Some of the things that I look for in dashboard tools are the following:
– Ease of use of connecting to data
– Ability to integrate multiple stovepiped databases
– A variety of graphs, charts, tables, and diagrams to visualize the information
– Use of widgets to automatically manipulate the data and create standardized displays
– Drag and drop ability to organize the dashboard in any way you like to see it
– Drill down to get more information on the fly
While there are many tools to consider that provide dashboards, information visualization, and business intelligence, I think one of the most important aspects of these is that they be user-centric and easy to implement and customize for the organization and its mission.
When making critical decisions (especially those involving life and death) and when time is of the essence–we need tools that can be can be easily navigated and manipulated to get the right information and make a good decision, quickly.