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Utilize The Potential Of Digital Dashboards In A Business Environment

Digital dashboards with examples and templates

We live in the age of information. Niche or industry aside, by squeezing every last drop of value from your business’s data, you will become more efficient, innovative, and productive.

Data offers a wealth of priceless insights that will boost the growth and evolution of your business, significantly. And, 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.

A data-driven business dashboard is your gateway to advanced business intelligence (BI) - the kind that will accelerate your success in an increasingly competitive commercial world.

Moreover, a dashboard builder is an invaluable business tool - if you use it right. To help you on your path to digital dashboard software enlightenment, we’ll define digital dashboards, look at the business-boosting benefits of data-centric dashboards, explore modern dashboard tools, and present a selection of real-life examples.

To begin our journey, let’s define digital dashboards.

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What Is A Digital Dashboard?

A digital dashboard example for clients showing the number of licenses sold, the total revenue, commission, team performance, etc.

A digital dashboard is an electronic tracking tool used to build an interactive, visual representation of data from a host of sources including databases, CRM- and ERP data or other web services to monitor important business metrics and overall company’s performance.

The user can, then, oversee a number of key areas by displaying historical trends, actionable insights, and real-time information in a digestible, presentational format.

If you're curious to present your data in a meaningful way, online 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 6 Key Benefits Of Using Digital Dashboards

Now that we’ve asked ourselves the question, “What is a digital dashboard?” and looked at a definitive dashboard definition, it’s time to explore the six key benefits of using these online data analysis 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 clear-cut KPIs aimed at growth, evolution, and professional development, you will enhance your team's business intelligence skills – and ultimately, get ahead of your competitors.
  5. Benchmarking: Sector or industry aside, the best way to achieve or even exceed your goals is by working to clearly define benchmarks that align with your most important objectives. Digital-style dashboards feature dynamic visual key performance indicators that not only serve up invaluable real-time information but will also help you gain a deep understanding of what you need to do to meet important milestones.
  6. Communication: Organizational silos kill productivity and stunt innovation. The flexible yet detailed nature of BI-based dashboards makes sharing and discussing data-driven discoveries swift, simple, and effective. In turn, such tools encourage cross-departmental communication while breaking down communication barriers - both of which are essential to success in the digital age.

How Do I Make A Digital Dashboard: Best Practices

Digital dashboard best practices: 1. Take care of your design, 2. Communicate with stakeholders, 3.Consider your audience, 4. Use the 5-second rule, 5. Use contrast and be consistent, 6.Set the right KPIs, 7. Use the right charts & visualizations, 8. Keep on evolving.

Now that you have a working knowledge of dashboard benefits and a data dashboard definition for reference, it’s time to move onto the next step.

To help you understand the key ingredients of data-driven dashboards - those that yield real results - here’s a glance at best practices.

1. Take care of your design

First of all, let’s focus on design. To get maximum value from your 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. To help you on your way, you can see our guide on the most popular dashboard ideas.

2. Communicate with stakeholders

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. 

This process is vital to giving your digital dashboard development efforts a clearcut direction from the outset - ensuring a healthy return on investment (ROI) as well as sustainable business growth.

Essentially, you’ll be able to make sure that your dashboards are designed to offer practical value and, therefore, actionable results.

Your Chance: Want to build your own, professional digital dashboard?
Try our modern dashboard software for 14 days, completely free!

3. Consider your audience

Expanding out our last point, when you’re developing a digital dashboard, it’s important that you consider the end-user and how it will benefit them.

To do so effectively, thinking about your core aims and goals is essential as it will give you a solid indication of why you’re using dashboard tools for your business. 

Are you looking to prove the value of your recent sales and marketing campaigns to external investors? Do you want your customer service operatives to understand how their processes or performance impact the business? Is offering your HR managers the insight they need to streamline their recruitment processes the aim of the game?

By exploring your core goals as well as how your users (or recipients) will interact with your electronic dashboard data, you will create informational hubs that get straight to the point and offer a wealth of business-boosting value.

4. Take advantage of 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.

Inverted pyramid concept is starting to be used in dashboard design

**Source: Wikimedia Commons**

5. Use contrast and be consistent

In addition to considering the “five-second rule,” you should also aim to use contrasting colors or fonts for different headings and visualizations to draw the users’ eyes to the right places at the right time and make it easier to extract relevant insights at a glance.

But when designing your dashboards and choosing color or font schemes, it’s important that you keep your choices consistent across the board to avoid any potential confusion or costly data misinterpretations.

For additional visual and function-based tips, read our complete guide on essential dashboard design principles and best practices.

