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Data In Equals Data Out: Setting Up An Effective Survey Dashboard

Understanding Results

When implementing any employee listening program, it’s always important to start with the end in mind. By that I mean, what type of results are we really after? What is truly actionable?  What will we do with the information we’ve gathered? How can this program make a positive impact? Knowing how important it is for results to be understood is what drives the design of our best practice dashboard. Your time, effort, and energy, as well as those of your employees, will have been wasted if, after collecting survey data, you are unable to interpret the results and use them to improve your business.

The first principle applied to our best practice dashboards is to keep it simple. We all know the feeling of excitement when receiving a fancy new gadget, but then only to realize we have no idea how to operate it. Take the television remote control as an example; over the past decade, it has gone from having dozens of buttons and functions to having fewer buttons and expanded functionality all while maintaining its simplicity—hence keeping it simple.   Dashboards should be the same. Fewer pages, fewer widgets per page, let the functionality speak for itself and build the widgets that showcase and highlight the main principles. All while adapting to the compatibility of the dynamic functionality of a dashboard. For example, our best practice has one page that has more than one widget on it – this is our Key Insights page where we highlight the headlines. This page is designed to keep the number of widgets to a minimum. Only one or two widgets per topic. The remaining pages of our best practice dashboard have only one widget to support the topic it conveys.

The second key principle applied to our design is focusing on what’s important, not just interesting. Once you start diving into the details of each data packet, you can become overwhelmed and numb. This analysis paralysis can be a huge threat to the most important aspect of any employee listening program: follow-up action. Rather than burying the reader in a sea of irrelevant data, our dashboards present only the most relevant information in a format that’s simple to understand and absorb. Our Key Insights page is intended to help everyone from front-line managers to executive leaders find the most actionable data all on one page. If dashboard access were restricted to only one page, this would be the page to share!  

Last, your dashboard should tell a story. Like any good tale, a dashboard should have an introduction, set the stage, develop the plot, and summarize the scene. The dashboard pages of our best practice dashboard adhere to the foundation for telling each program’s story in a manner that clearly lays out this sequence. The specific pages and selected visualizations for each page of our best practice dashboard are intentionally aligned to help these elements of your employee listening program jump out of the pages. One client in particular was struggling to put their data together in a meaningful way. With WSA’s aid, they were able to piece together the pieces of the puzzle that would allow them to better establish a diverse workforce that would guarantee equity and reinforce belonging.

If you find yourself looking at your dashboard and unsure of where to begin – let us help you!  Don’t let your hard work go to waste – make the most of your time and energy so that your employees will keep lending their voices for your collective betterment!  After all, a dashboard should be more than just widgets on a page!


Karrie Rosa, Implementation Service Leader, WSA

EX Qualtrics Partner of the Year

Implementor of Qualtrics Employee Experience

Average Increase in Client Engagement

of the Fortune 50 are WSA Clients

Projects Completed Annually