Why do you actually need business dashboards?
One of the challenges facing companies today is that the data is dispersed across many databases, files, and software. If it’s neither centralized nor the access to it is cross-functional, reports might be often delivered too late and hence become useless. In a business' life there comes a point where you need to see the bigger picture to make the best decision. The volume of data will be growing and you’ll reach the point when you’ll need a tool which will help you to convert the data into readable structure. That’s when dashboards step in.
Now that you know why something needs to be done, you can proceed to work on outlining what you’d like to be done. Make sure your co-workers share the data-oriented mindset and understand why proper data analytics is so important. To establish data driven decision making in your company every employee needs the insight into business dashboards to be able to draw conclusions from them. However, smart companies know which employees should be granted the highest level of access and the possibility to mold the data. In data-driven companies the access is layered and clearly linked to employee’s role in the project.
Nobody knows the data better as the employees who work in the department from which the data comes from. They know best what data should be scrutinized and what kind of visuals should best represent progress in this particular department.
Creating a dashboard culture: the relevance of gathering and using data
In many companies one of the the most important data sources is usually the spending plan – the budget. To outline predicted income and expenses and thus be able to track actual cash flow and set spending goals, you must follow a lot of metrics. Traffic, Sales, Customer details and other data must be monitored in detail. A customized dashboard will track these for you, so you know not only on what stage you are on the way to realization of your plans, but also what could cause a certain side track from your goals.
Take a moment to review whether the data you collect corresponds to your goals and whether you track the most important metrics. Is it relevant or are you creating vanity metrics that no one really needs? Evaluating the relevance of particular pieces of data is necessary to manage it effectively. In a dashboard culture employees actively reflect on the data gathering process to make the most of their time and efforts.
Being operational, tactical and strategic
State-of-the-art Dashboard software is very functional indeed but it won’t do the business for you. This is where the power of dashboard culture comes in. You have to create habits to review your whole pipeline, your website KPIs, your sales KPIs etc. in regular intervals. All people responsible have to update data sources regularly to understand the direction the company is heading and undertake necessary action. Dashboard culture is the culture of team work and joint involvement.
Business dashboards will provide your team with real-time operational data, which can immediately steer your ship in the right direction. Additionally tactical data pertains to your upcoming plan such as the volume of outbound mailing you might need to reach your goal. Once you have all your sources flowing right to your dashboard tool, you’ll be able to have short term and long term charts that are specific for your needs.