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Utilize The Effectiveness Of Executive Dashboards & Reports – Industry Examples

header_image-executive-reports-and-dashboardsWithout big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the Web like deer on a freeway. – Geoffrey Moore, Author of Crossing the Chasm & Inside the Tornado

In the digital age, brands, businesses and organizations have a wealth of information at their fingertips: a level of insight that if leveraged correctly, not only has the power to offer a real competitive edge, but provides the potential to innovate, inspire and create a well-oiled commercial machine that continues to evolve with the times.

We are indeed living in a time rich in invaluable digital data. By gaining the ability to gather, organize and analyze the metrics that are most important to your organization, you stand to make your business empire more intelligent than ever before – and executive reports and business dashboards will help you do just that.

Exclusive Bonus Content: Executive Dashboards & Reports: A Summary
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Companies that use data analytics are five times more likely to make faster decisions, based on a survey conducted by Bain & Company. Moreover, 85% of industry leaders believe that big data will drastically enhance the way they do business – exploring what it can do for improving the business performance, big data examples in real life can inspire and jump-start your new business solutions.

To put the importance, functionality and organizational benefits of data analytics in business, here we explore executive dashboard templates, offering an insight into what they are, why they work and real-life executive report examples.

What Is An Executive Report?

An executive report provides a visual representation of key metrics and performance indicators, outlining problems and solutions that empower executives to make swift, accurate and valuable decisions related to the most critical areas of the business.

The accessible visual nature of executive reports means that it’s easy to make sense of specific datasets, spot ongoing trends and take a number of decisive actions that ultimately benefit the business, often in real time.

What Is An Executive Dashboard?

An executive dashboard is used to enhance primary business areas with the aim of identifying weaknesses as well as strengths, improving internal processes, boosting staff engagement, improving service, raising productivity and making the organization more profitable.

Executive dashboards work by connecting, via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), with the internal systems currently used within the business – platforms such as accounting software, your customer relationship management (CRM) program, email networks, and in-built website analytics, among others.

Through those connections, your executive dashboard pulls all of this information into one central location, empowering you to view your business’s most important information without logging into multiple platforms or systems. Moreover, executive reports and dashboards also allow you to set targets, work with specific KPIs and tailor your data to best suit the needs, aims, goals, and mission of your organization.

90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. And, given the fact that people following directions with illustrations do so 323% more effectively than those who follow text-only directions, executive dashboards are a powerful tool in today’s competitive commercial landscape.

“By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes. A sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.” – David McCandless

The Benefits Of Executive Reports And Dashboards

To paint a more detailed picture of the power and potential of executive reports and dashboards, here are the key benefits of using these intuitive data visualization tools:

  • Vision: An executive report offers enhanced visibility and insight, thus allowing you to understand every key aspect of your business in greater detail, and in turn, allowing you to make more informed decisions.
  • Evolution: The ability to visualize your data will empower you to make continual improvements to your business, moving with the landscape around you by measuring and building upon your performance.
  • Economy: Rather than spending endless hours logging into your business systems and running reports, executive dashboards will allow you to view and engage with all of the information you need in one digestible space. Time is money, and if you’re saving time (while improving your internal processes), you will ultimately save money, making your empire far more economical as a result.
  • Realization: By working with executive report-based KPIs that are most relevant to your business, you’ll be able to refine and realize your business plan by working to accurate, valuable targets, and ensure that you reach them, time after time. There is a number of KPI examples you could choose from, but the important thing to consider is to find the right one.
  • Development: The digestible visual insights gained from executive dashboards will give you the tools to track individual employee performance, helping you to reward top performers and develop those that need additional training, support or motivation.

A businessman holding newspapers

“You can achieve simplicity in the design of effective charts, graphs and tables by remembering three fundamental principles: restrain, reduce, emphasize.” – Garr Reynolds

Exclusive Bonus Content: Executive Dashboards & Reports: A Summary
Download our guide to boost your business efforts and jump to success!

How To Write An Effective Executive Report

To reap the rewards of executive reports, it’s important to understand what it takes to create an online dashboard that works for your organization in particular. When it comes to reporting data visually, an executive dashboard is an incredibly effective tool so it’s important to get it right from the outset.

That said, the foundation of any effective executive report or dashboard is choosing the KPIs that best reflect your company’s core aims and goals.

For instance, if you’re looking to improve the financial economy of your organization, you might want to tackle the financial reporting and analysis process, and then choose to set up a financial dashboard, drilling down into KPIs based on operating expense ratios and net profit percentages.

Concerning the setup of executive dashboard templates, it’s important to integrate all of your current business systems through APIs to ensure the accurate collection, curation, analysis and real-time value of your data.

