Don’t forget to share this post

A dashboard is a visual display of information that provides a quick overview of key metrics and data. It helps in monitoring, analyzing, and presenting data in a concise and visually appealing way. Dashboard software is used to create dashboards, and there are several free options available that offer a range of features and functionalities. In this guide, we will take a closer look at the top 15 free dashboard software and tools, and explore the factors to consider when choosing the right one for your needs.

What is Dashboard Software?

Dashboard software is a type of business intelligence tool that helps organizations visualize, monitor, and analyze key performance metrics and business data. Dashboards typically display data in real time and provide insights and trends in a visual format. This makes it easy for businesses to quickly identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions.

Dashboard Software Key Features

The key features of dashboard software include:

  • Data visualization: Dashboard software allows businesses to visualize data in real time, making it easy to understand and identify trends and patterns.
  • Data integration: Dashboard software integrates with a wide range of data sources, including databases, spreadsheets, APIs, and more, allowing businesses to bring together data from multiple sources.
  • Customization: Dashboard software offers a range of customization options, allowing businesses to tailor the dashboard to meet their specific needs and requirements.
  • Real-time updates: Dashboard software provides real-time updates, allowing businesses to monitor performance and make informed decisions.
  • Collaboration: Dashboards can be shared and used by multiple team members, allowing for collaboration and better decision-making.

Benefits of Dashboard Software

The benefits of dashboard software include:

  • Improved decision-making: Dashboard software provides real-time insights and trends, allowing businesses to make data-driven decisions.
  • Increased efficiency: Dashboard software makes it easy for businesses to track key performance metrics and monitor business performance, increasing efficiency and productivity.
  • Better collaboration: Dashboards can be shared and used by multiple team members, allowing for better collaboration and improved decision-making.
  • Increased visibility: Dashboard software provides a centralized view of business performance, increasing visibility and allowing businesses to identify areas for improvement.

Types of Dashboard Software

There are several types of dashboard software, including:

  • Executive dashboards: Executive dashboards provide high-level overviews of business performance and are typically used by executives and senior management.
  • Operational dashboards: Operational dashboards provide real-time updates and are typically used by teams and departments to monitor performance and make informed decisions.
  • Data dashboards: Data dashboards provide a detailed view of business data and are typically used by data analysts and data scientists.
How To Share Only One Tab in Google Sheets
How To Share Only One Tab in Google Sheets

When sharing a Google Sheets spreadsheet Google usually tries to share the entire document. Here’s how to share only one tab instead.

READ MORE

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dashboard Software

The following are the key factors to consider when choosing dashboard software:

  • Purpose of the dashboard: Determine what type of dashboard you need, whether it's for business intelligence, marketing, sales, or any other specific use case.
  • Data sources: Consider the data sources you need to connect to your dashboard, such as databases, spreadsheets, cloud services, APIs, and more.
  • Integration with other tools: Look for software that integrates with your tools, such as project management, customer relationship management, and analytics tools.
  • User-friendliness: Choose software that is user-friendly and easy to use, even for non-technical users.
  • Customization options: Look for software that offers customization options, such as the ability to add and remove widgets, adjust the layout, and customize the look and feel of the dashboard.
  • Pricing and scalability: Consider the pricing and scalability of the software, especially if you plan to use it for an extended period of time and need to scale up as your business grows.

15 Top Free Dashboard Software and Tools

The following are the top 15 free dashboard software and tools:

