Types of Business Dashboards
As we covered in the previous article, a business dashboard is a software application that monitors essential aspects of business, such as KPIs, analytics, and business metrics.
Dashboards summarize and present data in a way that makes information easy to grasp and utilize. For example, a KPI dashboard monitors KPI or the key performance indicator among the employees much more manageable.
Dashboards offer a visualization which is very important in businesses as they need to see certain parts of the company that are doing well and those that need improvement. Seeing these points of improvement is of utmost importance in marketing.
However, not all dashboards are equal.
Three types of business dashboards will be the most helpful to your business: an operational dashboard, a strategic dashboard, and an analytical dashboard.
Before adopting management dashboard software into your business operation, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the different types of dashboards out there.
More often than not, businesses will utilize a combination of dashboards to produce the insights and solutions that they’re looking for.
These are some of the multiple dashboards that we can use in our businesses.
Operational dashboards track the performance of operational activities. These activities are the day-to-day tasks that are necessary to keep your business running. An operational dashboard helps tell you what is happening right now in real-time.
Sales teams and customer service departments commonly use operational dashboards because they report valuable data as it unfolds.
Compared to strategic and analytical dashboards, the data presented by the operational dashboard updates far more frequently. In this regard, operational dashboards are meant to be viewed numerous times throughout the day.
Some examples of operational dashboards include:
- Social media dashboards show the amount of Twitter retweets, Facebook likes, followers, shares, etc. This dashboard is helpful for those businesses that want to see the analytics behind their social media activity.
- Production dashboards that track and display the number of products that have been created, defects that have been observed, and products that have been shipped. This dashboard is seen as a helpful dashboard-type for marketing purposes.
- Help desk or solution dashboards display the total number of tickets received per hour, tickets being resolved or reopened, and the average time it takes to fix a problem.
Strategic Data Dashboard
Strategic dashboards manage higher-level activities and the KPI. As the name implies, they display valuable insights related to the overall performance of an organization and the opportunities available to a business. This also allows them to set strategic goals based on the numbers on the dashboard.
Strategic dashboards are designed to include information relevant to an executive team, such as the year-over-year sales or overall customer satisfaction over a long period. This can be seen as an executive dashboard meant to show relevant data to a team.
This means strategic dashboards build reports using various metrics and often require more analysis to understand correctly. Therefore, data analysis plays an essential role in these types of dashboards.
Strategic dashboards help keep teams focused on the outcome of each project, rather than just the execution. In addition, they can help motivate teams by showing how each person contributes to the overall business strategy.
Strategic dashboards can reveal opportunities to improve collaboration between teams and departments and any issues that need to be resolved. In addition, strategic dashboards show the different data points which play essential roles in the business.
Let’s look at some examples of strategic dashboards based on the businesses or departments that might take advantage of one.
- An HR department might utilize a strategic dashboard to gleam insights concerning its employees. Employee retention is crucial to building a successful business and can be adjusted and improved based on employee metrics.
- A manufacturing department could utilize a strategic dashboard to observe product return rates, then investigate trends as they develop. Using the reported data, the department could then lower or increase its rate of productivity.
Analytical dashboards enable businesses to take a microscopic look at their data to reveal valuable patterns and trends. However, the data utilized and displayed by an analytical dashboard needs to be accurate and up-to-date and typically requires more training to use correctly than an operational dashboard.
Whereas an operational dashboard reports data as it unfolds in real-time, an analytics dashboard provides insights related to historical data, thereby enabling a business to establish long-term targets and goals.
We must note that establishing the correct long-term targets and goals is the best way to boost the business performance in the long run. For example, a company’s operational dashboard may show that 90% of the company’s customer invoices are being paid on time, while 10% percent are late.
An analytical dashboard would allow the company to dig into the 10% of bills being paid late and identify any specific patterns or factors influencing the late payments.
Determining the right business dashboard for your data needs
The key to figuring out which data dashboard you need is to determine the purpose of your dashboard (i.e., what problem does it solve?) and the audience your dashboard is intended for. For example, operational dashboards cater to those handling day-to-day business activities, strategic dashboards cater to executive teams and board members, and analytical dashboards cater to your data and business analysts.
Using the suitable dashboard template also helps you address the parts of your business that should be improved for a balanced scorecard.
Next up: Does My Business Need a Dashboard?
You know that data is essential, but at what point should a business invest in dashboard and reporting tools? In this article, we examine different scenarios in which having a data dashboard becomes crucial to running a successful business.
By the end, you’ll know whether your company needs a business dashboard or not and which dashboard tool you need to improve your overall business performance.