Dashboards are meant to be fast and easy to read. Number-based tables and spreadsheets are usually the opposite. When it comes to data, a picture really is worth a thousand words. We comprehend insights faster when data is displayed visually as graphs and charts on a dashboard.
Here’s an example. Try to find all the nines in this table:
Here’s the same table with the nines in color:
See how much easier it is to see the nines once color is added? The same is true of data. By using visual tools like colors, filters, and size, you can help the user see the full picture faster.
And do add interactivity to allow other users to ask and answer their own questions. That way, your exploration can go beyond the questions you anticipated when building your dashboard.
This visualization by Zillow shows the market health index of locations across the U.S. Thanks to the red-green color scheme, you can see, at a glance, which zip codes have healthy markets (reflected in green), and which have markets that have yet to recover (seen in red). And note the interactivity, which lets the user choose how to slice and dice the data.
Resource: Best Practices for Using Color in Data Visualizations: How and Why