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For any business to succeed in the digital age, it needs purpose, direction, and the resources to grow as well as adapt to the ever-changing landscape surrounding it. To achieve this, strong leadership is essential.
As a CEO, you’re responsible for overseeing every aspect of your business, from the people and the internal culture all the way through to key sales, marketing, and financial strategies. While your organization is no doubt brimming with the kind of talent that can drive every aspect of your organization forward, ultimately, the success of the company rests on your shoulders.
Compassion and people skills aside, every strong leader needs the vision to be the best they can be. And to gain a greater vision, you need to embrace the power of digital data, using professional CEO dashboards and reports as your informational vessel.
By leveraging smart online data analysis in the right way, you will gain access to insights that will help you develop strategies that foster growth and innovation while keeping your staff motivated, engaged, and happy. In this age, making rough estimates or shooting in the dark will only get you so far. For this reason, gaining access to the perfect mix of tangible insights is vital.
‘But how do I improve my leadership strategy across the board?’ – you might ask. CEO reporting is the answer.
As mentioned, CEO dashboards will give you access to quality insights, giving you more confidence in the process.
By leveraging the power of an online dashboard, you can create a powerful executive-level narrative with your data in minutes. Here, we’ll consider what a leadership dashboard is and what it does, explore a selection of real-world CEO dashboard examples to demonstrate the power of this valuable leadership tool, followed by top tips to create CEO reports. We will focus on the key aspects of various departments that will benefit from dynamic CEO-level data, empowering chief executive officers to make informed real-time decisions as well as innovative leadership strategies.
Let’s dive in.
What Is A CEO Dashboard?
A CEO dashboard is a management reporting tool used to track, analyze, and visualize data. It empowers CEOs and other C-level executives to make data-driven decisions with the help of interactive, high-level metrics from sales, marketing, finance, and other areas.
CEOs need a birds-eye overview of the most prominent metrics that will help them make the best possible decision in order to improve outcomes, and a comprehensive leadership dashboard is one of the solutions that can certainly help.
Data-driven dashboards offer leaders a level of insight that maximizes the value of the top-level data available at their fingertips, enhancing strategic decision-making and mentorship across the board.
Additionally, dashboards can serve as CEO reports, and now we will explain how.
What Is A CEO Report?
A CEO report is a critical analytical tool that serves up historical trends and real-time insights in a way that’s visual, digestible, and easy to navigate. These reports can be delivered in the form of an interactive dashboard or .pdf file, for example.
It’s possible to tailor CEO dashboards to your specific needs, goals, and requirements, working with CEO KPIs that will help you uncover priceless trends and insights with ease. To do so, CEO dashboard software will prove to be a critical leadership tool for the digital age, but we will go into details later. In essence, it offers the following benefits:
- Improved decision-making.
- Wider accessibility to important data.
- Mobility through 24/7 mobile dashboard access.
- Improved internal communication will make the organization stronger.
The Key Benefits Of CEO Reporting & Dashboards
Now that you’re up to speed with the concept of a leadership dashboard and its functions on a C-level, we’re going to explore the key benefits of using CEO dashboard metrics to your advantage.
1. Confidence, validation & trust
As a leader, everyone in the organization will naturally look to you for guidance and answers to a wealth of very specific questions about the business. To stay composed and remain a positive authoritative influence, working with robust, reliable, and digestible data is essential. By serving up accurate data in an accessible visual format, a modern CEO BI dashboard will give you the confidence to take charge of every core aspect of the organization while validating your choices with actionable insights. In turn, this will build greater trust and transparency, boosting engagement and productivity in the process.
Expanding on our last point, the accessible visual nature of CEO dashboards will help you make informed, accurate, and progressive decisions under pressure. By interacting with a wealth of real-time data-driven insights or empowering your senior staff with the tools to create insightful narratives with dynamic CEO reports, you will make consistently powerful decisions that will ultimately accelerate the growth of your organization.
3. Extensive data access
By investing in innovative business intelligence dashboard software, you will create a data-powered culture throughout the organization. With a modern CEO board report, you no longer have to be a developer or tech wizard to transform insight into action. Any modern CEO dashboard worth its salt is customizable, allowing you to work with the KPIs that align with your specific goals and objectives while giving everyone the tools to perform to their best abilities. CEO dashboard software equals extensive data access, placing accessible insights in your hands as well as the hands of your organization’s brightest talent. And when you do that, your organization will thrive.
