What is an Executive Dashboard
(and why every company needs one)
(and why every company needs one)
Businesses are awash in data. Today’s executive is faced with more data about their business than ever before. We believe access to a vast amount of data is a great problem to have, but we also realize it can be a headache for executives who want to make impactful decisions without wading through the muck of metrics from every corner of their organization.
There’s a solution to this problem which should be in every executive’s arsenal: an executive dashboard. Executive dashboards compile a business’s metrics into an easily-digested, visual format. A quick snapshot of a company’s KPI’s, department performance, or other vital metrics allows executives and high level managers to stay in the loop and make quick, informed decisions. The data in a dashboard can be anything from accounting to sales numbers and everything in between; and more importantly, it can be pulled from multiple software platforms.
An executive dashboard collects your company’s most valuable data and compiles it for you in one easy-to-read report. An all-in-one reporting solution eliminates sorting through multiple reports to reach conclusions or make decisions. See all the data you need, with none of the data you don’t – in one convenient view.
Time is a limited resource. An executive dashboard allows executives to use their time more wisely by showing them only the data they need to see. James Taylor once said, “Time will take your money, but money won’t buy time.” James Taylor never bought an executive dashboard.
The thing about large amounts of data is that most software doesn’t make it easy to find the info you need. A good executive dashboard is intuitive and easy to use. No hunting and clicking through reports or struggling through data exports and date ranges.
It’s a mobile world. Smartphones are as much a part of our lives today as cars and microwaves. Executives should be able to see a snapshot of their company from their mobile phone no matter where they are. Most executive dashboards are programmed to be mobile friendly, putting the power of your data literally in your pocket.
Better data leads to better decisions. The problem in our data-driven world is that by the time executives find the information they need, their brains are muddled and reeling from information overload. Executive dashboards present the right data without the fuss in one simple place.
If we’ve convinced you of executive dashboards’ merits, you need to know what to include on yours. Give us a call or email us, and we’ll be happy to help you design a custom dashboard for your company. Until then, here are some things you should consider.
For an effective executive dashboard, you need to decide who the dashboard is for. You don’t want to see inventory levels if you’re a sales director, and you don’t care about leads in the pipeline if you’re the operations manager. Executive dashboards are most effective when they’re highly personalized to the individual or individuals using them.
There are three main types of executive dashboards. The one most beneficial to you and your organization depends on your unique needs.
Strategic dashboards: Strategic dashboards show executives areas for further analysis – a data starting point. They are simple and display a minimal amount of data representative of the company’s overall health. These are useful for executives and managers at all levels.
Analytical dashboards: Analytical dashboards are best for identifying trends within a company or organization. These are the most data-heavy type of dashboard because their purpose is to allow executives to compare data sets and metrics over time and across divisions.
Operational dashboards: Operational dashboards monitor real time operations data and help executives identify deviations from the normal. Operational dashboards allow executives to quickly identify problem areas of the company and make decisions to bring those areas back to the operating norm.
Dashboards are only as useful as the data they contain. Avoid the temptation to include irrelevant data in your dashboard. Remember: the purpose of a dashboard is to allow the user to quickly see the most relevant data and make good decisions based on that information.
The easiest way to simplify data is to graph it, but be careful to use the right graph for the right data. A pie chart, for instance, wouldn’t be very useful for identifying trends. Below are a few good rules of thumb for graphs to use for different purposes.
Column | Bar | Line | Scatter plot
Pie | Stacked bar | Stacked column
Line | Scatter plot | Bar | Column
Line | Scatter plot | Bubble
Line | Column
Efficience specializes in large-scale applications required to integrate departmental functions into a seamless process so you can make crucial decisions quickly and confidently. Our clients have seen amazing results from our software. They have realized ROI from productivity, workflow, customer relationship management, and business intelligence.
Let’s chat about how we can make your data more valuable for you.