  • Layer: Layer is a free Google Sheets add-on that equips you with the tools to increase the efficiency and data quality of your processes on top of Google Sheets. You can:
    • Share parts of your spreadsheet, including sheets or even cell ranges, with different collaborators or stakeholders.
    • Review and approve edits by collaborators to their respective sheets before merging them back with your master spreadsheet.
    • Integrate popular tools and connect your tech stack to sync data from different sources, giving you a timely, holistic view of your data.
  • Google Data Studio: A free, web-based dashboard and reporting platform that allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and more.
  • Klipfolio: A cloud-based dashboard and reporting platform that allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including Google Sheets, CSV files, and web APIs.
  • Zoho Reports: A cloud-based reporting and business intelligence platform that offers a wide range of features, including data visualization, reporting, and collaboration tools.
  • Cyfe: An all-in-one business dashboard that allows you to monitor and track data from multiple sources, including Google Analytics, social media, and more.
  • Databox: A data dashboard and reporting platform that allows you to connect to various data sources, including Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and more.
  • Geckoboard: A real-time dashboard platform that allows you to monitor key metrics and data in real time, including data from Google Analytics, Salesforce, and more.
  • Microsoft Power BI: A cloud-based business intelligence and analytics platform that allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including Excel spreadsheets and cloud services.
  • Tableau Public: A free, web-based data visualization and reporting platform that allows you to connect to a variety of data sources, including spreadsheets and databases.
  • Chartio: A cloud-based business intelligence platform that allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including databases and cloud services.
  • Grafana: An open-source dashboard platform that allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including databases, cloud services, and more.
  • Redash: An open-source data visualization platform that allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including databases, cloud services, and APIs.
  • Sisense: A cloud-based business intelligence and analytics platform that allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including databases, spreadsheets, and cloud services.
  • Metabase: An open-source business intelligence and analytics platform that allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including databases, cloud services, and APIs.
  • DashThis: A cloud-based dashboard and reporting platform that allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources, including Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and more.
How to Password Protect a Google Sheet
How to Password-Protect a Google Sheet?

If you work with important data in Google Sheets, you probably want an extra layer of protection. Here's how you can password protect a Google Sheet

READ MORE

Dashboard Software Use Cases

Dashboard software can be used for a wide range of purposes, including:

  • Tracking key performance metrics: Dashboards can be used to track key performance metrics, such as website traffic, sales revenue, customer satisfaction, and more.
  • Monitoring business performance: Dashboards can be used to monitor overall business performance and identify trends and patterns over time.
  • Identifying areas for improvement: Dashboards can be used to identify areas for improvement in your business and make informed decisions based on data insights.

Dashboard Software Best Practices

Creating an effective dashboard requires careful planning, design, and implementation. Here are some best practices for using dashboard software:

  • Determine your goals and objectives: Before creating your dashboard, you must understand what you want to achieve. This will help you determine what metrics and data you need to track and display on your dashboard.
  • Choose the right metrics: Choosing the right metrics is critical to creating a useful and effective dashboard. Make sure to choose metrics that are relevant, meaningful, and actionable.
  • Make it visually appealing: A visually appealing dashboard will make it easier for users to understand and use. Make sure to choose a design that is simple, clean, and easy to read.
  • Keep it simple: A simple dashboard is easier to use and will be more effective than a complex one. Focus on displaying the most important information and avoid clutter.
  • Use real-time data: Using real-time data is essential for making informed decisions. Make sure your dashboard software integrates with your data sources and provides real-time updates.
  • Make it accessible: Make sure your dashboard is accessible to all users, regardless of their level of technical proficiency. Choose software that is user-friendly and easy to use.
  • Collaborate and share: Sharing your dashboard with other team members can be extremely valuable. Make sure your dashboard software allows for collaboration and sharing.
  • Continuously improve: Continuously improving your dashboard is vital to ensuring its success. Regularly review your dashboard, gather feedback from users, and make updates as needed.

Conclusion

Dashboard software and tools are essential for businesses of all sizes to track key performance metrics, make informed decisions, and improve business performance. With the top 15 free dashboard software and tools, you can choose the right one for your needs, regardless of your budget or technical expertise.

Whether you need a simple, easy-to-use dashboard or a more complex and robust solution, there is a free dashboard software and tool that can meet your needs.

Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Feb 14 2023, Updated Jun 26 2023

Layer is now Sheetgo

Automate your procesess on top of spreadsheets