Business dashboards, also known as executive dashboards, provide a single source of truth for executives and key stakeholders through a visual snapshot of key performance indicators (KPIs) as well as other metrics and significant data points, giving them insight into business performance in real time.
Well-constructed dashboards that contain KPIs and business metrics can help align organizational efforts and provide visibility into all levels of the business, ultimately leading to data-driven decisions and actions that can advance business performance and increase ROI.
Types of Business Dashboards
Business dashboards deliver the necessary information from different departments into the hands of business leaders to give them the data they need to make the best possible decisions. These dashboards typically fall into three categories, although some may have uses or data streams that overlap.
1. Strategic Dashboards
Strategic dashboards provide an overview of business health, showing opportunities, current performance against targets, and forecasting. They enable teams to keep their strategic planning on track, prepare for upcoming milestones, and take action if there is a need for a strategic pivot.
2. Analytical Dashboards
Analytical dashboards show data over time and highlight historical trends. They provide content coupled with the context that helps analysts and business leaders reach meaningful insights without digging through the data. Analytical dashboards are often dynamic and linked to multiple data sources, enabling users to drill down into specific business metrics and KPIs to see specific data points.
3. Operational Dashboards
Operational dashboards provide visibility into the day-to-day activities of the business, including daily business processes and team performance. They provide real-time information so that teams can take immediate action as needed, identify new opportunities, and share key learnings with each other.
Business dashboards can be composed of data, insights, and resources from across the entire organization, connecting disparate teams and providing a roll-up dashboard view to executives, leading to better-informed decision making and faster execution.
How to Define KPIs and Business Metrics
With so many potential data sources, it’s increasingly important to define and track key performance indicators (KPIs) that are relevant to your team or project. Building and maintaining a dashboard for business metrics gives teams and leaders constant visibility into performance and program health.
When shared among departments, real-time business dashboards hold teams accountable, save time, increase team speed, and allow teams to identify project risks before they become bigger issues.
To learn more about how to define dashboard metrics and build an effective business dashboard, check out the Essential Guide for Defining Business Dashboard Metrics and read All About KPI Dashboards.
Business Dashboards by Department
You’ll need to be able to customize your dashboard depending on the business metrics required for your department. Customer Success, Product, Sales, and IT departments might use similar formats for their dashboards, but they will need to track and report on distinct KPIs.
For example, a Sales Enablement Department might use strategic, analytical, and operational dashboards to track essential information from trends to territory ownership, client relationships, and sales performance. Learn more about various types of dashboards by department below.
Customer Service and Customer Success
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Choosing Business Dashboard Software
Before investing in a business dashboard software, leaders need to determine how they will use it. While dashboards are generally used to monitor KPIs, they can be customized to for a tracking a wide range of information and data points.
Dashboards should be easy to customize, cloud-based, and flexible, while improving collaboration and plugging into your existing data sources. Whether you are tracking website metrics or business intelligence metrics, the dashboard must comply with security protocols and be supported by the computer platforms at your company.