Because technology advances so fast, people also expect that they can be more productive and get more things done in less time. The design challenge however is that knowledge and information keeps on increasing. In fact it doubles about every five years. Simultaneously information is becoming more abstract and increases in complexity. This is where information visualization comes in.
Information visualization focuses on condensing this type of information in such a way that it can be understood, and correctly interpreted by its reader. In a business context information visualization finds application in a variety of areas, be it presentations, data visualizations, and particular the area involving dashboards.
Distilling the core information is part of reducing complexity. For example it can be used to show key performance indicators, revenue versus expense over time, within certain product categories, and within geographic regions.
Information visualisation can easily make recurring patterns visible, and allow its readers to analyse faster, and use the insights to make decisions and take actions. An example would be health data over a period of time, that a doctor can utilize to better understand a patients needs and make appropriate recommendations.
Dashboards can be digital and analogue, or a combination of both.
When information visualization in dashboards is done right, it can save time, lives, money, in short: it helps us doing things simply better, and faster.
The important thing is to choose the right data points and perspectives so that correct interpretation can be guaranteed.
Successful dashboard design is based on an understanding of visual perception and human cognition.