4. Flexibility & adaptability
CEO dashboard reporting software not only allows you to curate, analyze, and access a raft of invaluable data from one central location - as any solid modern CEO report generator is optimized for a range of devices, including mobile and desktop, you can connect with business-boosting insights and make razor-sharp decisions 24/7 wherever you are in the world.
5. Panoramic vision & BI
By working with the perfect storm of historical, predictive, and real-time analytics, you can leverage strengths, identify weaknesses, spot emerging trends, and uncover insights you never thought possible. This level of BI reporting will filter down throughout the entire organization, making it efficient, effective, and industry-leading across departments.
6. Performance review
Regardless of your niche or industry, the most effective way to achieve or even exceed your business’s goals is by setting clear-cut targets and benchmarks. Whether you’re talking about a CEO weekly report template or a CEO quarterly report template, by interacting with highly visual and insightful top-level KPIs, you can monitor performance across departments with pinpoint accuracy, offering the right level of support and strategic tweaks where required.
7. Communication & innovation
All of these business-boosting benefits combined serve to break down silos and create a culture of innovation. And by being able to make quicker, more valuable decisions while saving time on sifting through a static report or large lists of figures, you can focus on offering additional support, mentorship, and developing innovative strategies that will push you ahead of your competitors, one powerful leadership activity at a time.
Essential CEO Dashboard Examples & Templates
Now that we’ve considered the benefits of working with a modern dashboard for CEOs, it’s time to explore some real-life CEO dashboard templates. These very different but equally powerful examples are interactive and visual and provide a level of insight that fosters enhanced leadership in a number of areas.
Let’s start with our CEO KPI dashboard focused on finances and satisfaction levels.
1. CEO Dashboard For Financial Health & Team's Success
CEOs need to track the financial development of a company but also focus on the team and customers to generate the best possible insights and move the company forward. In our first CEO corporate dashboard, we focus on exactly that.
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By monitoring financial health with the help of high-level financial KPIs such as revenue, EBIT, net income, and cost breakdown, each executive has immense data to monitor and optimize the financial performance of a company. Additionally, modern CEOs need to stay connected to the team and customers to know their satisfaction levels. This is important in our digital age, as employees will switch companies if they're not satisfied. The same can be assumed for customers.
CEO metrics explained:
- Gross profit margin:
This financial chart expounds on the total sales revenue you keep after accounting for all costs related to your product or service. It's an important metric to track since you can evaluate how efficient your operational processes are.
For example, you need to include in your calculation all prices of materials and labor of your production facility but exclude expenses such as rent. The higher the margin, the more income you retain from your sales dollars.
- Operating expense ratio:
The operating expense ratio needs to be included in every CEO report template you will create from the financial perspective, as it will show you how well you manage your operating expenses in comparison to the total revenue.
This metric is particularly interesting for investors since they usually want to know how high are your operating costs in connection to the generated revenue, as mentioned. It's important to include this metric in your financial reports since C-level executives need to obtain a clear-cut overview of whether the company is scalable. If you can keep operating expenses at a lower level, the company will realize more profits.
- Cash conversion cycle:
Converting resources into cash is the focus of the cash conversion cycle (CCC). A CEO report to the board of directors will usually depict the CCC in order to show how much time the company needs to convert its inventory investments (and other resources) into cash flows from sales.
This strategic visual tracks the progress over the course of the past three years automatically. It's created with a professional dashboard generator that enables you to save time and resources from manual calculations and immediately spot that the illustrated cycle is becoming healthier each year.
2. SaaS Management Dashboard For Sustainable Growth
As digital technology evolves, the SaaS sector continues to evolve. If you're the head of a budding software-of-a-service company, this CEO dashboard template will help you meet or even exceed your goals consistently.
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With four areas designed to track and measure customer churn, acquisition costs, recurring monthly revenue, and average revenue per unit (among other key insights), this dynamic SaaS CEO dashboard sample offers all the key ingredients for growth, efficiency, fluidity, and strategic planning.
Whether your SaaS venture is brand new or you’ve been around for some time and are looking to expand your audience, this management dashboard will help you achieve and even surpass your goals on a regular basis.