Once the framework of one of your executive report templates is up and running, you’ll be able to tailor it to your preference, editing your dashboard so it returns your specified insights and metrics in a way that is most valuable to your business.

Finally, it’s essential that you are clear and transparent about your executive reporting processes with the entire organization, giving the right people access to the right metrics and holding internal workshops to make sure that everyone is up to speed with the new system.

Real-life Executive Report Examples

These 3 essential executive report examples will demonstrate the function and value of an online reporting software in a real-world business context.

1. Management KPI dashboard

Management executive dashboard showing the important KPIs to C-level executives,

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The Management KPI Dashboard hones in on revenue on a consumer-based level while offering insights on the cost of new customer acquisition.

By offering a mix of actual revenue metrics based on specific time frames in addition to comprehensive information concerning revenue development, this management report is an invaluable way to spot real-time trends, make significant economic enhancements and set tangible sales targets.

Moreover,  the detailed customer-centric information served up by this dashboard will give you a better understanding of promotional activities including cross-selling, upselling or the overall value of your service on an individual basis. When it comes to driving down acquisition costs, developing your service and boosting your profitability, these KPIs and metrics are essentially gold dust.

Primary KPIs and metrics

  • Sales Target
  • Customer LifeTime Value
  • Customer Acquisition Costs

2. Financial overview dashboard

Financial executive report telling a story thanks to historical graphs (Revenue, Operational expenses and Earning before interest) that are displayed so as to be the most important graphs, with additional info on their side (Gross Profit Margin, OPEX ratio, EBIT Margin, Net Profit Margin, etc.)

**click to enlarge**

Focusing on financial activity at a top level, the second of our executive report examples offers a panoramic snapshot of Gross Profit Margin, Operating Expenses (OPEX) Ratio, Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) Margin, and Net Profit Margin, as well as a host of additional relevant insights.

These metrics are often determined from the income statement and not only provide a viable means of streamlining your organization’s financial processes, but also present opportunities to improve the overall financial structure of your business’s financially-driven operations.

Primary KPIs and metrics

  • Net Profit Margin Percentage
  • Operating Expenses Ratio

3. Investor relations dashboard

Visual of a finance KPIs business executive dashboard example for investors

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The Investor Relations Dashboard, and third of our executive report examples, is pivotal in quantifying your business’s operational KPIs while calculating and communicating top-level metrics based on the company’s overall situation. This level of insight is key in keeping track of the major investors that could make or break your business’s success.

In addition to a host of invaluable equity and assets-centric information, this third of our executive dashboard examples also gives an insight into your company’s share price, the first line of call in finance and a near-absolute indication of the success of your business.

Primary KPIs and metrics

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

4. Marketing KPI dashboard

Monthly marketing report with main costs and revenue KPIs

**click to enlarge**

One of our executive dashboard examples focuses on the most important marketing KPIs, cost and revenue stats. While it is important to increase the number of Impressions and CTR, the overall strategy should be (and, usually is) focused on profit. Cutting down the relevant metrics (Cost per Acquisition, Customer Lifetime Value and Return of Investment), one of the executive report templates that will make the most out of the marketing efforts is this visual dashboard, compiled into a simple overview of the invaluable data needed for a successful data-story.

Primary KPIs and metrics

  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
  • Customer Life Time Value (CLTV)
  • Return on Investment (ROI)

5. Sales performance dashboard:

Sales executive dashboard example provides deep insights into the sales strategy of a business

**click to enlarge**

The final of our executive dashboard examples that we emphasize in this article is focused on sales. A comprehensive capture of vital information needed to make sales activities perform better, this dashboard provides insights into Average Revenue per Unit, Customer Acquisition Cost and Customer Lifetime Value.

It enables sales managers and professionals to compare different numbers and identify where to make strategic adjustments to improve the performance further. Keeping the sales on the right track will certainly contribute to the business’ sustainable success.

Primary KPIs and metrics

  • Sales Growth
  • Sales Target
  • Average Revenue per Unit (ARPU)
  • Acquisition Cost
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

To understand more about our executive level data visualization tools, you can explore our management dashboard examples and KPIs in greater detail.

Exclusive Bonus Content: Executive Dashboards & Reports: A Summary
Download our guide to boost your business efforts and jump to success!

It’s clear that executive dashboards and reports open a window of vision that not only yields real-time results, but has the distinct power to provide perpetual evolution and the sustainable level of success essential to the longevity of any business looking to thrive or indeed, survive, in this cutthroat digital age.

Ready to tackle into your own executive dashboards and reports? Try our software for a  14-day trial completely free!

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