This article will focus on dashboard tips and tricks that enable organizations to understand their company data better for stronger decision-making.
All companies, no matter the size, benefit from Business Intelligence (BI). Of all BI tools, dashboards are often seen as a top priority especially to Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and other executives. According to Software Advice, a comparison site for Business Intelligence tools, dashboards, scorecards, and performance management software are priority number one for today’s financial executives. Dashboards provide quickly accessible, easily digestible analytics. It is an overview of your key information at a glance. Data Visualizations are graphs, charts, and scorecards that showcase data trends, opportunities, and challenges with key performance indicators (KPIs) for departments, projects, and/or the entire corporation. Making wise decisions is crucial for every organization because it heavily weighs on the company’s performance and condition, but just because an organization uses a dashboard, doesn’t mean it will be successful. In this article, we will focus on why a simple dashboard layout is typically the best kind of dashboard layout.
More companies are implementing commercial dashboard software, but they are facing some common issues, such as their lack of experience and information overload. Organizations are investing in dashboards they have never used before and newbies in dashboard design are often tempted to add too much information onto one screen. For instance, new power users tend to use fancy charts and graphs such as thermometers, gauges, and other visuals because they look more appealing and captivating to the eye, but that does not necessarily mean the information is very clear and understandable for financial executives.
There is no need for complicated or exhaustive training for end users. Dashboards are designed to be intuitive to any user. Therefore, the graphics should enable an easy and smooth navigation throughout the information. What’s the problem with having too much information or visuals? The problem is that you get dashboards that are not easily readable. Your dashboards should be organized to present information that can be easily digested by your relevant end-users and audience.
Here’s a question to ask yourself, “Can you tell if your sales are up or down and the reason for this trend?” If you cannot tell, here is some advice to why simple dashboards are often the best dashboards. The best dashboards give you total visibility into your business. You will know what is working and what is not working. Your business will be able to make wiser and better decisions with real-time data and graphical views. You will be able to gain company insight by blending and aggregating data from multiple sources. Dashboards help your company save big time through automation and avoid mundane, manual labor. Dashboards will also show success indicators, so your company and individuals are able to improve your results. Additionally, simple yet effective dashboards allow companies to measure performance numerically, thus increasing productivity, and they show exactly which areas of the business are performing poorly, which makes it easier for companies to increase both sales and profits.
Let us consider one or two specific questions regarding your organization’s target, trends, product comparisons, customers and sales team that you can ask yourself. For example, “How are the sales of my products compared to the budget?” or “How are my product sales trending?” You can also ask yourself, “Which products am I selling the most of? Where?” These basic, yet concise questions assure your company is on the right track.
Similarly, if you are working on a customer-focused dashboard, you can also ask yourself this question, “How are some customers buying compared to other customers?” This concept can be applied to not only financial data, but it can also be applied to non-financial data. A goal that most companies should aim for is having multiple dashboards, as opposed to having one dashboard and over-filling it with too much information and visuals. This will allow your end users to know exactly the purpose of- and the information they will find on each dashboard, and therefore, they can make smarter business decisions based off of their analyses. Most likely, simple dashboards are easier to build as well as easier to maintain, and they will have a longer shelf-life in the company in comparison to having a complex dashboard for a few months and not going back to using it, due to it being cluttered and complex.
Clearly, simple dashboard layouts are usually the best dashboard layouts to start with because designers are able to present the exact data they want and deliver a clear message to their end users. Simple dashboard layouts are also important as they invite interaction and adjustment for deeper analyses and interpretation. As your company grows, your dashboards will evolve as well. Starting at a simpler place allows users to build their dashboard.
The data and analyses from dashboards allow users to focus on a trend that they can keep track of and explore numerous ways that data visualization can help to ensure a more successful future for organizations. The right dashboard can revolutionize both your enjoyment and success in running your organization by identifying and consolidating relevant information from multiple sources, eliminating inaccurate and redundant data, and enhancing decision-making for your business. Poor decision-making coupled with inadequate BI tools are contributing to an organization’s downfall.
Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, a leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.