But in order to create an effective BI dashboard, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. You need to have the right data, the right tools, and the right mindset. Without all three of these elements, your BI dashboard will be ineffective and useless.
Let’s take a look at the three components that make up an effective BI dashboard—and how your team can easily put together one of their own.
What is a BI dashboard and what are its benefits?
A BI dashboard is a company’s central location of performance metrics. It provides information on the past, present, and future of your business, which enables you to make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts.
What types of information should your BI dashboard provide?
Your company’s BI dashboard needs to provide three main pieces of information: prescriptive, trended, and descriptive.
Prescriptive: This refers to the future-oriented information that will help your team come up with a plan of action. For instance, this might include information like how much revenue it is predicted you’ll make for the month and market trends.
Trended: This type of information helps people learn from past actions and change their behavior based on what they learned. This might include information like how many people clicked on your email campaign and what the conversion rate was.
Descriptive: Information that describes what is happening in real-time. This might include things like the number of new leads coming in, page views per minute, or active users on your website.
Knowing each of these types of information is essential for making informed decisions with the best available data for your teams.
What kind of tools do you need to gather the data?
In order for a BI dashboard to be effective, it needs to have accurate and up-to-date information. In other words, you need the right tools that not only gather data but also provide real-time insights as well as historical data.
Tools can vary depending on the information that your BI dashboard needs to provide. If you need prescriptive data, it might be as simple as an enhanced spreadsheet, while if you want real-time insights, you may need something more akin to an analytics solution.
Your tools need to be flexible and customizable. You need to have the ability to easily change what is being tracked and reported on, depending on what your team needs from their BI dashboard.
How should you organize your BI dashboard?
Your BI dashboard will be useless if it isn’t organized in a way that allows people to quickly access the information they need. The best way to organize it is by using a performance management platform that allows for the creation of customizable workflows.
Each workflow should contain separate metrics and goals. These different parts can be grouped under four main categories: resource, project, product, and company KPIs (key performance indicators).
This makes it easier to navigate through your BI dashboard. The different filters can be used to get the information you are looking for quickly and easily. Each department should have its own BI dashboard that is custom-tailored to their needs.
6 tips for building a dashboard that works
The best dashboards are those that are relevant, timely, and accurate. So how can you go about putting one together for your company?
Now that you know the benefits of a BI dashboard and how to incorporate it into your business, let’s look at six tips that every organization should follow when building a BI dashboard.
What is the purpose of the BI dashboard? Do you need it for decision-making or training purposes? Will it focus on real-time insights or historical data?
Having specific goals will help you determine what information the BI dashboard needs to provide. Once you know why you want to use a BI dashboard, it will be easier to decide what metrics it needs to provide, which tools you need to gather them, and how they should be organized.
For example, if you need to use the BI dashboard for decision-making, you likely want it to focus on real-time insights. On the other hand, if you are creating a BI dashboard for training purposes, prescriptive information would be more useful.
2. Identify the different audiences
Not all organizations have a single BI dashboard. In fact, there are many cases where there could be multiple dashboards within any given organization.
Many companies have different tools that each department uses to access their own pieces of information. For example, marketing could use a combination of analytics and CRM tools, while sales might use lead generation software.
Knowing what audiences will need to access the information your BI dashboard provides will help determine which metrics and data sources you need. This is also a good time to start working on the different workflows that will be needed for each audience.
3. Make sure it’s easy to navigate
The best way to make sure users can quickly find what they are looking for in your BI dashboard is to use a performance management platform. These types of platforms allow you to create different tools and dashboards that will help users easily find what they need.
The flexibility of these platforms makes it easy for organizations to personalize their own dashboards, regardless of the size or type of organization. Each tool can be customized with varying levels of permissions. This ensures that the right people have access to the information they need, which is especially helpful for users who may not be very IT-savvy.
A dashboard that is easy to navigate is going to be a better experience for users. Make sure you take the time to personalize each piece of your BI dashboard with the tools and features that will lead to the most success possible.
4. You don’t have to go it alone
Many BI dashboard software solutions are available on the market today, each varying in price and features.
Just because you need an effective BI dashboard that provides the right information doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive or time-consuming to build. Don’t let your team get bogged down with data collection, processing, or reporting.
If you are unsure of how to begin with building a dashboard, don’t be afraid to reach out to an experienced developer for help. There are many different BI dashboard software solutions that can provide an end-to-end reporting platform within your budget.
5. Use data from all aspects of your organization
Companies often rely on multiple tools to create their BI dashboards.
This is because having all of the required data in one place can be difficult, not to mention time-consuming. It is better to collect the necessary data in different places and create your BI dashboard based on that information.
The more sources of information you use when creating your BI dashboard, the less likely it will be for any individual source to skew your data or metrics. This ensures that you are getting the most accurate information possible.
Always revisit your data as you build your BI dashboard to ensure that the data is being collected correctly. Over time, you will also be able to pinpoint which metrics are most valuable for each of your audiences.
6. Analyze and re-analyze your dashboard set-up as you grow
When you set up your BI dashboard, it is important to constantly analyze and re-analyze the information you need and how it will be displayed.
Always keep in mind that this should be a living system. This means that as your business changes, you should constantly be re-evaluating how the information will be used and displayed.
The best way to do this is to set up a regular meeting with all of the stakeholders involved so that everyone can have their questions or concerns addressed. As feedback is generated, your BI dashboard can be constantly updated and improved upon to provide your audience with the best possible information.
Creating a BI dashboard is an important part of any organization’s success. Not only can they help keep your business on track, but they also provide valuable information about the overall health and performance of the company as a whole.
To make sure your dashboard is effective and useful for all involved parties, you will need to identify what type of information it needs to provide, which tools are needed to collect that data, and how it will be organized.
Remember that no dashboard is set in stone; they need to be continuously evaluated and updated. That way you can make sure your BI dashboard presents the right information for everyone involved. With the right system in place, your business will be able to achieve its goals using the best available data.
Check out some related resources:
Domopalooza 2020 On-Demand
The benefits of using dashboard visualization tools
How COVID-19 Impacts Businesses, Budgets, and Projects
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