- Customer acquisition costs:
The customer acquisition cost is a KPI critical for any serious SaaS business that needs to know how much costs are incurred before convincing a prospect to buy the product or service. A chief executive officer report focused on the SaaS area needs to monitor this metric regularly in order to generate invaluable insights.
Leaders in a SaaS company usually keep a close eye on the MRR since it gives a good indication that a company is developing in a healthy way, especially since it will enable you to make accurate financial forecasts based on users' subscriptions.
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A comprehensive SaaS dashboard will include the MRR as one of the most important indicators in SaaS management, especially on a C-suite level where the monthly recurring revenue plays a pivotal role in successful business development.
The average revenue per unit (user or account) is a CEO metric critical for indicating the customer's revenue from all your sales. The point is to keep the acquisition costs lower than your ARPU in order to make stable profits.
3. Investor Relations Dashboard For Powerful Presentations
Our second CEO dashboard sample focuses on one of the most critical components of any thriving enterprise – investor relations.
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The investor relations CEO dashboard template serves up a priceless mix of high-level metrics that will help you keep your professional relationships healthy while ensuring your asset-driven financial affairs are fluent and protected at all times.
By drilling down into your existing assets, your return on assets and equity, and your price-earnings ratio, this powerful executive-level CEO dashboard example will help both you and your shareholders thrive indefinitely.
Key metrics used:
- Return on assets
- Return on equity
- P/E ratio
- Debt-equity ratio
- Share price
- Working capital ratio
4. CEO Dashboard For An Overall Business Overview
Next, in our leadership dashboard examples, we have a scorecard that offers a 360-view of a business's operations in 4 key areas: finances, sales and marketing, customer service, and human resources. Each of the indicators displayed on this template is compared to a benchmark for the previous quarter and year, where positive changes are marked in green and negative ones in red. This kind of overview enables the CEO to spot improvement opportunities as well as the success of different strategies in the short and long term.
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Among some of the valuable conclusions that an executive can extract from this template, we can see an increase in the total expenses compared to the previous quarter. This would be an alarming number on its own; however, when taking a deeper look at the yearly view, we can see that the operating expense ratio has been decreasing for the past three months. Plus, we see a big decrease in total expenses compared to the previous year. Therefore, the quarterly increase is probably nothing to worry about.
Going into the customer service section, we can see an increase in the number of issues as well as a decrease in the net promoter score. While these values are not critical, as the retention rate is growing, it is still something to be looked into to prevent any further increases, as the net promoter score is one of the most important customer service KPIs out there. Let's explore some metrics in more detail below.
- Net profit margin
The net profit margin is a critical financial KPI that tells the chief executive officer how much money the organization has left as a profit after all related expenses, such as production, labor costs, marketing, rent, insurance, and others, are subtracted from the total revenue. It is a fundamental ratio to understand the profitability of a company, and it should be as low as possible.
- Net promoter score
Customers and employees are the most important elements of a company. After all, without the two, the company would not sell or produce. Therefore, keeping them happy is of utmost importance for the CEO. Our template above shows a gauge chart displaying the net promoter score for customers, with 65% of them considered promoters of the business. Naturally, you want to keep this score as high as possible to ensure your company stays successful. A lower score means the business is not offering a good service or product and something needs to be improved.
Additional KPIs on the example:
- Number of issues
- Employee satisfaction
- Marketing budget
- Cost per acquisition
5. CMO Dashboard For Top Marketing Performance
Without a doubt, in our cutthroat digital age, investing ample time and funds in your business's various marketing strategies is essential.
Our next template focuses on a marketing dashboard, a CMO-centric tool that will help you consolidate, organize, and analyze colossal datasets in one intuitive central location. This is actually a report to CEO example that is a good blueprint to present the marketing performance to the chief executive officer in a more detailed way if there are specific marketing-related questions.
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Boasting the perfect mix of top-level insights, this comprehensive CEO dashboard example will help you optimize your marketing strategies, which will help you significantly boost your brand awareness and bottom line—an essential dashboard tool for any leader's digital toolkit.
CEO KPIs explained:
- Customer lifetime value:
Another critical metric within the marketing C-level suite, the lifetime value of a customer, needs to be included in a CEO corporate dashboard since it's a precious indicator of achieving success in business. The longer you can keep a customer, the more revenue you will generate.
