Businesses nowadays must deal with massive amounts of data if they want to keep up with the competition. Because of this, the ability to adequately organize that data in ways that make its understanding easier is fundamental. No, I’m not talking about excel here, although it’s also a useful tool. I’m talking about dashboards.
A dashboard is a data visualization tool that shows the status of metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for business. The objective of a dashboard is to consolidate and arrange a significant amount of valuable data so its comprehension is more accessible.
The golden rule is every dashboard should be simple and with minimum distractions. Managers are busy creatures that get easily startled, don’t burden them with complicated stuff.
Digital equals better dashboards
Nowadays almost all dashboards are digital. Several companies offer software that has streamlines the process of creating and maintaining dashboards. They are usually displayed on a web page that is connected to a database, keeping it updated in real time.
These digital dashboards give managers the power to monitor the various departments of an organization, which means that big brother is always watching so be careful.
Fancy Report or useful tool?
Do dashboards really help, or do we like them because they look nice and simple? The answer is yes to both, and here’s why:
- They help to plan strategies and organizational goals.
- They provide the ability to identify and correct negative trends, generate detailed reports showing new trends, and help inform decisions based on collected business data.
- They provide total visibility of performance measures of all systems instantly and they are easy to access.
- They measure general efficiency and help save time by allowing fast identification of the outliers and correlations in the data.
It’s all in the presentation
Dashboards are classified depending on their role: Informational, analytical, strategic, or operational, although more specialized dashboards also exist.
- Informational dashboards are there to present the relevant available data.
- Analytical dashboards are an expansion of the informational ones. They include the correlations between the different data.
- Strategic dashboards provide a quick overview of the organization’s current plans.
- Operational dashboards are often designed with monitoring purposes, like supervising day to day operations.