5 Business Data Dashboards Your Business Must Use
Decision making without the right information is like firing an arrow at a target in pitch darkness and expecting to hit the mark. And, this also applies to a business manager that has information he doesn’t understand because it isn’t structured in a manner he can consume it. If you can’t understand data because it’s too confusing, you’re in as precarious a situation as the fellow shooting arrows in the dark.
Many businesses suffer from either lack of adequate information or an information overload that befuddles them. In this age of big data, business information systems can collect so much data, making head or tail of it becomes difficult.
This is why business data dashboards are important. They summarize the most important things about a business in a graphic manner that is easy to consume.
The following are five dashboards that your business should be using.
Marketing is to a business what blood is to the body. Visualization of data is paramount in marketing. Your marketing dashboard should contain the following metrics:
- Sales leads – Your marketing dashboard should how many more people are in the sales pipeline. And, it should be easy to see how many more leads have entered the pipeline over a given period of time, say, a day, week or month.
- Conversions – Your marketing dashboard should how many sales leads have been converted to customers within a given period of time.
- Marketing channels – track which marketing channels is contributing to sales. For example, where have the majority of leads and conversions come from? Is it Facebook, Google Ads or even TV ads? This information will help you re-allocate marketing resources to channels that are performing and drop those that swallow resources without any results.
- Brand engagement – Finally, your marketing dashboard should let you see, at a glance, the demographics, psychographics, behavior and location of your customers and leads. This information is important because it allows you to understand your market segment and see if you can curve out highly targeted niches for your product or service.
Every accountant can tell you that if you really want to know the financial health of a business, look at the cash flow. A negative cash flow can bring down even the biggest corporation in terms of assets. When a business can’t pay its creditors, it doesn’t matter how much wealth it has on paper. Your business should therefore have a dashboard that tracks cash flow on a daily basis. There are many web based accounting solutions that allow you to stay appraised of the most important financial metrics.
Project management dashboards make it easy to see, at a glance, the stage of completion of every project. Thus, you can see if a project is halfway done, complete or yet to commence. You can also quickly see the members of staff responsible for the project. There are several project management tools that you can purchase that come with excellent dashboards.
Business success is achieved through the workforce. It is workers that do all the things that need to be done in order to attain impressive bottom line results. Unfortunately, company data relating to employees is often held in silos in different departments, processes and systems that it is difficult to understand the DNA of the workforce. A human resource dashboard consolidates data from several systems and presents it visually for instant insights into the human resources.
Customer support can make your stand out from your business. Did you know that customers will go out of their way to tell others about a bad experience they had with an organization? Yes, one annoyed customer can do irreparable damage to a business so it is important to always have an eye on customer support. The most critical customer support metrics are; number of customer complaints, number of issues resolved satisfactorily, turn-around times and escalations. There are many customer support web based solutions that come with dashboards that help you see your most important metrics at a glance.
Finally, it is important to mention that a dashboard should only contain the most important data. Do not fall into the temptation of cramming too much information into the dashboard; it beats the purpose of the dashboard in the first place which is to display the key performance indicators. Many businesses have fallen into this trap with each manager demanding more and more information be included on the dashboard. Also, only include data that is actionable.