What is a Business Dashboard? And how can it help you?
At this time we are constantly bombarded with information. Our phones ding with new messages, a constant flow of emails demand to be sorted, forwarded and archived, and we fill our calendars with appointments to make sure we are not wasting one second of time.
I’m not saying that being productive is bad – but I am saying that BUSY is bad!
What’s the difference? Easy! Productive work pushes us closer to our goals. Busy work is a way we occupy our time in a rudderless way.
One of the best ways I’ve found to make sure I’m getting productive work done is to set up 3 simple tools that are examined and adjusted on a regular basis. Those tools are a Strategic Plan, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and a Dashboard.
The Strategic Plan tells you where you are going. The KPIs create the gauges to measure what is important (based on the Strategic Plan). The Dashboard is a view of your current measurement on the KPIs – how is your performance in the key areas of your Strategic Plan measuring up to where it needs to be.
Today, let’s start at the end (we can work backwards – sometimes that is a great way to solve problems).
Think of your car. Your Dashboard tells you important info: Speed, Engine Health, Direction (on some cars), fuel in the tank, etc. All this information is important for various reasons.
Fuel tank low? You might run out of gas.
Going too fast? You might get a ticket.
RPMs to high? You will need to change gears or you will blow your engine.
A dashboard is paramount in successfully driving your car.
The same can be said about running your organization – you need a good dashboard!
What is on a Dashboard?
Each organization or team will need need different measurements on their dashboard based on the Strategic Plan they establish.
Some of the items might measure:
- Production Efficiency
- Marketing Return
- Team Innovation
- And really most anything else that moves your organization’s ‘needle’
You can include measures of profit, but be careful on setting your business measurements up on profit or revenue alone. This is not what drives your organization – it is a result of reaching the important goals.
For instance, your dashboard in your car does not show a picture of your destination. That would be no help. It does show you the important information needed to get there: heading, location, speed, resource levels, etc.
So be mindful of how to set those measures on the dashboard and
make sure they are indications of performance needed to reach your destination
– not just your destination.
How to make a Dashboard…
It doesn’t need to be overly complicated in the beginning. You can start with something simple like a Google Sheet or Excel Spreadsheet that gets updated weekly.
If the spreadsheet method is taking up too much time or is too laborious, then there are some other good options (all of which 825 Technologies can help you with).
Here are a few ideas:
- Use APIs. One of the many benefits of cloud based software is that it is easy to get information into and out of. Utilize the APIs in your programs to get information from timesheets, accounting software for usage levels, Slack for Comm stats, and much more!
- Make a Webpage. Make sure that people on your team can check in on progress. They are helping move the needles and need to see the progress and return on their effort.
- Contact Someone to Help! If you really want a dashboard and just don’t know how to make it happen, then reach out to someone that can help – like us!
If you need help with your dashboard, or have more questions then please reach out to 825 Technologies to get some guidance and help that is sure to be valuable to your organization!