Dashboard Design Software for 2017

With the increasing need for business intelligence, there has been an explosion in the number of dashboard design software titles available.  What used to be the domain of Excel spreadsheet jockies or other experts is now in the hands of amateurs with the right software.  This is a good thing in general, but while the software has gotten easier, it doesn’t replace fundamental knowledge in the purpose of dashboards and how to execute them properly.  To give you a sense of the available options out there, here is a selection of the top dashboard design software titles for 2017.

If you are just getting started with dashboards, check out our How To Create a Dashboard series first.

Dundas BI

This is a very popular system that is browser based so there is no need to install software on your computer.  You can access the Dundas BI dashboard from anywhere however it should be noted that you may need a more server RAM for processing.  It’s quite powerful and really can push the limits of what you can do without programing.  Dundas BI has all the basic a dashboard server should have and more but what really sets it apart from its competitors is their customer service.  It feels as if they are committed to your success.  Do you ever get the feeling when you are using a companies software that they just “get it”?  Well that is Dundas BI.

Dundas BI

Sage Live

Sage Live is another browser based dashboard service but it seems to have more of a financial component than others.  It supports multiple currencies, bank integration, and online access for your accountant.  It has all the core accounting modules like billing, invoicing, work orders, and some neat forecasting options.  It is also built on the Salesforce platform if you are already familiar with that.  There have been reports of their regional support team being difficult to work with.

Sage Live

IBM Cognos Analytics

Despite it’s reputation for being a big enterprise level application, Cognos Analytics is surprisingly user-friendly once it’s set up.  The security setup is known to be a bit tricky right out of the box.  Modelling, forecasts, budgets and are the basics are in there but advanced features like Dynamic Cubes can be very hardware intensive and slow downs have been reported when multiple users are in the system. It’s a powerful piece of software with a powerful price tag that may be out of reach of most SMBs.   The overall design isn’t as sharp or modern as others in the space.

IMB Cognos Analytics

InetSoft Style Intelligence

With it’s unique data mashup engine and Data Block technology, this software certainly has intelligence.  It does lack a fair bit of style though.  It’s one of the most flexible and adaptable dashboard design suites on the market and its multi-dimensional ability can really wring the insights from your data.  The drag and drop functionality is easy enough and for the more complicated operations you can often find a YouTube video that will walk you through it.  Graphically it’s fairly no-frills but their top notch customer service more than makes up for it.  It’s also a fair bit cheaper than IBM Cognos Analytics if you are an SMB and are looking for an enterprise level tool.

InetSoft Style Intelligence

BOARD

With more personality than other dashboard design software, BOARD is a pleasure to use a bit of fresh air in the visualization space.  BOARD can handle just about every data source you throw at it and it’s fairly easy to set up.  One issue is the lack of online documentation or tutorials, though I should mention the BOARD staff are very prompt with answers to questions.  There is bound to be a fair amount of trial and error so if your users or managers don’t have the patience for that, you might want to look elsewhere.  While BOARD does accept any source of data, the quality of the data is important as it doesn’t play well with null values.

BOARD Business Intelligence