Business dashboards are daily becoming an important tool in running a successful business. With tones of different widgets to choose from, dashboards allow unique insight into how various aspects of your business perform. However, far from a one-size-fits-all tool, dashboards can appeal to those with various roles in the company. Whether your interest is social media, marketing, supply chain management or your financial performance, you can create a dashboard that helps you monitor various aspects of your concern. Dashboards allow users to see how various aspects of their businesses are performing at a glance. They deliver the information you need, when you need it and in a concise yet easily-digestible manner. Dashboards are for those who need to keep their fingers on the pulse of their businesses. Unfortunately, while business dashboards have been growing in popularity, many are still unsure about what they are, how they should be used or whether they time spent implementing the technology is even worth it. For those who are still unsure, here are a few reasons why you should consider using a dashboard for your business.
They are Fully Customizable
Whatever role you play in your company, you will be able to create a business dashboard that works for you. Dashboards can be tailored to fit your interest in the company’s affairs. If you work in marketing you can have access to data from social media campaigns and other marketing initiatives. If you are in sales you will want access to Cost of Customer Acquisition and Sales Team Response Time, just to name a few. The Chief Financial Officer will have to choose from financial dashboard examples while the Operations Manager will choose metrics that keep him or her abreast of the company’s hourly happenings. Segregating data in this way helps employees to find and use the data that helps them perform their duties more efficiently. They are better equipped to meet their goals.
A Window into Your Business
Dashboards allow users a perspective into their business that was never before possible. With its various widgets and metrics, you have the ability to know what’s going on in your business at all times. You can see what works and what needs adjustment or discontinuation. For example, your marketing team will employ a variety of methods to get the word out about your products or services. Whether it your newsletter or a special offer made via email, your marketing team can use your dashboard to monitor the success of any marketing campaign. You will be able to see how many of your customers opened the email or clicked on its contents.
The Ability to Adjust on the Fly
Having information at your fingertips allows you to see in real time the efficacy of your efforts and it also allows you to adjust those that are unsuccessful. If a data point matters at all to your business’s bottom line, you will and should keep track of it. Doing so allows you to what works, what doesn’t work and what needs changing. For this reason, having a business dashboard allows you to improve your business consistently. You no longer have to wait days or even weeks for important reports. You have access to that data in real time giving you enough time to fix the troublesome areas. As you put an end to time and money-wasting efforts, you can see your business improve daily.
One of the main sources of stress in operating a business is the stress of not knowing whether you are making good decisions or if your actions are actually benefiting your business. Dashboards help to remove some of that stress by giving you that snapshot into your business on a daily basis. Many dashboards will send you a daily email detailing your business’s performing on various fronts. Whether it’s the success of email campaigns, AdWords campaigns or whether it’s how much time it takes for your sales team to respond to a lead, your dashboard will show you how you are performing in critical areas. Because it delivers such timely information, it helps to remove a lot of the guesswork out of running a business.
Profits are, after all, the bottom line for any business. For this reason, any tool being implemented in the workplace must be justified by increased profits. For far too many failed companies, the details of mismanagement surface only after the business has bit the dust. Dashboards help you to zero-in on wastage that can endanger a company’s profits and its future. Whether this wastage is money or time, your dashboard will help you identify areas where intervention is needed.
On a dashboard, users can position various widgets together that allow the user to gain an even clearer insight into the happenings of their business. While individual metrics are welcome, they unfortunately do not tell the entire story. Thus, by grouping several related metrics together, users can be better equipped to understand the meaning of various data points. This should prevent you from having to search your screen for the information you need. It will also prevent you from having to flip through several screens to make sense of a data point.
For new users, a dashboard can be a wonderful yet confusing tool. While it delivers lots of useful data, it can become confusing and ultimately a distraction for those who are new to it. As with all tools, a business dashboard is meant to be an aid and not an object in and of itself. Unfortunately, far too many users fall victim to the belief that more is better and as a result, tend to rely on far too many data points. However, disciplined use of a dashboard is far more important than covering every single data point since too many widgets can serve as a distraction from what should be your true focus. That having been said, dashboards have become far too useful to ignore. When properly used, they can mean the world to your business and can draw the line between profitability and failure. Thus while it may be a little daunting, consider how your business can benefit from a dashboard.