Building a Jira Dashboard: The Basics

by | Mar 23, 2022

Improving data analytics and becoming a data-driven organization is top of mind for many businesses. Building dashboards allows organizations to aggregate needed business intelligence in order to make data-driven decisions. Dashboards come in many shapes and can live on many platforms. We’ve specifically been exploring how to build a successful dashboard within Jira Cloud.

If you haven’t already, check out our free webinar “Building the Executive Dashboard in Jira.”

In this blog post, we summarize a few starter tips for creating a Jira dashboard, culled from our top-notch Jira experts. The webinar will dive into more specifics and showcase demonstrations of Jira dashboards created by our team.

Whether you are on the technical side or the business side, or both, here’s what to consider when your team is setting out to create a Jira dashboard.

Want to learn how to build an executive dashboard in Jira?

Check out our free, on-demand webinar.

Find the Questions You Want to Answer (with Examples)

This is non-Jira-specific advice that applies to any dashboard. It’s pretty easy to start creating colorful charts that don’t provide any necessary insights. Before you get chart happy, it’s important to start with the questions you want answered. From there, the data you need will become more clear.

Here are some example questions. Each chart is taken from a dashboard our Atlassian consultants created for the Jira dashboard webinar.

IT support: I need ticket data to better manage resources. How many tickets are coming in versus tickets being resolved? Here is the number of tickets created versus resolved:

The above chart was created using Jira’s native dashboard tools.

Project management: I want to see our project load and progress. How many projects are currently started versus not started?

The above chart was created using the Atlassian Marketplace app Custom Charts by Old Street Solutions.

Security team: I want to see which areas are causing the most security issues. How do security issues vary over time in each area?

The above chart was created using the Atlassian Marketplace app EazyBI.

Involve the Stakeholders in Creating Your Jira Dashboard

When you’re figuring out the questions you want answered with your Jira dashboard, you should obviously consult your audience. Who will actually be consuming the dashboard? Whether it’s a manager or the CEO, you don’t want to make assumptions about the information they care about.

You might find that some audiences will want higher level takeaways easy to digest, and others want the details. Some executives might not want to actually open Jira and look at the dashboard at all. In that case you have to plan for how certain charts and highlights can be exported into PowerPoint or Confluence for regular reporting.

As usual, Jira and Confluence can work together nicely. Jira is where you could create the raw dashboard charts, and Confluence is where you could add more of the story, turning data into insights. For example, if you need to share and contextualize your dashboard to your boss, Confluence is a great platform to do it, allowing you to control the narrative.

Determine the Jira Tools You Need

The above examples show charts created using Jira’s native tools, as well as two other apps from the Atlassian Marketplace. Our team might’ve had these apps in mind going into the dashboard project, but they didn’t determine which ones to use until they understood the questions the dashboard sought to answer.

Once you know more about what you need to showcase, you can then determine whether Jira’s native capabilities will work. Or you can search for the right app to perform the functions you need.

Avoid These Common Dashboard Mistakes 

Here are a few easy mistakes organizations make when building a Jira dashboard (or any dashboard, for that matter):

  • Putting too much data in the dashboard — stick with the insights you need
  • Including old, unuseful data — focus on the most recent and actionable data
  • Not using the right charts — don’t overcomplicate with a pie chart when something simple like a counter might work

We’ve now gone over a few high level tips to help you get started building a Jira dashboard. We recommend you take a deeper dive with the webinar “Building the Executive Dashboard in Jira.” Questions? Looking for help with your Atlassian software? Contact us.

Ellie Behling is Director of Marketing at Atlas Authority.

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