CEOs need to grasp marketing and closely monitor the customer lifetime value as it will help them to identify the most profitable marketing channel, which you can additionally examine on an operational level. Additionally, it will help you determine where to allocate the budget and how.
Additional measurements in our example:
- Sales target & growth
- Website-traffic-to-lead ratio
- Cost per lead
- Lead-to-MQL ratio
- MQL-to-SQL ratio
To learn more details about additional metrics, you can check out our rundown of the most important marketing KPIs.
6. Sales KPI Dashboard For Increasing Revenue & Profits
As you’ll no doubt know, as a chief executive, sales are integral to the existence of your organization.
Our sales dashboard hones in on every vital top-level area of this department providing insights that will help you reduce customer churn, improve economic efficiency, optimize your campaigns, and capitalize on revenue-boosting activities such as upselling and cross-selling. This dashboard will enable you to create sales reports that are easy to digest and enhance your decision-making processes.
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As a business leader, keeping a keen eye on your organization’s sales activities is crucial. This CEO report sample will ensure that you not only measure these sales KPIs with ease but also uncover fresh insights that will help to increase your bottom line.
- Sales target:
As selling is a critical part of every strategy, CEOs need to take into account also if their team has reached planned goals. To make matters more simple, a visual CEO report example such as the one below should be high on the strategic sales performance tracking list.
This metric will help you determine if your sales processes are on the right track or need more adjustments. The goal is, of course, to outperform your forecasted amount.
- Customer churn rate:
Losing customers is never easy, but it's important to track this metric in order to evaluate the trends within your business and upscale your retention strategies.
By automating these calculations with the help of modern KPI dashboard software, the churn rate will be immediately shown with up-to-date information without the need for tedious manual work. In our template above, we can see that the churn rate is 2%, but it will depend on your area and industry.
Additional metrics in our example:
- Upsell & cross-sell rates
- Profit margin per rep
- Incremental sales by campaign
7. Talent Dashboard To Track Employee Engagement
Among the many critical tasks and areas that chief executive officers need to monitor, HR is at the top of the list. CEOs need to ensure that the company is hiring the best talent out there as well as keeping them satisfied and productive. For that purpose, this HR dashboard is a great tool to help leaders oversee the status of the different talent indicators.
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Having a dashboard like the one above is especially useful in today’s context. The CEO annual report 2022 by Deloitte shows that the unstable political, social, and economic conditions across the globe have significantly disrupted the business world, with a wave of resignations collectively known as the “great resignation.” In this sense, 62% of respondents said that training leaders on how to employ and engage employees is one of the top actions they are taking to avoid being affected by this growing issue. Taking all that into account, having an analytical tool to track everything related to talent management is an invaluable asset. Let’s look at some CEO KPI examples for HR.
- Talent Satisfaction
As its name suggests, the talent satisfaction metric tracks the level of content and engagement of employees toward your business. Many factors can affect the way an employee feels toward the workplace. Some of them include salary, office environment, and flexible working hours, just to name a few. To measure this indicator, it is necessary to conduct satisfaction surveys and pinpoint specific areas of improvement. In this case, the KPI is tracked against a target, and it divides employees by employment period, which is another important factor to consider.
- Talent Turnover Rate
The talent turnover rate is another relevant indicator for efficient HR analytics. It tracks the number of employees who left a company in a given period. In the image above, the turnover rate is tracked by involuntary and voluntary leaves, as well as the department. This is an important metric for C-level executives, given that hiring new employees costs a lot of time and money. Not to mention it can harm general organizational strategies due to the fact that some positions need to be filled for various years to make the investment worth it.
8. Procurement KPI Dashboard For A Complete Picture Of The Purchasing Process
Paired with HR, marketing, and finances, another relevant area that CEOs need to monitor is procurement. Hand in hand with the CPO, a chief operating officer needs to ensure that the organization's purchasing processes are efficient and convenient. That said, the template below is the perfect tool for this, as it contains a mix of critical procurement metrics.
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With the level of insights provided by the procurement dashboard above, chief executives can assess compliance, supplier quality, the performance of supply chain strategies, and of the procurement team in making the best deals for the company. Additionally, the level of interactivity of this dashboard allows management to drill down into the data and extract deeper conclusions to improve. Let's look at two key metrics from this dashboard below.
