Why you should use performance dashboards in your business

A performance dashboard (aka an executive dashboard, KPI dashboard, BI dashboard, etc.) essentially allows you to monitor the performance of certain key metrics about your business. Just like the dashboard in your car, it gives you a quick and easy way to get a real-time overview of metrics that matter to your activity. Again, as in the car analogy, it should be actionable. If you are low on fuel, you should look for a gas station. If you drive too fast, you should slow down. The temperature gauge, tachometer and video screen give you actionable information. You will not drive a car without a dashboard. Should You Run Your Business Without One?

Performance dashboards should be available through a web browser so that any authorized user can access them, rather than being housed on a person’s desktop. They typically connect to databases of the systems you currently use to run your business. This can be your CRM system, ERP system, accounting software, issue tracking software, sales/marketing campaign systems, manufacturing systems and so on. The dashboard can pull data from different sources in one place, eliminating the need to log into multiple systems and go through different reports. The data is usually manipulated into more accessible formats and transformed into better presentations.

Performance dashboards offer many benefits to executives, business analysts, managers, and all users. Some of the obvious advantages are the following:

Better insight into the business

Because a performance dashboard gives you real-time insight into key performance metrics, you get great insights anytime, anywhere, often on mobile. You can monitor all aspects of your business and make better decisions.

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management productivity

Performance dashboards save time. Instead of spending countless hours logging into multiple business systems, running reports and trying to interpret the results, use the right dashboard to show you the most important results from each report, down to the second. Time saving means productivity.

Check performance against goals

Whether it is financial performance, project performance, manufacturing performance, etc., management needs to set goals and then review actual performance. Your performance dashboard could do just that. You could be up to date on what your goals are being met and take timely action when they are not.

encourage improvement

Performance dashboards allow you to measure your performance. Therefore, you can improve it. Visibility leads to transparency. Both the manager and the employees know that their performance results are visible and when they are evaluated they have a great incentive to seize every opportunity to improve their work.

Of course, one of the most important tasks in creating a good dashboard is choosing the metrics to track. A useful guide would be to start with the most important metric for your company or department.

Let’s say you’re a sales manager, the most important metric is revenue. Then you want to ask what underlying metrics are driving sales. This can be the number of leads, the effectiveness of the advertising campaign, the number of leads contacted, the number of offers sent, the number of sales representatives in the field, the average sale price, the ratio of offer to deal and so on.

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You can then incorporate these metrics into charts or reports and track them on your dashboard, understand them and take action to make improvements.

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