Business dashboard: definition. A dashboard is a presentation estimation instrument that presents different pointers in figures, tables and charts. It works with the organization’s administration inside a highly durable improvement process system. We likewise discuss “the executive’s dashboard” or “action observing table”.
Traditionally, A Dashboard Is Used To
- Monitor actions and results while comparing them to objectives/forecasts,
- Control the staff and the execution of the tasks,
- Alert the possible deterioration of specific commercial, organizational, productive indicators, etc.
Beyond These Aspects, The Dashboard Must Also And Above All, Help To
- Identify what is not working and find the causes,
- Listen to the field and detect dysfunctions, difficulties, tendencies to demotivation,
- Adapt the company’s objectives and strategy.
More than a tool made to control and sanction, the dashboard helps to manage the company intelligently. There is no standard dashboard model. The dashboards are explicitly designed and adapted to the needs of each company.
A dashboard is, therefore, a management tool and a staff management tool that carries elements of the company’s culture, especially if the results are the subject of internal communication. Indeed, depending on the indicators chosen, the teams will or will not give importance to such an aspect of the functioning of the structure. For example, a dashboard presenting numerous quality monitoring indicators will raise staff awareness of the importance of quality.
Business Dashboards: At The Heart Of Management
Here is a diagram representing the place of the dashboard within the decision-making process of the company: As described above, the dashboard makes it possible to monitor the actions corresponding to the objectives that have been set in line with the corporate strategy. It makes it possible to observe deviations, take corrective decisions, or even sometimes question the method or operational objectives.
Dashboard Indicators: Performance Monitoring
The choice of indicators present in the dashboard is essential. VSEs/SMEs adopt the same bare hands (change in turnover, margin rate, cash flow, stock level, etc.). Still, many other indicators are necessary to ensure effective management of the activity.
More Specifically, A Dashboard Can Present Two Types Of Indicators
- Steering indicators: they make it possible to monitor the progress of a task or a project, for example, according to a predefined schedule,
- Performance indicators: they are subdivided into:
- Efficiency indicators: they relate to the achievement of final objectives (for example, the delivery of customers within the promised deadlines),
- Efficiency indicators measure the achievement of internal objectives (concerning the means implemented).
In All Cases, The Indicators Must Be Relevant, Simple And Readable
Moreover, their number must be limited to keep the analysis simple.
The Different Types Of Business Dashboards
Here are the different types of business dashboards:
Management dashboards: examples:
- Budget forecast vs reality
- Cost tracking and analysis
- Financial follow-up, cash follow-up, unpaid follow-up
- Inventory tracking
Production dashboards: examples:
- Production monitoring
- Productivity tracking
- Quality monitoring
Executive dashboards: examples:
- Project monitoring (see Gantt chart )
- Risk and security monitoring
- Human Resources Tracking
- Measurement of the social climate
Marketing dashboards: examples:
- Customer satisfaction monitoring
- Follow-up of communication or operational marketing actions,
- Website traffic monitoring
Business Dashboard: Which Data Sources?
The quality of the source data is essential for a relevant and effective dashboard. Data can come from different sources:
- entries in the customer file (account openings, loyalty cards, etc.),
- entering quotes and invoices (invoicing software),
- the accounting entry (expenses in particular) with, if possible, an analytical assignment,
- the reprocessing of documents (internal questionnaires, satisfaction studies, etc.),
- manual entry of actions, tasks or events,
- website data: traffic, bounce rate, etc.
In any case, the data must be:
- Relevant: there is no need to include indicators whose importance is secondary,
- Accurate: accurate does not necessarily mean ultra-precise, but a certain level of reliability must be guaranteed to maintain confidence in the figures,
- Coherent: it would not be welcome to present indicators whose association could lead to confusion,
- Recent: the company’s information system must be able to produce figures regularly and without delay.
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