Is your dashboard working?

It’s no wonder they call it a dashboard… Like your car, your business could scarcely move forward without it. A well designed intelligence dashboard provides a snapshot of the overall health of your operations and gives immediate insight into areas that need improvement or tuning. In short, it’s key to keeping your finger on the pulse of your business.

At a minimum it helps:

1. Provide needed performance metrics and data for decision making.

2. Save time by showing only key reports.

3. Communicate trends with team members and management.

Most BI analytic and reporting programs (Google, Salesforce, Radian6, Raven, etc. to name a few) offer this feature, but how well are we using it? To get the most of your intelligence software, your analytics dashboard must (at a minumum) be up-to-date, designed with your bottom line in mind, and easily shareable and accessible.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but meeting these requirements are often easier said than done. Most organizations struggle with data quality and input delays. Does your sales or HR department update their progress on a daily or monthly basis? Are all the necessary fields being populated? If the information is not timely or correct, your dashboard and decision making will suffer as a result.

If data quality isn’t your problem, what about the design? When it comes to the layout and contents of your dashboard, you could easily be making a crucial mistake. Are you focusing on the correct reports that  impact the bottom line for your department? Is unnecessary information deterring viewers from seeing the real picture? Even the best dashboards need fine tuning as goals and business needs change.

What about accessibility? Possibily the most crucial requirement for having a well-performing intelligence dashboard is the ability for team members to easily access and share information in real time.  Allowing proper edit and access levels that allow the right people to pull reports and make changes sounds elementary, but can often be overlooked when designing your system.

What factors do you think contribute to a well-oiled intelligence dashboard, and how well is yours working?

Category: Business Intelligence
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