Planning a TARGIT Portal - practical decisions

Most TARGIT customers build a "portal" where they make all the relevant data available to support decision making in the entire organization.

The definition of a "TARGIT portal" here is:

  • A set of dashboards tied together with links that enable the users to navigation between the dashboards (much like a webpage)
  • To be called a portal, it should have a certain "width" - meaning it covers more business areas that are integrated in the same portal 
  • Also there should be a certain "depth" - meaning you can go from aggregated numbers to more detailed numbers inside the portal
  • Filters should be inherited when you go "down" to more detailed level to investigate a certain issue
  • Employees should probably have different landing pages (start documents) in the portal

Let's say you have a pretty good overview of what you want to achieve with this portal, which data you want to present, what the end-users needs are, and which form you want to present the data.

Now you are ready to do some TARGIT concrete planning - here is a list of decisions and preparations you have to make before actually developing the portal.

Most likely you have a design guide and a webpage/intranet already in your organization.
Most of the choices you have to make should be based on the design guide, and on making your TARGIT Portal feel like an integrated part of your current webpage/intranet.



  • Colors used
    • Base colors 
      A color sequence of at least 5-6 colors that go through the portal. 
      These colors are needed to show series of data, color areas in donut- and pie charts and also areas in maps
    • Call-to-action colors
      Colors that show possible action - navigation to other dashboards, things to notice in general (could be the same as drill color)
      Colors that signify that data shows a problem that needs to be handled
    • Drill color
      A global color that will show which filter has been applied in data objects of any kind

  • Fonts
    • Font used in all dashboards (probably same as in webpage)
    • Possibly different font for reports (if these are likely to be printed)
    • Decisions on font sizes for headers, labels, mouse-over, general text etc

  • Icons
    • Icons for navigation (back, forward, details, drill-out, export etc)
    • Icons for KPIs
    • Icons for other purposes

  • Menu structure
    • Decisions on how the navigation should be structured
      • Pure navigation pages 
      • Navigation options on each dashboard
    • Which shared menus should be reused in the portal

  • Document hierarchy
    • Folder structure of documents (dashboards) - main areas planned with possible restrictions in mind (folder security)
    • Consider dynamic section of most used documents

  • Dashboard templates
    • Resolution (inspired by webpage setup and/or most common resolution with endusers)
    • Mobile versions of dashboards (should be included in templates from the beginning
    • Placement of navigation, graphics, data objects on dashboards (should be consistent in portal)

  • Text box templates
    • Buttons in menus should be based on textbox templates
    • All other text boxes should also be based on textbox templates for consistency and easy maintenance

  • Crosstab themes
    • Default theme with selected colors including drill color
    • Theme for reporting ("financial" look - less table look)
    • Alternative themes if needed for slicers or other special tables

  • Filtering options
    • Use of criteria bar and/or slicers
      • Consider the strong points of the criteria bar - search option, single select option, space economics
      • And the strong points of slicers - visible in dashboard, more intuitive to users
      • And decide if you want to go with one or both of these options - whatever you do - make it consistent to end users

  • Graph types used
    • Which graph types are used for which purposes
      • Column/line charts for timelines - horizontal barcharts for comparisons - scatter/bubble charts for association etc
      • Standard for use of labels, mouse-over, setting up axis with scales etc - should be consistent throughout portal

  • Documentation/help
    • How do we support the users in understanding the dashboards and the numbers the represent
      • Information icons with link to explanation or just mouse-over help?
      • Textboxes when needed in dashboards?
      • External documentation linked from portal?

The above could serve as your checklist when planning your TARGIT Portal.

Please comment this article with feed-back to the list.



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