A chief technology officer (also referred to as chief technical officer or chief technologist), has an immense responsibility to drive a company forward and lead the technological advancements, research, development, and management in order to generate business value and increase the return on investment (ROI).
To successfully gain control and improve a company's technological needs, CTO dashboards and reports are needed as invaluable tools that consolidate multiple data points and support chief officers in strategic developments as well as online data analysis efforts, empowering their status of champions for new solutions. A crucial position within the c-suite of a company as the highest technology executive position, CTOs need to align technology-related decisions with the company's goals. Oftentimes, this task is not easy but mixed with both business and technical or IT challenges that require the usage of modern CTO reporting software and tools.
To put things into perspective, we will focus on CTO dashboards and reports, beginning with the definitions, continuing with an example that you can use for your own business requirements, and finish with the most prominent benefits these dashboards and reports deliver to chief technologists. Without further ado, let's begin.
What Is A CTO Dashboard?
A CTO dashboard is a critical tool in the process of evaluating, monitoring, and analyzing crucial high-level IT metrics such as support expenses or critical bugs, e.g., with the goal to create a centralized and dynamic point of access for all relevant IT data.
Moreover, such dashboards offer succinct visuals that are easily accessible and shareable with the rest of c-level management while making the data management processes more digestible and polished for everyone involved. In its very essence, an IT leadership dashboard is extremely customizable, making it accessible in any technology and non-technology-based industry where CTOs have importance such as game development, biotechnology, automotive, etc.
Besides, these dashboards can also be used as CTO reports.
What Is A CTO Report?
A CTO report is based on a curated collection of data and statistics that exist within the dashboard and offer a wealth of information based on established KPIs that can be easily automated and shared across the board, in order to monitor relevant IT performance.
CTO reporting delivers a presentational focus on relevant data that CTOs need to collect to be able to generate actionable insights and improve the company's technological bottom line. Duties such as managing the IT infrastructure, planning technical strategies, analyzing target markets, and creating business models need proper management reporting tools that CTOs can utilize and derive short and longterm value for an organization.
By facilitating visual metrics and mixing interactive features, these reports ensure advantages in operational and strategic developments within the company such as automation. Consequently, time is generously saved and productivity levels easily rise but we will focus on detailed benefits later in our article. Now we will present a comprehensive CTO dashboard example that will put our notions into a visual perspective and explain how simplicity and complexity work together on a single screen.
Benefit From Our CTO Dashboard Example
When we spoke about gathering all relevant data points under a single umbrella, a CTO dashboard tool offers a robust solution that will form the very foundation of your tech-based decisions, and here we explain exactly how with the help of our visual example.
**click to enlarge**
The dashboard depicted above was created for a monthly overview but incorporates a quick comparison to the previous month, in this case, February. We can see 4 main pillars of higher-level metrics that focus on learning, internal processes, finance and customers, and, finally, users.
The learning aspect covers critical metrics such as reopened tickets, team attrition rate, and critical bugs, compared to the last month as well as visually represented over through the course of a year. This CTO reporting structure enables chief officers to quickly identify main bottlenecks within the ability of the department or company to effectively learn from errors and avoid potential lags within the IT operation.
Secondly, the internal pillar with the mean time to repair, availability, downtime due to security and accuracy of estimates will help teams to prevent and plan better the measures needed to optimize and improve their performance. For example, we can see that Thomas hasn't delivered a satisfactory level of accuracy so it would make sense to start asking questions in order to avoid such scenarios in the future.
Thirdly, each CTO dashboard software needs to enable users to easily track financial and customer-related data. In our example, the data-story focuses on IT expenses in the percentage of total expenses, per employee, per user as well as net promoter score and business system use. We can immediately spot some issues which are triggered automatically by the IT dashboard and set in red color to attract immediate attention. The chief officer has a clear signal that finances need more focus and monitoring in order to avoid potential issues.
Finally, a clear overview of active and inactive users can give you a quick glance into the performance of this month but also the development over time, in this case, a year. All these features will enable you to immediately spot inefficiencies within your scope of work and ensure your strategic initiatives are followed by effective operational management and efforts. That way, with the help of modern IT analytics, you can deliver true business value and outstanding performance.
- Number of Critical Bugs
- Re-opened Tickets
- Accuracy of Estimates
How To Create A CTO Dashboard & Report?
Now that you've seen the invaluable opportunity that comes along with automation, dynamic visuals, and all the features and benefits of modern CTO reporting software, here we will present some basic tips on how to create such dashboards and what to keep in mind during the process.
1. Use professional CTO tools and software
When you want to extract value from CTO tools, it's critical that choosing the right software is on top of your mind. Especially in the technology area, chief officers have a challenging task of managing the whole tech cycle of an organization, including optimization and future developments. Professional tools that enable you to create customizable metrics such as financial charts and incorporate them into an interactive visualization will certainly help you to comprehend your CTO data collection and management seamlessly.
2. Focus on the goal and audience
Another critical point to consider is the end-goal. Chief officers need to be on top of various tech-related data and, no matter if they're building the dashboard on their own or have a team member to do it, it's important to focus on the most valuable metrics and general audience. The report for the team meeting and operational activities will have different metrics than the one designated for the CEO or board meeting. Also, don't forget to prepare yourself!
3. Consider the layout and colors
While it may be intuitive to put as much information as possible onto a single digital dashboard, the point is to build a narrative and expand on certain processes and issues. Using a simple layout and respecting your company's colors might seem easy but sometimes it creates a challenge. As mentioned, no matter who builds the dashboard, the important part to remember is to define a layout and colors that will not overburden the dashboard and create clutter.
4. Automate most of your processes
One of the main benefits of using a CTO report tool is the opportunity to schedule and automate dashboards as well as reports. On an operational level, it might make sense to schedule a weekly report but on a strategic, you will need a longer time frame. No matter the scenario, the possibility to schedule and deliver the dashboard updated in real-time, without the need for any manual activity, is a critical factor when you consider creating a weekly dashboard, monthly, quarterly, or all of them together.
To learn everything about the bits and pieces of this comprehensive topic, we suggest you read our guide on how to create a dashboard.
Being a CTO is, by all means, no walk in the park but challenging and, at the same time, a rewarding field that offers deep insights into the technological advancements and management of an organization.
We have explained the definition of a CTO dashboard and report, offered a real-world example, and showed you some tips to follow in order to become more effective in dashboard and reporting creation. Now it's your turn to take this reading into a real scenario and start creating your own chief technical officer dashboard with datapine, and use our 14-day trial we offer completely free!