When is a value ‘good’ or ‘bad’? About thresholds and alerts in dashboards

Reading the article will take you: 2 minuty.

The dashboard is a form of reporting, which allows the analyst to convey information in a concise way.

The dashboard report is usually a one-pager showing the current and historical information on key indicators. Such reports are usually prepared for managers to help them make quick decisions.

As is the case with a car dashboard, the primary task of the dashboard report is to quickly present important parameters. The notion of dashboard reporting was described in a previous article by Janusz Wachnicki however, it is worth highlighting again three important requirements when using this form of reporting. A dashboard:

  • should clearly reflect phenomena that require attention;
  • should warn about problems;
  • does not need to clarify the nature of the problem.

Visualisations used in dashboards should present information of key importance to the recipient as simply as possible.  How to represent information about thresholds for individual indicators, and display alerts?  You can use both colours and symbols.

In the case of charts, the best idea is to use different colours for individual thresholds. PS IMAGO PRO offers an abundance of dashboard visualisations including  so-called Thermometers, particularly useful for showing indicator thresholds.

The chart below shows the relationship between the actual value and the target value. You can also define a percentage threshold below which values are considered unacceptable, and a threshold above which values are considered good.

Figure 1. Example of thermometer chart with indicator values for individual counties

Figure 1. Example of thermometer chart with indicator values for individual counties

In this case the unacceptable level of target completion is marked in red, and a high level of target completion is marked green. Dots stand for reference values that may reflect the level from a previous billing period.

The dashboard below shows key information about air pollution levels: The two line charts show the current level of harmful PM2.5 and PM10, colour-coded to provide a quick indication as to whether the levels are safe or not. The two table series charts provides more detail as to where safe values were exceeded, with red dots (above safe values) and green dots (below safe values) used to improve clarity. The calendar chart displays the number of days in the year that exceeded air quality standards, with three levels of violation:acceptable, information, and alert threshold exceeded.

Figure 2. Air pollution levels dashboard. Source: Own work based on Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection data[

Figure 2. Air pollution levels dashboard. Source: Own work based on Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection data[

As you can see, indicator information can be shown in various ways using dashboard reports, and may include colours, lines, or symbols to warn the recipient about unacceptable levels.


Rate article:

Share the article on social media



Zostańmy w kontakcie!

Chcesz dostawać wiadomości o nowych wpisach na blogu
i webinarach z zakresu analizy danych?
Zapisz się na powiadomienia e-mail.