- Compliance Rate
The compliance rate is a procurement KPI that provides insights into the company-supplier relationship and ensures that all the contracted agreements are being met. It includes various factors such as the maximum reaction time in case of any issue, the delivery time, special discount offers, etc. It helps the procurement team to negotiate better prices and discounts with suppliers.
- Purchase Order Cycle Time
As its name suggests, the purchase order cycle time tracks the end-to-end ordering process from the moment a PO is created to its approval, receipt, invoice, and finally, payment. Each supplier is divided into a short, medium, and long section based on their purchase order cycle time. This is valuable information as it tells you who to contact when you need a service with urgency.
To dig deeper into the CEO dashboards solutions that the examples above were created with, we will take a look at the main features a CEO dashboard software should include in order to generate value for companies of all sizes and industries.
What To Look For In A CEO Dashboard Software?
As mentioned earlier, every CEO needs a birds-eye overview of the complete business, and modern software and tools help him/her to save time, consolidate multiple touchpoints, and generate actionable insights within minutes. To create the examples we discussed above, a professional CEO dashboard software should have these components and/or elements:
1. Professional data connectors
As you saw in our list of examples covering marketing, HR, finance, and sales, CEOs need to get a centralized view of all departments to ensure the organization is running smoothly. To do so, they need to trust in solutions that will offer them an easy and efficient way of monitoring all important areas in one place without having to do any tedious manual work. That said, dashboard software should provide professional data connectors. This technology allows users to connect multiple data sources to one location with just a few clicks. This way, executives can get a centralized view of all relevant metrics without the need to jump from one report to another or manually update the data on them.
2. Real-time data
As mentioned a couple of times, CEOs are in charge of overseeing the correct functioning of the entire organization across areas and departments. To do so, they need to stay on top of any latest developments or potential threats to ensure they don’t have a negative impact on the overall performance of the company. For that reason, having access to real-time data is a key feature of these tools. By having access to the latest insights as soon as they are generated, the CEO can ensure everything is running as expected and that no unforeseen situation can affect the company. Plus, it allows for a more informed and strategic decision-making process as the chief executive can evaluate the progress of strategies and tweak them to ensure resources are spent smartly.
3. Professional data alerts
Expanding on the point above, paired with real-time data, a crucial feature a dashboard software should offer is data alerts. CEOs are busy running the entire operations and don’t have time to check the data all the time manually. Professional data alerts send notifications to users as soon as a predefined target is reached or if any anomaly occurs in the data. This will save countless hours of time manually checking the progress of KPIs, leaving the manager enough time to focus on other important strategic tasks. datapine offers its users three types of alerts powered by neural networks, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
4. Advanced interactivity levels
The best dashboard software for CEOs needs to have advanced interactivity features such as drill-downs, time interval widgets, chart zoom, etc. These features are the very essence of viewing data from different angles while interacting with the screen as different questions arise, whether at a meeting or during the analysis process. A modern dashboard generator, such as datapine, also provides translation options to translate the content of the dashboard into over 10 different languages. This is a great functionality for C-level executives in big corporations that need to have meetings with investors and clients across the globe. Thanks to this interactive functionality, they don’t need to generate multiple dashboards for different languages. They can adopt a singular one upon their needs.
5. Cross-device accessibility
Chief executive officers need to have access to information from anywhere and anytime. Professional software ensures that data is available from multiple devices, whether mobile, desktop, or tablet. That way, C-suite has immediate access to information and doesn't have to "shoot in the dark." Thanks to modern cloud solutions, and a simple Internet connection, CEOs have their data available - immediately.
6. White labeling
The possibility to give a professional look to your dashboards through customization is another fundamental feature you should look for when investing in this kind of software. A white-label dashboard gives you the possibility to change the layout to the colors, logo, and font of your business. This is especially useful when it comes to meetings with investors, clients, or any other external stakeholder, as it gives your organization a professional look.
7. Multiple visualization options
Another important feature to consider is having multiple data visualization options. Being able to tell a story with your data is one of the most important aspects of a successful dashboarding process, and data visualizations such as various types of graphs and charts are key to telling a coherent story. This is due to the fact that the human brain processes images much faster than numbers. Therefore, having software that gives you the freedom to tell your stories through a wide range of visuals is a must. Added to this, visuals also make the data more accessible and easy to understand, which can prove useful when CEOs are trying to explain to employees how they should improve and what strategies will be implemented.
