Over the recent past, businesses – both small and established enterprises – have turned to the dashboard as one of the key growth strategy tools. Owing the benefits associated with these tools, it’s only fair that they are so popular.
At the same time however, some business owners who have invested in dashboards have yet to report any returns from that investment. This could be because they still don’t know how much they are supposed to get from the business dashboards.
Whether you have yet to invest in one or have already paid for one but haven’t realized any significant success, the following five advantages of business dashboards should help you see them in a more positive light:
Every business is different and your strengths and weaknesses are your own. Thus, one size never fits all. You want data that applies to your business only and even though companies in the same niche might need the same metrics, you probably want yours organized in a different way.
Similarly, different users or departments in your organization want different sets of data. When the data is not well customized, users become frustrated leading to waste of time and low productivity.
While there are dashboards that display pre-determined metric sets in pre-set layouts, a good dashboard should come with options to customize as per the users. These options allow different users to create their own dashboards that are relevant to them leading to faster execution.
- Total Business Visibility
How would you like to spend huge chunks of time reviewing reports from different aspects of your business trying to make sense of it and make important decisions?
Well, a business dashboard saves you the hassle by giving you a complete view of your business from a single layout. Some dashboards will even track multiple websites at a go. The reporting leaves you with very little thinking to do as far as decision making is concerned. For instance, some dashboards will give you reports in color. The areas you are performing well will be highlighted in, say green while the areas where you are lagging behind will be in red. Meaning, whenever you see red the only decision you can make is to change what you’re doing and vice versa.
A good dashboard will integrate with all the aspects of your business to ensure that the reporting is accurate. However, some dashboards pull data from certain aspects and ignore data in the rest. This gives room for incomplete results. This could lead to serious damage when decisions are made off this data.
In choosing a dashboard, keep in mind that you need one that will tell you the whole story, not just part of it.
- Increase in Productivity
A business dashboard will also allow you to numerically measure performance. With a dashboard, heads of departments can easily view metrics and act on them accordingly. For instance, a sales manager can view the time spent selling, opportunity win rate, lead response rate, etc. With this data, she can tell what needs to improve at a glance.
Compared to traditional reporting methods, business dashboards save users a lot of time. Traditionally, a user would spend hours navigating through multiple systems running and formatting reports in order to get actionable data. In some cases the company had to hire IT experts that would help in running and formatting of the reports.
Business dashboards not only give automatic reports but are also really easy to use. This saves the company a lot of time and other resources.
- Easy Team Collaboration
Oftentimes, an employee will find interesting data from reports they are working with and will want to share with other relevant employees. The traditional way to do that would have been to capture and send screenshots around, with the best tool available being email.
Email is certainly not one of the best collaboration tools out there. Think about garbled email threads and how easily they can be lost. Through a set of widgets, a business dashboard makes it possible and easy to discuss data with colleagues. In most dashboards, ideas are shared on the comments sections while charts or images can easily be copied and pasted on the text boxes then sent as comments.
However, there are still many dashboards that have not yet considered incorporating collaboration while some of those who have, not offering it as a priority.
Before choosing a dashboard, ensure that it allows team collaboration.
A good dashboard delivers reports to any and all of your devices without compromising on the quality of the view.
This improves the accessibility of company progress information not just to you but also to the employees. A business dashboard allows them to view the reports wherever they are on whatever devices they have. Some companies will even go as far as install monitors on different floors where employees can view the data at any time of the day.
But it’s not productive or logical to stare at the dashboard all the time until something pops up. A good dashboard notifies you through SMS or email alerts of when you need to check. Depending on how you set the alerts, you can receive the alerts periodically or when certain types of data are recorded allowing you real-time monitoring of progress.
That is, If You Have a Good Dashboard
There are many business dashboards out there. However, only the right one will give you the information you need how you need it and set you up for success. You therefore need to spend some time looking at the options you have before you can invest in one.