6. Set the right key performance indicators (KPIs)

When we define digital dashboards, it’s always important to remember that the primary goal of the best BI tools is to provide actionable information on a specific area of the business. That said, when creating or developing data-driven dashboards, it’s vital that you focus on the most relevant data while working with the right benchmarks, no matter if you need to work on HR KPIs, procurement, or marketing. By looking long and hard at your core business goals, you will be able to select dynamic KPIs that will provide interactive visualizations that empower you to drill down into specific organizational strategies, processes, and functions. By choosing your KPIs wisely, not only will you be able to identify strengths and spot weaknesses, but you will gain the ability to tell a story with your data, making it more accessible to other stakeholders within the business.

7. Select the right charts and visualizations

With the right presentation and representation, digital dashboard software will be one of the best investments you will ever make. In addition to leveraging a digital dashboard with key performance indicators, you should always further refine your efforts by considering which chart types will prove most effective for the story you’re looking to tell or the insights you’re looking to display. To help guide your dashboard development efforts, here is a quick rundown of the most powerful chart types for digital dashboards in a business environment:

  • Bar charts
  • Line charts
  • Sparklines
  • Scatterplots
  • Bubble plots
  • Number charts
  • Maps
  • Area charts

You can get acquainted with these powerful interactive visualizations by exploring our definitive guide to choosing the right data visualization types for your business.

8. Keep on changing; keep on evolving

We live in an ever-evolving digital age where technology, tools, and organizational approaches are in a constant state of flux. That said, to ensure your electronic dashboard or dashboards continue to offer maximum value, periodically reviewing them and making necessary tweaks or updates is a must.

While your reports may offer all the benefits of digital dashboard software today, they could prove less powerful in the not-so-distant future.                   

Take the time to consider how your goals or values may have changed and examine your existing KPIs, charts, and design elements. And if you feel change or improvement is necessary - take action. Doing so will ensure you stay ahead of the game. 

By following these best practices, you will create a BI dashboard that is not only efficient but also offers optimum value to everyone in the business, role, or department aside.

With these best practices in mind, you will create an open, collaborative, and idea-driven internal culture that will set you apart in your niche while making your company more efficient than you ever thought possible.

Your Chance: Want to build your own, professional digital dashboard?
Try our modern dashboard software for 14 days, completely free!

Top Digital Dashboard Software Features

We’ve asked the question, “What is a digital dashboard?’, outlined a digital dashboard definition with clarity, and looked at how to create successful data-driven analysis tools. Now, it’s time to look at top digital dashboard capabilities - or features.

1. Interactive features

In terms of data-driven dashboard capabilities, working with robust, adaptable, cutting-edge dashboard software will ensure that everything you do is optimized for ongoing and sustainable business success. 

To make on-the-spot data analysis possible, today’s digital design software is equipped with a host of interactive features designed to make drilling down into specific metrics, filtering information, zooming into charts or visualizations, and customizing dashboards as swift, simple, and accessible as possible.

2. Many chart types & visualization options

Working with the right digital dashboard with key performance indicators will offer you a panoramic view of your most invaluable organizational data in all core areas, from finance and HR reporting to IT support, customer service, internal performance, marketing strategy, and beyond. The digital dashboard capabilities of such tools are vast, as you can gain access to every facet of information from one easy-to-navigate, centralized location. 

Modern BI dashboard software provides access to a range of dynamic graph, chart, or visualization tools that will empower you to extract practical insights that you never knew existed while allowing you to formulate powerful strategies using a mix of historical, predictive and real-time data.

3. Cross-device accessibility

Digital dashboard development tools are optimized for almost every type of device imaginable -  including smartphones and tablets. 

This level of cohesive cross-device accessibility will empower everyone in your business to benefit from access to invaluable data-driven insights 24/7. In turn, you will foster greater internal innovation, improved communication, and ultimately, benefit from accelerated business growth.

4. Enhanced user-control management & security

Another key feature present within modern digital dashboard capabilities is advanced user-control management and security.

With a digital business dashboard, it’s easy to set user roles to give the right people the right level of access while keeping your data safe and secure. You can set user controls based on these four areas:

  1. Admin
  2. Editor
  3. Power viewer
  4. Viewer

These four tiers of access mean that everyone in the business can benefit from the power of data, interacting with your dashboards in a way that is appropriate to role, necessity, or level of seniority.

If you want to see an interactive dashboard in action, make sure you check our tutorial and get a taste of how your business could benefit from professional visualizations.

Your Chance: Want to build your own, professional digital dashboard?
Try our modern dashboard software for 14 days, completely free!

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 6 real-life dashboard examples that drill down into key areas of management, IT, service & support, sales, social media, and retail.

1. Investor Relations Dashboard

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 comes in:

Investor relations digital dashboard provides the most important information that a shareholder would be interested in

**click to enlarge**

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.