8. Predictive analytics and forecasting
Chief executives need to predict future scenarios in order to avoid potential bottlenecks and create a sustainable environment. Technologies that have emerged in recent years offer forecasting features that can ease a CEO's life and provide an additional perspective for future development. Based on past data points, the software automatically calculates predictions and presents data visually. Therefore, you can immediately spot what will happen with your data from sales, marketing, finances, procurement, or any other industry that modern CEOs need to lead and upscale.
9. Multiple sharing options
When you create a certain CEO report to board template, you want the possibility to quickly and efficiently share it. Customizing reports, recipients, and the information you want to share ensures complete control over the data you want to present, as well as the level of access to the specified recipients. In practice, that means that you can share the complete chief executive officer dashboard through a public URL and embed the dashboard within another application, intranet, or website. Even better, the sharing process can be automated, meaning the reports will be sent to selected recipients at a predefined time and date through a selected format.
10. Viewing rights
Apart from the flexibility of automatically sharing reports, CEOs also need to ensure that the information contained in them is secure and not accessible to everyone. After all, those reports contain sensitive data about the organization’s main operations, and they should be shared carefully. For that purpose, a viewing rights feature enables users to set editing or viewing permissions for specified recipients. At datapine, we offer four viewing rights options: the administrator, that can access and edit the report without limitations. The viewer, which can only view and interact with the data, the editor, which can edit the dashboard with some limitations. And finally, the power viewer which can access the dashboards and edit them based on admin permissions.
The listed features are some of the most prominent ones you should look for if you need to present your data to the CEO or if you're an chief that needs to share insights with the executive board. Now we will focus on what information to include in such dashboards and finish with tips to make your executive efforts more valuable and more effective.
What Info Does The CEO Need In A Dashboard?
It’s clear that CEO dashboard software offers a variety of business-boosting benefits for those in a leadership role. However, to enjoy optimum success, it's vital to understand what you should include in your management reports. So, what info does a CEO need in a dashboard?
Let’s explore by looking at the core information you should include in your CEO dashboard reports:
1. The right KPIs & metrics
To ensure that your dashboard delivers the right insights for your individual goals, working with the right indicators is an absolute must. If your dashboard includes KPIs that are irrelevant to the insights you're looking to gain, it will be essentially useless.
Sit down with your senior team in a collaborative environment and examine your current processes as well as your proposed goals. Once you've established your aims and gained a greater understanding of your processes across the board, you'll be able to select the measurements that will best suit your needs and help you drive the business forward, and create a powerful CEO monthly report template.
You can also check our rich library of various KPI examples based on different departments, sectors, and functions for your consideration.
2. The right design & visualizations
Once you've selected the right KPIs, you'll need to set up your dashboard and customize it to your preferences. Different KPIs will offer different visualizations depending on their nature or function. Therefore, keeping a close eye on which visuals you choose is fundamental. We’ll discuss this point in more detail later in the post.
To ensure quick and effective access to your most valuable data, designing your CEO dashboard metrics and template - correctly - is essential. By following the most prominent dashboard design principles, you will stand a greater chance of getting a clearer picture of your company's processes inside out.
3. Management, marketing, finance & sales in one
As a CEO, you’ll need access to a wide range of data spanning departments. In doing so, you’ll get a well-rounded, panoramic view of the organization’s progress while gaining the ability to formulate key strategies in a number of critical areas.
To thrive as a data-driven business leader, you will need to include KPIs and information balanced across management, marketing, sales, and finance – make sure you cover all bases.
Naturally, the specific analytical reports and data included in your dashboards will be tailored to your aims as a CEO. However, the takeaway here is that you must make sure that your CEO software serves up the perfect mix of insights rather than leaning towards one particular area to avoid stunting your professional vision.
4. Performance data
Naturally, a CEO dashboard KPI will give you a clear-cut visual representation of your performance in specific areas in comparison to previous weeks, months, or years. But if you want to squeeze maximum value from your KPIs and visualizations as a CEO, working with insights that shed light on departmental as well as individual output and efficiency will give you the tools you need to provide training and support in the right areas.
