Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Easy to learn, Hard to master

12 - Data Integration
12 - Data Integration


Easy to learn, Hard to master

Creating insights that immediately grab the attention of the end-user, in a positive way, and inform them of the most important and relevant information is difficult. On the one hand end-users might have demands regarding the look and feel of the dashboard and the chart types that are being used. This rarely leads to a positive outcome. On the other hand designers try to be either to concise or to be long-winded in creating their dashboards and placing their widgets. Not to forget the understandability of the widgets and dashboard itself e.g. the storytelling that you are trying to accomplish.

For our designers we have created a Dashboard Handbook to support them in creating the best looking and easy to understand dashboards. We use two frameworks to support designers in doing the groundwork for designing out a dashboard; The 4 W’s and GPS.

The 4 W’s

The 4 W’s help you focus on your audience and determine what the best way is to deliver the relevant insights to your end-users. The 4 W’s are Who, What, When and Where. As a company serving elderly care homes I will explain our 4 W’s as follows;

Who…  Doctors, Nurses, Practitioners, HR, Finance


What… → Patient, Ward, Measurements, Treatment

When… → Real-time, daily refresh, weekly refresh, monthly refresh


Where… → Dashboard, Email-report, Pulse Notification, Slack/Teams, Google Slides/Sheets

Example:  A nurse needs a overview of all patients on a ward , three times a day (8.00 , 13.00 and 16.00). They need to print and hand it out, thus using a email report is the most usable medium for the nurse to consume data.

Designers tend to think dashboards are the only way to bring insights to their end-users. However with Sisense this is not the case. To really let end-users use data in their day-to-day, we need to figure out what they need, when they need and where they want to get their data. For example; in our own environment 60-70% of our end-users has never logged into Sisense. We ‘push’ the insights to them when they need it. Majority of are email-reports, however messages to Teams are becoming more and more frequent.

The remaining 30-40% are data savvy users. These users want to interact with the data, click on it, filter on it and analyze it. The best way to serve these users is with dashboards. However, as mentioned before, designing a dashboard is easy to do, but hard to master. Since we started using GPS we were able to design dashboards quicker, easier to understand and goal driven.

GPS focusses on Goal, Problem and Solution. A goal of an end-user could be that they would like to reduce the number of incidents. The problem is that they only know the number of incidents. No additional information is known. The solution would then be to give insights into where, when and how those incidents take place. The GPS-method can be used on both a dashboard and widget level. Creating a hierarchy of widget-GPS’ that are a solution to the dashboard-GPS

- Hamza


Community Team Leader
Community Team Leader

@HamzaJ nailed the dashboard conundrum. Loved loved loved this article! 

Community Team Member
Community Team Member

@HamzaJ Way to be relatable! You hit the nail on the head with the topic of dashboards. I can't wait to see more of your posts

Jacqueline Pacheco

9 - Travel Pro
9 - Travel Pro

Great blog! I totally agree with your 4W and GPS approach and might look to use it in my next development cycle. I appreciated the clear and concise writing style. To improve, I suggest using a more specific title and adding headers to give readers a better structure and overview of the blog's content. Keep up the good work... I'm eagerly waiting for your next post!

12 - Data Integration
12 - Data Integration

Thanks for the positive feedback. @Priscillareagan I agree with your suggestion. Will apply it / keep it in mind for my next piece

Community Toolbox

Recommended links to assist you in optimizing your community experience:

Developers Group:

Product Feedback Forum:

Need additional support?:

Submit a Support Request

The Legal Stuff

Have a question about the Sisense Community?

Email [email protected]