Primary KPIs:

  • Return on Assets
  • Return on Equity
  • P/E Ratio

2. IT Cost Dashboard

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.

IT ROI: a costs breakdown depicted on a digital dashboard

**click to enlarge**

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 digitally-driven 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.

Primary KPIs:

  • IT ROI
  • IT Costs Break Down
  • IT Costs vs. Revenue

3. Customer Satisfaction Dashboard

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.

Customer satisfaction digital dashboard provides information of the beating heart of any organization: their customers

**click to enlarge**

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.

Primary KPIs:

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Customer Effort Score
  • Customer Retention

“You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.” –Albert Einstein

4. Sales Digital Dashboard

A data dashboard template with a great deal of depth features a comprehensive mix of sales KPIs, each designed to help modern sales teams monitor revenue while reducing churn rate and formulating strategies that boost profits on a sustainable basis.

A monthly sales digital dashboard is focused on high-level metrics such as revenue, profits, costs, incremental sales, accumulated revenue, up/cross-sell rates, etc.

**click to enlarge**

In addition to helping sales representatives monitor performance over time, this cutting-edge sales digital dashboard offers a wealth of insight into cost breakdown as well as an interactive sales chart showing incremental sales revenue, among others.

Visually balanced and built to cover all strategic bases, this is the sales dashboard you need for both responsive, at-a-glance information and long-term strategic planning.

This is one of our most powerful and result-driven digital dashboard examples to date and a tool that will ensure your sales continue to grow over time.

Primary KPIs:

  • Revenue per Sales Rep
  • Customer Churn Rate
  • Upsell & Cross-Sell Rates
  • Profit Margin per Sales Rep
  • Incremental Sales by Campaign

5. LinkedIn Company Page Dashboard

The fifth of our digital dashboard examples, this most dynamic of additions focuses on optimizing your success through LinkedIn—the world’s number one professional social network.

A digital dashboard example with a clear overview of key LinkedIn metrics and results over time

**click to enlarge**

Designed specifically to manage the ongoing growth and evolution of your company’s official Linkedin page, this fluid visual representation of core LinkedIn metrics will help you understand how to encourage engagement and expand your reach on the platform.

Digital dashboards in a business environment don’t get much more valuable than this, because if you have the power to optimize your LinkedIn company page, you will start to generate a comprehensive social media report that will enable you to gain a wealth of new leads, forge new business bonds, and become more authoritative in your field.

This perfect storm of metrics, visualizations, and KPIs will ensure that you have the right content at the right time, accelerating your commercial success as a result.

Primary KPIs:

  • Followers’ Demographics
  • Number of Followers
  • Impressions & Reach
  • Engagement Rate
  • Company Update Stats

6. Sales & Order Dashboard

Last but certainly not least in our definitive rundown of digital dashboards for business, our retail dashboard, focused on sales and orders, is an essential tool for any retailer or eCommerce brand, regardless of niche.

Sales and order retail dashboard showing the perfect order rate, total orders, return reasons, etc.

**click to enlarge**

In our hyper-connected digital world, online shopping is growing exponentially - and as such, online retail data is vast and plentiful.

While it's true that gaining access to eCommerce-based data is relatively straightforward, without knowing how to channel it, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to use your metrics or insights to their full potential.

By drilling down into sales and orders, this powerful tool provides a dynamic visual representation of key operational elements including order totals, order status, orders placed by region, perfect order rate, and even reasons for product return.

This cohesive tapestry of visual data and KPIs offers a level of depth that will empower any ambitious online retailer to save money, enhance efficiency, and boost their bottom line on a sustainable basis. An invaluable tool for the modern eCommerce entrepreneur.

Primary KPIs:

  • Total Orders
  • Total Sales by Region
  • Order Status
  • Perfect Order Rate
  • Return Reason
Your Chance: Want to build your own, professional digital dashboard?
Try our modern dashboard software for 14 days, completely free!

7. Procurement KPI dashboard

This digital dashboard example provides an overview of the most essential metrics of the procurement department

**click to enlarge**

Your business's procurement processes are critical to your overall growth and productivity. One weak connection or snag in the supply chain, and you will suffer financial loss as well as reputational damage.

As one of our prime digital dashboard examples, our data-driven procurement dashboard is armed with the KPIs and visualizations you need to track your supplier relationships, manage your compliance rates, and streamline your purchase order cycle time with pinpoint accuracy.

This perfect storm of information will ensure your procurement strategy remains secure and cohesive at all times while improving organizational efficiency over time.

