Colour is a powerful tool to enhance dashboard design.  It can be used to align to brands, show patterns, highlight performance and focus attention.

In this visualisation, I explore a handful of use cases for colour to enhance a sales dashboard.

If we enhance design, then insights pop out. This drives quicker and better decision making.


Apply a uniform hue across the dashboard.  To align with corporate branding.  However when everything is the same colour, then nothing stands out.


Create contrast between categories using colour.  Apply consistently to refer to the relevant category.  Think about the meaning each colour confers.


Strategic use of colour can highlight top sales performance by sub-category.  To focus audience attention.  Apply a hue which represents positive outcomes.  Ensure less well performing sub-categories are greyed out.


Colour can alert under performance.  To show sub-categories which have sold less than the previous year.  A stand out colour like orange or red is useful.


Colour can show which sub-category sales are profitable or un-profitable. By utilizing a two – tone colour palette, which diverges around grey at the zero point. Sequential shading shows the most or least profitable sub-categories. However, this adds additional visual elements to process. Display a colour legend to avoid confusion.


Assign a meaning in the palette and apply consistently.  To show which sub-categories are profitable or unprofitable. No sequential shading makes it easier to process.  But lacks the grading of profitability shown in the diverging approach.