Use Management Dashboards to Make Fast Data-Driven Decisions

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The use of management dashboards to monitor management KPIs, metrics and other essential data points will allow you and your management team to make rapid, data-based decisions based on up-to-date information about your business.

A management dashboard provides you with a comprehensive snapshot of the company’s performance. This is critical since it condenses massive amounts of information into a one-page summary that can provide invaluable insight into the health of your company and help with executive decision-making.

It allows you and your managers to access the most relevant information instantly.

The data is represented graphically using tables, line charts, bar charts, sparklines, maps, or gauges so you and other users can see the information at a glance.

They also allow you and other users to drill down to investigate further if necessary.

Types of business dashboards

There are three types of business dashboards:

  • Operational dashboards which emphasise monitoring. These reflect the business processes and help monitor KPIs.
  • Strategic dashboards which emphasise management. They reflect the end status of a KPI or metric for a set period.
  • Tactical dashboards that highlight analysis. They will help you to identify trends and to track how metrics have changed.

Finance dashboard

Your finance dashboard should offer a summary and interpretation of key aspects such as profit and loss, and cash management.

Sales and Marketing dashboard

Your marketing dashboard should provide insight into how successful the company’s marketing efforts are at generating sales and attracting and retaining customers. You should be able to see where people are getting ‘stuck’ in your sales funnel or pipeline.

Risk management dashboard

Your operation and safety dashboard should help you and your team to manage and prevent risk. It could include training and awareness, incident management, claims, compliance, risks for assets and projects, and hazard identification.

HR dashboard

Your HR dashboard should provide reports on internal metrics such as employee satisfaction as well as external metrics such as your company’s success rates for recruitment. Depending on the size of the organisation, it could also be used to track turnover and retention rates.

The benefits of using management dashboards

  • Instant access to core business metrics

Users across your organisation will be able to access core business metrics.

  • Consolidate data from across multiple analytic services

The management dashboard consolidates data from many data points in an organisation to provide one reporting interface. It will save time and effort typically spent on compiling reports, signing into different analytic services and then sharing the data to everyone in the company.

  • Provide real-time updates

Since changes in data or values is reflected in dashboards, you can identify fluctuations in crucial business metrics when they happen rather than having to wait for daily or weekly reports.

  • Align departments

Dashboards can provide metrics that are relevant to each department.

  • Allow root cause analysis

If you spot unusual trends in your summary reports, you can drill down to find their root cause.

  • Communicate and manage strategy

Dashboards can be used as agents to boost organisational change.

How to design the best dashboard

A well-designed dashboard will help improve your company’s productivity and save time, but a badly-designed dashboard will confuse users and challenging to share. It needs to be easy to use and to report the most meaningful data and insights.

That’s why it’s critical that you select the right metrics to display. Avoid the temptation to add as many metrics as you can. If you need to monitor lots of metrics, use dashboard tabs.

Keep the design simple to make it easier for people to read and to digest the information. Avoid using too many colours or fonts or different graphics. Group data in a way that’s relevant and which provides context.

To encourage as broad a range of users as possible, make the dashboard interactive with options to filter and drill down.

Decide the reporting frequency based on the type of dashboard you’re using. For example, structure operational dashboards so they provide daily reports and set up strategic dashboards to give a monthly or quarterly report.

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