Your Dashboard is Your Business Heartbeat! Best Dashboard Practices

Jun 30, 2014

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The survival of any business depends on three basic principles—continuously increasing sales, operating efficiently by finding ways to cut costs, and increasing productivity. Achieving this ultimate business mission involves the cooperation of different operative units of an organization: marketing, accounting, HR, operations, among others. With each department having its own long- and short-term goals, it’s possible that certain crucial elements of a business will fall into the cracks.

Read More: A Very High Level Intro to Dashboards

An executive dashboard offers organizations the ability to get a holistic view of how the business is operating on a continuous basis, so that preventive rather than prescriptive measures can be implemented when needed. Generally, your dashboard is your business heartbeat! It is able to display areas where your business is performing well and areas that need improvement. Dashboards are no longer a “nice to have” business technology feature—rather, they could determine if a business can stay ahead of its competition, or whether it will be left behind, trying to keep up with industry evolutions.

What Are the Best Dashboard Practices?

There are many resources on best ways to measure performance, visualize data, and set up dashboards. However, most of the discussions fall under two main umbrellas, both with the aim of improving an organization’s productivity.

Plan, Strategize and Determine Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

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Determining what you want to track with your dashboard starts with a lot of preparation and planning. Don’t just start off by asking yourself, What do I want to track? Rather, aim for what you are trying to achieve. Once you have determined your business objectives you can add some context to it by analyzing your current situation.  For instance, you may want to increase your Web leads by over 50%. This would be your starting point. This can help you put some goals in place, backed by an action plan that can help you bring those goals into fruition. Don’t just create a dashboard to track your KPIs without having goals, objectives and action plans in place.

Learn More: 6 Golden Rules to Successful Dashboard Design

Refine, Re-strategize, Improve, and Repeat.

The whole point of having an executive dashboard is to ensure that you are constantly making improvements to your existing business strategies. It’s a way to be certain that you keep up with what’s happening with your business, make changes, and even obtain predictions through trend and predictive analysis.

Business dashboards can help every business department stay on top of their game. Not monitoring the ever critical performance areas of your business could put your business heartbeat at risk.

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