As a business leader, you are a mentor. If you know exactly where to offer support, consultancy, and guidance, you will steer your organization to success. Including performance-based KPIs, including customer support or sales rep success rates and productivity benchmarks, will help you do just that.
5. Growth insights
As a business leader, you will work with a variety of CEO dashboard examples. But to ensure you’re able to keep a firm grasp on your company’s fiscal health and success, working with templates, charts, and metrics that offer at-a-glance access to growth-based information such as sales figures, expenditure, profit ratios, partnership data, and fulfillment information will empower you to monitor your company’s growth while making swift strategic tweaks if any issues or discrepancies emerge.
6. Human resources (HR) information
In addition to analyzing top-level analytics related to sales, marketing, and finance, as a leader creating (and maintaining) a culture of trust, transparency, and community, you will dictate the ongoing growth of your business.
To keep everyone in the organization engaged while ensuring consistent organizational growth, working with HR metrics, including talent acquisition KPIs, staff productivity rates, and talent-centric data, will give you the level of vision needed to retain your staff while fostering collaboration, communication, and innovation across the board.
Top 14 Tips To Create Effective CEO Reports
We have expounded on the various CEO reports examples and templates, but to fully leverage the power of creating such reporting tools, you should keep in mind these tips:
1. Concentrate on the big picture
CEOs aren't interested in vanity metrics or low-level ones. They need to ensure the company's strategy is on track, but the details and operational activities are kept under control by managers and staff members. By utilizing high-level KPIs, each CEO can paint a full picture based on where the business is going and what needs to adjust. That being said, don't present the bounce rate data from your website or inform him/her that a specific product is out of stock, but focus on strategic insights that need to be monitored by a chief executive, such as customer costs or values.
2. Define performance targets
Given that chief executive officers need to ensure efficiency and growth across the entire organization, it is a great practice to set performance targets. This is useful not only to assess the success of the different activities and strategies but also to measure the performance of employees and departments. By setting attainable and realistic targets, leaders can also spot improvement opportunities to ensure efficiency and success. If you want to dig deeper into the topic of KPI targets and goals, then take a look at our complete guide on the topic!
3. Consider your audience
Depending on the context, CEOs might need to present reports to diverse audiences. Of course, each of them needs to have different information and formats to serve the purpose. For instance, c-level executives, such as CMOs, CTOs, or COOs, might need more detailed information regarding strategies and performance than investors, who might just need to see some financial indicators. The important thing is to be aware of the purpose each of them has and build the report based on each audience's needs. This way, the reporting process will be more engaging and efficient.
4. Evaluate data literacy
As a chief executive officer, you need to ensure the entire organization is involved in the analytical process. After all, the basis for successful data analysis relies on an organizational data-driven culture. That being said, it is not as easy as it sounds, as many employees might not feel comfortable with integrating reporting and analytics into their operations. For that reason, it is a great practice to assess the level of data literacy across employees.
Data literacy refers to the capacity to understand and communicate with data. Ensuring a certain level of literacy across the workforce can significantly boost the reporting process leading the business to better results. To do so, you should ask everyone about their knowledge and skills and provide the necessary training to anyone who needs it. It is also important to note that most analytical tools out there offer a self-service approach that allows everyone to easily generate reports without major technical knowledge.
5. Take appropriate time intervals
As we saw in our CEO report examples above, none of them are based on a daily level. Chief executives don't need to be alarmed by each daily report that departments need to follow in order to manage their part of the business properly. Usually, it is wise to use weekly, monthly, or quarterly intervals, depending on the level of responsibility the CEO delegates. It can also differ from business to business, so it might make sense to communicate and adjust accordingly.
6. Don't concentrate only on past performance
CEO reports should also take a look into the future and indicate predictions. When creating your reports with a dashboard builder, make sure you are setting realistic goals and that you also have the resources which are needed to achieve those goals; the report can provide a clear business picture and a roadmap for the next level of development.
7. Integrate all core areas of your business
Each business needs several core areas to function properly and generate growth. A SaaS corporation will have different core areas than retail, but as we already mentioned in the article, sales and marketing are usually always important. Other relevant metrics you might need to cover are customer support, HR, IT KPIs, procurement, etc.
