that indicate the health of a business. That’s almost what I had in mind when I thought about how my dashboard should manifest itself. However, it had a bit of a twist. Instead of showing charts and tables, my dashboard would show a series of lists. These lists would be living, breathing representations of the items that I needed to monitor.

Creating the Dashboard

Initially, I created one dashboard for this purpose. This dashboard contained list categories of my personal “to-do tasks”, my “in progress” items, my “upcoming important dates”, my “outstanding questions”, my “current issues”, and my “awaiting a response” items. This was a game changer for me because I could see everything in one screen and don’t have to flip back-and-forth to other applications to see this information. This simplified my life greatly because I could add or delete items from my lists very easily as well as make comments on the issues as they progressed. In fact, the dashboard looked something like the following.