TV Dashboards: a complete guide

A TV dashboard displays your metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) on a TV screen, in your office. By clearly visualizing your performance data, and drawing attention to your objectives, a TV dashboard improves team performance, and helps to create team alignment.

In this guide we’ll explain the different types of dashboard, and how to use them effectively.

We like this definition of data dashboards from dashboard expert Stephen Few:

A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives, consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance.

By clearly visualizing information, a data dashboard lets you track, analyze, and share your chosen key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics on any device.

A data dashboard also does a different job to a report. Reports are generally for in-depth analysis, and have a lot of detail across all metrics. Whereas a data dashboard gives you a real-time snapshot or summary of key data.

Learn more about different types of dashboard in our article, how to build a dashboard

A TV dashboard (sometimes also called a wallboard), isn't just a regular data dashboard slapped on a TV. It’s designed specifically for TV, so it’s easy to read at a glance. And, because the space is limited, it forces you to prioritize information that your readers can act on.

We’ve got a whole article explaining how TV dashboards can help you achieve your goals but here are the main benefits:

Make data accessible

Teams don’t always have access to data and dashboards. And even if they do, it’s often time-consuming to get key information as it’s spread between different tools and teams. But with a TV dashboard, your team can see their data instantly, at a glance, in an easy to understand format.

Make data unmissable

TV dashboards generally go on the wall, and put key metrics center stage for your team. And the visualizations themselves draw further attention to the metrics. So if there’s a problem or opportunity your team can spot it and take action fast.

Create alignment

Because a TV dashboard goes in a shared space, it promotes a culture of transparency. It makes your objectives clear to the whole company, to get everyone on the same page and pulling in the same direction.

Motivate your team

TV dashboards inspire self-motivation, or intrinsic motivation. How? By showing teams and individuals how their efforts contribute to company objectives. On top of this, they spark conversation and gets teams excited about the metrics.

Improve performance

By highlighting team and company objectives, TV dashboards focus everyone on work that will actually make a difference. They also speed up day-to-day decisions by giving real-time updates and quick feedback on specific initiatives. And when things change, they help to steer everyone in the new direction.

Simplify

Files and reports can go on forever, but a TV dashboard is a limited space. It forces you to simplify the data you present, and only include information that sparks action. Plus, because TV dashboards are designed to be glanced at, rather than interacted with, you can guarantee that everyone is looking at the same numbers.

Dashboards are used by all kinds of industries, from transportation companies that need to react faster to changes in their metrics, to technology companies that need to focus and motivate teams in times of rapid growth.

Your industry, however, won’t necessarily inform the content of your dashboard. Instead, you should think about your specific use case and objectives, and base metrics and KPIs on these.

Here are some examples of how TV dashboards can be used:

Marketing Funnel dashboard

If your team is focused on optimizing the full customer journey and each conversion point, a Marketing Funnel TV dashboard could help them stay on track.

For this, you’d want to include data from your CRM or marketing automation tool to see the number of Visitors, Leads and Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) your marketing team has created.

Then, to spark action with your dashboard, we recommend including goals, e.g. the number of Leads or MQLs you’re aiming to create in a certain time frame, or the Conversion Rate you’re aiming to achieve.

For other useful marketing dashboards, take a look at our marketing dashboard examples

Sales dashboard

A sales dashboard is used for two main reasons. One, to keep your sales team up to date with their most important department KPIs. And two, to show the team how they’re doing against targets.

A good place to start is by displaying the number of open and closed Leads on your dashboard. Then, to make the dashboard more actionable, you could assign a daily, weekly or monthly goal to key metrics.

You could also give your sales reps an overview of Revenue for a specific region. And include a comparison to a previous time period for context — or to encourage competition between different teams.

Customer Support dashboard

This customer support dashboard focuses on the overall performance of your support team.

For this purpose, you’d display key metrics like First Response Time and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). You’d also include information on the number of tickets submitted and solved, to help your team keep track of any open tickets.

For more inspiration on how different teams can use TV dashboards, visit our dashboard examples.

To work out the right content and data for your TV dashboard, think about:

  • What you want to achieve as a company or team. This is the most important consideration, as everything on your dashboard should support your objectives. You don’t want anything irrelevant on there that might distract your team
  • The industry you’re in. The content should be bespoke to your business, but it’s useful to look at similar companies and KPI examples for inspiration
  • What you want from the dashboard (see different types of dashboard for inspiration)
  • Whether you want your dashboard for long-term focus or daily action this will affect the content. And this will also dictate how up to date you need the data to be, and how often you might want to swap out the metrics
  • Which goals, if any, to include. Before you put goals on your dashboard, make sure you’ve chosen them wisely. For tips on this, check how to set effective KPIs, along with our SMART goal-setting guide

TV dashboards are meant to make information crystal clear, so it’s really important to design them well.

We’ve got a whole article on how to create a great dashboard, but here are some quick pointers:

  • Only include what’s important. As we said in the section above: everything on your dashboard should link back to what you’re trying to achieve

  • Adjust the size and position of certain metrics to show hierarchy. Simply by glancing at the dashboard the viewer should be able to see which numbers are the most important

  • Give your numbers context by showing historical data, a goal, or how the number has changed over time. This way your viewers will know if a number is good or bad, and can take action

  • Group related metrics. This makes it easier for your viewers to find the metrics they need

  • Be consistent. Using the same visualizations and layouts makes comparing easier

  • Give your metrics clear labels that your audience will understand. These should be short and self-explanatory

  • Round your numbers. Too much detail could make minor changes seem major

  • Review regularly. Dashboards spark action, so keep checking that they’re encouraging the right behaviour

And remember, once you’ve created your TV dashboard, introduce it to your team and ask what they think of it.

You don’t need to buy expensive specialist hardware or a digital signage solution to set up a TV dashboard.

The easiest way to get one up and running is with a smart TV.

But if you don’t have a smart TV, you can also use a regular TV combined with an old laptop, desktop computer or mini PC. Basically, you just need something that “tells” the TV what to display.

If you’d prefer to use an external device, there are plenty of options including the Asus Chromebit, Chromecast, Airtame, or Raspberry Pi. And these can sometimes be preferable to a smart TV, for example if you’d like to keep your dashboards live for a long time, or want to use your TV for other things like video calls.

For more details on the pros and cons of different setups, and a step-by-step guide for getting your first TV dashboard live, check our hardware recommendations.

To spark action, your TV dashboard simply needs to go where your intended audience will see it.

So, for a team dashboard, choose somewhere close to their desks and close enough for them to read it at a glance.

And for a company dashboard, put it in a shared space like the kitchen or lobby, where different teams often pass by. This should also encourage conversation.

To help you visualize where your TV dashboard might go, take a look at our guide. And once you’ve decided where to put it, check our instructions for wall-mounting it.

TV dashboards are a great way to improve team performance, by making goals and objectives visible.

They help to create team alignment by cutting out gatekeepers for information.

They also help to motivate your team by showing how their work contributes to the company.

Sounds great in theory, but how easy is it to make a TV dashboard?

With Geckoboard, you can build your first TV dashboard in minutes. You can easily fetch metrics from your favourite tools with over 60 integrations. And you can make your data really easy for teams to read with our carefully designed visualizations.

So, try out Geckoboard and see how easy it is to create your first TV dashboard.