“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.” – Geoffrey Moore
We live in the age of information. And if you use it wisely, you stand to reap great rewards.
90% percent of the world’s digital data has been created in the past two years alone – a wealth of invaluable insights that could significantly boost the growth and evolution of your business. If you fail to use big data to your advantage, you could find yourself falling behind your competitors and eventually become obsolete.
But with so much data and such little time, where do you even begin? Digital dashboards not only help you to drill down into the insights that matter most to your business, but they also offer an interactive visual representation that assists in swifter, more informed decision-making as well as the discovery of priceless new insights.
Here, we define digital dashboard, its benefits in business, and present a selection of real-life examples.
To begin our journey, let’s define digital dashboard.
What Is A Digital Dashboard?
Digital dashboards are information management tools used to track and produce a visual representation of data from a host of sources including databases, web services or third-party platforms while empowering the user to monitor business performance.
The user can, then, oversee number of key areas by displaying historical trends, actionable insights, and real-time information in a digestible, presentational format.
Whether you are curious which graph displays data in top-to-bottom fashion or how to present your data in a meaningful way, data visualization is a powerful tool to do so indeed – data-driven dashboards offer a means of gaining access to vital information and delivering it throughout the organization with ease.
The 4 Key Benefits Of Using Digital Dashboards
Now that we’ve looked at a definitive digital dashboard definition and asked ourselves the question, “what is a digital dashboard,” it’s time to explore the 4 key benefits of using these data analytics tools within your business.
1. Decision-making: The accessible visual nature of digital dashboards facilitates faster data driven decision-making in all key aspects of the business by empowering users to analyze and drill down into important metrics and insights with ease.
2. Accessibility: Expanding on our previous point, the fact that these kinds of dashboards offer intuitive data visualization means that comprehensive training isn’t necessary. On the contrary – digital dashboards are designed to be accessible and easy to navigate. Their graphical nature allows for easy interaction with invaluable information.
3. Mobility: Digital dashboards are customizable and present every single strand of relevant data in one central location and the best platforms are also accessible through mobile devices and apps, which means you can gain access to essential information no matter where you are in the world.
4. Business intelligence: By gaining the ability to access past, real-time, and predictive analytics in addition to clearcut KPIs aimed at growth, evolution and professional development, you will enhance your organization’s business intelligence – and ultimately, get ahead of your competitors.
“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.” – Peter Sondergaard
Digital Dashboards: Discover Best Practices
To help you understand the key ingredients of a dashboard that gets results, here’s a glance at best practices.
1. Design: First of all, let’s focus on design. To get maximum value from your digital dashboards, you should always ensure that your dashboard design is clear, concise, and present only the information that is relevant to your organization – nothing more, nothing less.
Visually, you should always ensure your dashboard helps to tell you a story and answers all of the questions related to your business’s performance directly, meaning you should never cram in too many widgets as they will only serve to convolute matters. Moreover, you should place all of your information in a logical format that will help you paint a panoramic picture of your information. Consider placing tables at the bottom of the page as they typically offer less value than charts, graphs, or other metrics.
2. Communication: Secondly, you should sit down collaboratively with other key stakeholders within the business and decide on your business’s core aims and goals, both time-sensitive and ongoing. By doing so, you’ll be able to set the right KPI management process for your aims and focus solely on the data that matters.
3. The 5-second rule: Known in the design world as the “five-second rule,” your dashboard should always provide relevant information in around – you guessed it – five seconds. If that’s not the case, you should go back to the drawing board and make the tweaks necessary to make your dashboard more digestible.
One way of ensuring this is the case is by employing the “Inverted Pyramid” method where your most urgent or “newsworthy” information is displayed at the top, followed by your most important metrics and details, with any other relevant or miscellaneous information presented at the bottom, as shown in the diagram below. Now, while this type of framework is usually synonymous with journalism, it’s becoming an increasingly valuable blueprint in data-driven dashboard design.
**Source: Wikimedia Commons**
By following these best practices, you will create a digital dashboard that is not only efficient but also offers optimum value to everyone in the business, which is essential for fostering a cohesive, collaborative company culture.
“The most valuable commodity I know of is information.” – Gordon Gekko
Take Advantage Of Digital Dashboard Examples
We’ve explored a digital dashboard definition and its value in a business context, now we’re going to share three real-life digital dashboard examples that drill down into key areas of management, IT, and service & support.
1. Investor Relations Dashboard
**click to enlarge**
For those in a management position, keeping a firm grip on the company’s operational initiatives is essential – but curating, calculating, and communicating key insights about the business’s overall situation are equally important. That’s where this dashboard software comes in.
The investor relations dashboard, part of our management dashboard examples series, serves up priceless data centered on the company’s investors, the information that they would like to see, and the type of insights that help ensure the health and consistency of these relationships.
Drilling down into KPIs including Return on Assets, Return on Equity, and P/E Ratio as well as the all-important share price, this digital dashboard software provides all critical investment-centric information in one central location.
- Return on Assets
- Return on Equity
- P/E Ratio
2. IT Cost Dashboard
**click to enlarge**
As digital technologies evolve and internal systems become increasingly hyper-connected, the ability to track and manage your IT KPIs, especially costs, is pivotal to the ongoing success of your organization.
By gaining a more in-depth view of elements including IT Return on Investment (ROI), a detailed breakdown of IT costs, and how those costs offset against revenue, this digital dashboard software offers all of the tools for continual departmental success and development.
Every IT manager or decision-maker has to factor costs into their daily operations, and the metrics offered by this particular dashboard will help drive down spending while boosting efficiency. A testament to the power of digital dashboards in a business environment.
- IT ROI
- IT Costs Break Down
- IT Costs vs. Revenue
3. Customer Satisfaction Dashboard
**click to enlarge**
Without a doubt, customers are the beating heart of almost any organization, and keeping your customers happy will result in ongoing commercial success. To help with such initiatives, the customer satisfaction dashboard focuses on all of the customer service KPIs and metrics necessary to track, analyze, and make positive changes to increase overall customer engagement and satisfaction levels.
Here you will be able to enhance the level of customer experience you offer, improve your consumer touchpoints (websites, landing pages, etc.), deal with issues more swiftly, and boost customer retention rates overtime – essential to growth, evolution, and development.
- Customer Satisfaction
- Net Promoter Score
- Customer Effort Score
- Customer Retention
For more insight into real-world dashboards, explore our full rundown of business dashboard examples, arranged according to function and department.
“Processed data is information, processed information is knowledge, and processed knowledge is Wisdom.” – (Ankala V. Subbarao)
As you can see, interactive, intuitive, and informational digital dashboards in a business environment will not only boost your internal intelligence but also offer everyone within your organization a level of insight that will foster improved performance and efficiency, improved internal communications, and enhanced operational processes.
Dashboards of the digital variety are priceless to commercial success and are the very best data visualization tools for presenting your intelligence in a way that will yield real results. Embrace the power of dashboards today, and you’ll reap endless rewards tomorrow. Don’t miss out!
For more insight into data-driven tools for your organization and how to use them to your advantage, read our guide to getting started with business performance dashboards.
If you want to create your own dashboards, then you can try our software for a 14-day trial completely free!