A dashboard is a collection of data visualization tools that provide the means to quickly get an overview of how an organization or a section of an organization is performing. Industries such as sales and manufacturing use dashboards extensively, but dashboards are quickly being adapted across all types of profit and non-profit organizations.
THE DESIGN OF INFORMATION DASHBOARDS USING SAS is a nuts and bolts guide to building information dashboards using SAS software. The primary audience for this book is SAS programmers charged with developing dashboards for their organization. This audience would include data managers, report writers, and business analysts. A secondary audience includes business mangers and non-programmers who are just hoping to learn a little more about the potential of the technology.
The first four chapters provide background on the science of dashboards and related concepts. The remaining chapters cover coding and design of dashboard elements using SAS software. By providing clear, well-structured examples, the volume shows the reader how to quickly and easily construct basic dashboards that are suitable to their unique needs and environment. SAS users familiar with the basics of SAS and the fundamentals of SAS/GRAPH software will be able to make small changes to the sample code contained in the book to design simple dashboards. Advanced users with more extensive knowledge of SAS/GRAPH and the annotate facility will be able to more fully customize the sample code to fit a variety of needs.
Chapter I. AN INTRODUCTION TO DASHBOARDS The first chapter defines precisely what dashboards are and their common characteristics. Following a brief history of information dashboards, the chapter discusses their value, as well as some negatives, and describes current use and trends. Finally, the value that SAS contributes to producing the medium is introduced.
Chapter II. SEVEN STEPS TO CREATING A DASHBOARD The development of a dashboard often requires a substantial investment of time and money, so designers should do it thoughtfully. The goal of this chapter is to guide the reader through the dashboard development process. The chapter provides an overview of the major steps involved, including preparation, design, construction, and maintenance of dashboards.
Chapter III. ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A DASHBOARD When you create your dashboard, several essential elements should be present on the interface to make the dashboard maximally effective. The third chapter covers these essential components of a dashboard.
Chapter IV. BEST PRACTICES IN DASHBOARD VISUAL DESIGN This chapter covers the foundations of good dashboard design and addresses the contributions of Edward Tufte and Stephen Few to the area. The chapter delves into the science of visual perception and how to apply them to good dashboard design.
Chapter V. CREATING DASHBOARD KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS USING SAS The fifth chapter presents a library of effective dashboard display media and discusses how to produce them using SAS coding. Programmers will be able to pick and choose those chart types that are most appropriate for their particular dashboard. Strengths and weaknesses of the various chart types are discussed. This chapter will also introduces new SAS procedures such as PROC GKPI.
Chapter VI. ASSEMBLING AND DISTRIBUTING SAS DASHBOARDS This chapter describes how to bring all the visual components together to produce a single dashboard display. PROC GREPLAY, ODSLAYOUT, and ODS TAGSETS are described as the methods of choice. Methods of distributing this output are described.
Chapter VII. DESIGING DASHBOARDS USING SAS BI DASHBOARDS The final chapter briefly describes the design of dashboards using SAS BI Dashboards business intelligence software.
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