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How to improve the adoption and usage of dashboards?
We had rolled out dashboards with business critical metrics and alerts. This solution has got the capabilities where end users can create their own dashboards , reports and much more. But , majority of the users are using ONLY the default ones. Ideas to improve the usage and engage users to use the other built-in features.
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Elicit from your users which is the value they perceived to use those dashboards. That is all you need to know.
Santhosh -

1) If the users are getting value from the default ones and don't feel there is a need to create any custom ones, why is this a problem?

2) Assuming there are custom dashboards or reports which could provide more value to the users, I'd suggest treating this as a mini-project with the objective of creating a few but also making the users very comfortable at creating their own.

Would not have high expectation that users would create their own dashboards. Ask what it is they want to see and provide a few different types of dashboards for them to suit those needs. Keep it simple. Asking them to create their own is over complicating a solution that is meant to be provided to them to showcase current state, not for them to do work.
Do the users have the necessary information in the standard dashboard/reports? If so, let them use the default features.
What would be the value for the users of using the advanced features? The answer to this question will be the main motivation for them to use other built-in features.
I know you have applied good efforts to give such feature on dashboard so that user can get benefited. So i want to suggest 2 below options -
Option 1:
Do not give any default dashboard directly, rather lend user to blank dashboard and a walk through video / wizard about how to enable default features to choose from hidden settings and also how to create additional useful matrices.

Option 2:
Give only one matrices block as a default on dashboard on left side and in right section provide a quick 2 step approach to enable / create new matrices blocks.

Any of these options will enable user to understand how they can leverage the benefit of feature of customization provided in dashboard.
Have you provided them training on dashboard customization? Have you considered one-on-one sessions to let them explore what might be useful to them?

Give people a new tool and most of them will only do the minimum with it. Few are willing to invest time and effort in learning the more esoteric features.
Everybody is using the term dashboard these days as a common location for metrics. If you think about what a dashboard does in a car, it is to provide a single place to look for just the critical information necessary to operate the vehicle at a glance. It is not all the information stored in the ECU. In a business environment, it is all the high level information necessary to run the business, not all the information available on every project.

Customization of an effective business dashboard requires input from the management team on what they need to run the business. If the information already gives management what they need, then there is no need to gold plate the deliverable. If the information is missing things, the information is not clear, or it could be organized better such as the critical stuff goes right in the center, then the contributors have some reason as to why they should customize it and how.
Create a manual of Dashboard customization and organize a workshop to practice and learn about each custom features. Talk about the benefits obtained with this personalized dashboard, according to the area of business it's applied to.
One of the biggest issues I have seen with dashboards is the use of vanity metrics. Dashboards are great ways to show others how well we are doing but also where our problems are but human nature does not play well with the latter hence the fact that stakeholder would gravitate towards displaying metrics that cannot be correlated with actual results. Example - if the number of users on your system does not have any bearing on how much product you sell then it is useless (that is if your intent is to monitor how much product you sell). So make sure that any metrics on your dashboard cards are related to the objectives. A dashboard must be brutal and unforgiving.
Agree with Kiron
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