Having a clear structure in these areas is of utmost importance. By using various dashboard tabs and internal widget linking, your business story can be presented much easier, accompanied by effective visuals that ensure efficient dashboard and data storytelling.
8. Enable data-driven decisions
CEOs must be given everything they need and concisely. But more importantly, giving them the possibility to drill down into central KPIs on their own or during a business meeting with other C-level executives by taking advantage of modern, interactive dashboards and by avoiding static reports, insights and possibilities are endless.
9. Pick the right visuals
We already introduced the importance of picking the right visuals earlier in the post, but it is so important that we will dive into the topic in more detail here.
Choosing the wrong type of chart to visualize your KPIs can significantly damage your reports as the data can be interpreted in a different way. This can also lead to misleading conclusions that can harm the decision-making process and, consequently, the entire organization. For that reason, making sure you carefully select the type of visual you want to use is of utmost importance. We recommend clearly defining the role that KPI is supposed to play in your data story and picking the visual that will help you portray that in the most effective way.
Our guide on the different types of charts and graphs will give you the necessary knowledge to get started!
10. Explore story-telling potential
Humans respond best to compelling plots and narratives - CEO data analytics is no exception. When developing a CEO report and selecting your KPIs, you should consider how each metric will work together to tell a story based on a specific department, function, or outcome.
Taking a storytelling approach to your CEO and leadership dashboards will make your insights more accessible, more inspiring, and, as a result, more powerful. Read our guide to inspirational data storytelling examples to find out how you can use this effective technique to your advantage.
11. Prioritize form & function over aesthetics
When you’re creating customized reports as a CEO, it’s important to get your design efforts right. To ensure that your dashboard content (the reports) is easy to understand and straightforward to interact with, you must make sure that your designs are consistent in form and color, presented in a logical format, and provide yourself as well as other users in the business with features or functionality that help them drill down into important pockets of information with ease. Another plus point for valuing function over aesthetics is that your information will appear more consistent, professional, and presentable when meeting with external stakeholders—further propelling your brand reputation and business growth.
12. Think of security and privacy
With the rise of cyberattacks and data breaches, ensuring a business’s sensitive financial, customer, and employee data remains private and secure is critical. This is often a challenge in the reporting process as the reports can be shared and accessed by many. We recommend investing in software that offers a secure environment to manage, access, and share data. For instance, by setting viewer rights like the ones we mentioned before, password-protected URLs to access the reports, as well as training to ensure employees are aware of common security threats.
13. Learn from the bad and the good results
As the head of an organization, you are responsible for making important decisions that will drive the success of the organization. To make the most out of the process, it is an important best practice to not only focus on good results. There is a wide range of insights hiding behind bad results, and a successful CEO must be able to dig deeper into them and find improvement opportunities. After all, having a complete picture of the good and the bad allows leaders to know the business in its entirety, which is a key requirement for successful management. This is especially true when it comes to big corporations, where the chief executive officer needs to answer to a board of directors. Showing the board that there are areas to improve and there's work being done to improve them is a great way to approach leadership.
14. Keep on evolving
This may sound obvious, but you would be amazed at just how many CEOs overlook this essential point: once you’ve created your CEO report format, you should periodically update it to ensure it offers maximum value.
In our fast-paced and incredibly cutthroat digital age, the landscape is always shifting. It doesn’t matter what niche or industry you operate in; taking the time to tweak and evolve your CEO-style reports frequently will ensure the best possible return on investment (ROI) for your reporting efforts while keeping you ahead of the curve.
Final Thoughts On CEO Dashboards & Reports
We’ve asked the question, ‘What info does a CEO need in a dashboard,’ looked at a mix of business-boosting leadership benefits, and explored a mix of real-world executive dashboard examples. And one thing is clear: if you’re a business leader looking to push your business to the next level, data is indeed your friend.
Dashboards for CEOs will help you manage the endless amount of data available at your fingertips, empowering you to extract actionable insights that will make your business decisions all the more valuable while improving trust, transparency, and communication throughout the organization.
Doing so will improve interdepartmental collaboration, boost the efficiency of your processes, propel your commercial reach, boost your bottom line, and guide your organization into a bright and prosperous future.
Data is the new oil, and a leadership dashboard is the vehicle that drives it – don’t miss out.
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