Primary KPIs:

  • Compliance Rate
  • Number of Suppliers
  • Purchase Order Cycle Time

8. Transportation dashboard

Logistics Transportation digital dashboard visualizing essential KPIs when it comes to delivery

**click to enlarge**

Today’s digitally native consumers are well and truly in the driver’s seat. To thrive as a business, giving your customers exactly what they want as quickly as possible is essential.

Our dynamic transportation dashboard will give you the insight you need to drive down delivery times while keeping your operational costs at a minimum.

This balanced mix of visual information has the power to help businesses across industries meet their customers’ fulfillment needs head-on while remaining financially efficient at all times. This is a tool that will help your business grow and thrive sustainably.

Primary KPI:

  • Delivery Time
  • Transportation Costs

9. Patient dashboard

A digital dashboard example displaying patient KPIs of a healthcare facility

**click to enlarge**

The next of our digital dashboard examples is of the medical variety. When it comes to patient care, access to data can mean the difference between life and death.

To ensure that hospitals and medical institutions of all varieties are equipped with the information required to track patient care performance in a number of key areas, our patient dashboard boasts balanced visualizations and key healthcare metrics such as patient follow-up rates.

Here, you have every pillar of core information required to make vital patient care decisions while remaining responsive to constant change, as well as improve the quality of the service you offer across the board. This is a digital business dashboard that every medical provider needs in their digital toolkit.

Primary KPIs:

  • Bed Occupancy Rate
  • Medical Equipment Utilization
  • Patient Drug Cost Per Stay
  • Patient Room Turnover Rate
  • Patient Follow-Up Rate
  • Staff-to-Patient Ratio
  • Canceled/missed appointments

10. CMO dashboard

An executive digital dashboard example showcasing high-level marketing KPIs such as cost per lead, MQL, SQL, and cost per customer

**click to enlarge**

The job of a CMO is varied and pressured in equal measures. As such, if you are a chief marketing officer, gaining access to a wealth of high-level data from one interactive location is vital.

Our dynamic CMO dashboard is packed with metrics, charts, and KPIs that will make real-time decision-making more informed, more accurate, and ultimately, more valuable.

With deep-dive information on sales growth, cost per lead, website-traffic-to-led-ratio, and more, this cutting-edge dashboard will see your return on marketing investment (ROMI) soar year after year.

Primary KPIs:

  • Sales Target & Growth
  • Website-Traffic-to-Lead Ratio
  • Cost per Lead
  • Lead-to-MQL Ratio
  • MQL-to-SQL Ratio

 11. Energy management dashboard

Energy management digital dashboard with selected KPIs

**click to enlarge**

Niche or sector aside, reducing your energy costs will make your business more financially progressive and greener.

A piece of digital dashboard software developed to drive down unnecessary energy costs, our energy dashboard will empower you to compare usage across industries while tracking your costs according to source.

Tracking these metrics over time will help you identify potential inefficiencies and create a valuable initiative to drive down your energy consumption while making more informed operational choices. This is an essential tool for every modern business.

Primary KPIs:

  • Power Cuts & Average Duration
  • Consumption by Sector

12. Recruiting dashboard

A digital dashboard example showcasing recruitment metrics

**click to enlarge**

Last but not least in our rundown of digital dashboard business examples, we offer you an HR dashboard displaying recruitment metrics that will help you acquire the perfect talents for your business.

By improving your recruitment choices, you will boost staff retention rates while driving up productivity. Getting your recruitment processes just right will also let you avoid wasting time and money.

With KPIs including cost per hire, recruiting conversion rate, and time to fill working in visual harmony, this dynamic dashboard acts as an informational hub that will dial up recruitment success while driving down costs.

Primary KPIs:

  • Cost per Hire
  • Recruiting Conversion Rate
  • Time to Fill

Your Chance: Want to build your own, professional digital dashboard?
Try our modern dashboard software for 14 days, completely free!

Digital Dashboards Takeaways

We’ve considered how to define a “digital dashboard” in a practical business context, explored the key benefits as well as best practices, and showcased a powerful mix of real-world examples. During our journey, it’s become abundantly clear that there is everything to gain from using these dynamic business intelligence tools to your advantage.

Interactive, intuitive, and informational 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 better performance and efficiency, more cohesive internal communications, and more efficient operational processes across the board.

Dashboards of the digital variety are vital to commercial success and are the very best tools for presenting your intelligence in a way that will return actionable results - the kind that will help you make real waves in your niche while remaining adaptable in an ever-changing business environment. 

Embrace the power of dashboards today, and you’ll reap endless commercial rewards tomorrow - now’s the time to strike. 

For more insight into data-driven tools for your organization and how to use them to propel your business ahead of the pack one insight at a time, read our essential guide to getting started with business performance dashboards.

If you want to create your own dashboards and take your organization to the next level, try our dynamic dashboard software for a 14-day trial, completely free!