A business dashboard is an information management tool that can be used to track metrics, KPIs, and several other key data points related to a business, organization, department, or a particular process. Business dashboards take the help of data visualizations to simplify complicated data sets and give users the correct and concise picture of the current performance.
Business Dashboards extract the value of data
Among all the assets that your company owns, data is undoubtedly the most valuable. Using this data effectively becomes difficult at times. But this is where dashboards do their job. They provide users across the company with information and hand over on-demand access to all the core organization metrics. When everyone in your team uses dashboards, work becomes a lot easier. This can be seen with tools like a balanced scorecard dashboard, which allows for setting goals and measuring them to see how well the overall strategy is being executed.
Align different departments
Data always shows an accurate picture. Dashboards provide a holistic view of the current performance related to inter-departmental activities. They can be used as a tool to catalyze further dialogue on common grounds. One example would be that we need to align sales and marketing efforts and the customer acquisition process. Dashboards can reveal metrics for each team precisely so that other teams can understand it too. You can take a look at different business dashboard examples to see if any of them fits your requirements.
Features of business dashboards
All business dashboards have some basic features that are common to all types. Let us have a look at some of them.
– Data visualizations
You should pick the appropriate data visualization for your dashboard to design it better. Data visualizations represent your data in a graphical manner and are an excellent way to break down complex information into an understandable format. Users will find it more convenient to study a single chart rather than go through a data file consisting of hundreds and thousands of entries. Some examples of data visualization tools are line charts, gauges, bar charts, and tables.
Types of dashboards
Business dashboards can broadly be classified into two types: analytical dashboards and operational dashboards. You can choose a single dashboard depending on your requirements and the problem you are trying to solve. You might also build a dashboard that has elements of both the analytical and operational dashboards.
– Operational dashboards
They are time-sensitive and are restricted by deadlines. Generally, the users of this type of dashboards are business managers and the general workforce of the office. The objectives operational dashboards seek to achieve our short-term and medium-term. They are tactical in nature.
– Analytical dashboards
The time frame of analytical dashboards is based on trends and deeper insights. The user base is restricted to analysts and executives. The objectives of the analytical dashboard are centered around strategy, and they are long-term goals.
Businesses have a lot of methods at their disposal for the creation of dashboards. Mainly, there are three types of dashboard software that are used commonly.
The software is installed directly without any intermediaries on the network or computer. The management of such dashboards is usually local, and they are published with the help of printing and exporting as a PDF.
If you have a computer and internet connection, you can access the software easily. Anyone can build and design this kind of dashboard using a web browser and publish it on more than one device.
You can access the software or any mobile device, including tablets or smartphones. Dashboards may be centered around a native application or accessible through a cloud environment.
The process of building and designing
A well-built dashboard leads to overall change and transforms organizational behavior. Before you begin with the designing process, you need to chalk out a plan with clear objectives and has a fixed audience. Some tips that can help you in this journey are listed below.
– Define your set of audience
All the projects on your dashboard are based on your audience. The first step of designing your dashboard is answering the question of who will use the dashboard and the purpose of using it. It depends a lot on your audience about which device they would be using the dashboard on, whether web browsers, mobile devices, or LCD TV monitors. When you are done with this step, note down your audience’s feedback and address it on the future designs of your dashboard.
– Spot the key metrics
In this step, the first question you should answer is what is the problem you are trying to solve. You should look at the KPIs and metrics you are trying to track to identify the metrics. This is how you will be able to understand what you need to accomplish. You will have a roadmap ready for building your dashboard. Metrics is a great tool to measure the success of your team and business in general.