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LinkedIn

The world is getting more data-driven every single day. Everyone wants to make more informed decisions based on data and not on gut feeling, and as such, dashboards are becoming ever more important. They convert tons of data into easily identifiable trends and patterns using charts that make sense to the naked eye.

This holds particularly true for web apps. Designing great reports and dashboards that help users make informed business decisions in quick time is increasingly becoming an aspect that can differentiate your web app from your competitor’s.

Here are 2 web apps that you could seek inspiration and learn best practices from when you are developing your web apps’ dashboard.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn needs no introduction. The world’s largest professional network has reports for a bunch of its tools, including its Group Statistics.

LinkedIn

This is one of the cleanest dashboards you will ever see. It splits the metrics into 4 tabs to break the info into digestible chunks, and mentions the top performers explicitly to give you a quick summary. They then add further detail and context to data using tooltips to display more information about a particular dataset.

ClickTale

ClickTale is a Web Analytics tool that that provides businesses with insights into their customers’ online behavior.

ClickTale

Their dashboard shows the most critical components upfront — Heatmaps, Search Recordings, Visitor Recordings, Conversion Funnel and Visitor Geolocations — and then you can drill-down into any of them for a closer look.

Want these reports for yourself?

While creating the right dashboard is a detailed process, it can be a lot simpler if you pick the right charting components. That is where FusionCharts, our sponsor this week, comes in. It is the charting partner for LinkedIn and ClickTale, and calls itself JavaScript charting for the grown-ups.

FusionCharts’ charts render seamlessly on all devices (PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, and Android devices) and browsers (including IE 6, 7 and 8). It takes just 15 minutes to create a chart and just a couple of hours to set up advanced reporting features like clickable legends, drill-down, export to PNG/JPEG/PDF, tooltips, visual data editing and more. The suite comes with 90+ chart types and 950+ maps, extensive documentation and plug-and-play dashboard demos. They also have a jQuery charting plugin.

All in all, it is used by 21,000 organizations and 450,000 developers, including some of the web’s most popular apps and a majority of Fortune 500 companies. It’s even being used at the Stanford Research Institute to design their workstation of the future. So why not use it to power the charts in your own app? Download a copy and try it out today.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

The social media revolution has undoubtedly broadened our social horizons, but, in my case certainly, it has also broadened the spectrum of online chores to be completed on a daily basis. Keeping up with social media appearances, and the content-hunting which that entails, can easily turn into a full-time vocation.

There are already some apps at hand to ease this burden. Schedulers, like Hootsuite and Buffer, allow you to designate a time at which your posts and tweets should be sent out. Both of these services, and some of their competitors, also offer analytics, meaning you can track how popular each of your missives has been. Services like Feedly make the process of content-gathering easier, although trawling through a catalogue of feeds isn’t a quick process.

A new invite beta-stage startup, called Swayy, aims to streamline these processes into one, simple workflow. Swayy offers a stream of shareable content tailored to your choice of subjects, along with scheduling and analytics options. But can Swayy really be the master of all trades?

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Being the week before the Holidays hasn’t slowed things on the internet. Crowd favorite, Dropbox made it to 1.0, Blekko added one more feature to its arsenal of three, Disqus launched user centric dashboard, Facebook launched Instant Personalization with TripAdvisor & blocked all j.mp URLs, LinkedIn now has groups, Mint is going to teach financial management to kids, Yahoo to shut down its video service and Mark Zuckerberg found himself on the cover of TIME Magazine.

Read on for some of this week’s best web app news and updates you might’ve missed!

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