Business intelligence dashboards help executives track and analyze the performance of their company. They can give executives a quick overview of how their company is doing by showing what is working and what isn’t. This allows them to make better decisions on where to focus attention so that their teams can improve sales, reduce costs and increase profits.
The role of an executive is complex; they have to make educated leaps of logic that mix and match various processes and goals together. This intuition is very important. However, that intuition needs to be powered by data to be of any value.
Having a quality resource in place so that executives can easily access data is a critical success factor in today’s business world.
What is an executive dashboard?
An executive dashboard is a visual display of the most important information an executive needs to make decisions. It includes data that can be used to evaluate strategy, track performance, and identify opportunities.
They typically track broad-level business metrics, such as revenue per employee or customer satisfaction scores—but they may also include other measures such as industry benchmarks or competitor performance.
They’re extremely important for tracking company and operational health in a broad sense. They give executives the information that they need to make far-reaching strategic plans and drive company-wide success.
Seeing real-time activity
Dashboards are helpful because they can show you what is going on in your company in real-time. They can help executives see how their employees are performing in the field and how the business is performing overall in the current market.
One way that dashboards can benefit executives is by helping them make decisions. When a problem occurs, executives often want to know what caused it so that they can take action to prevent further problems from occurring. Dashboards can show them this information immediately, which will allow them to make informed decisions as soon as possible.
Additionally, dashboards can also help track progress towards goals. This makes it easy for top executives to monitor KPIs and other metrics related to key areas such as sales targets and customer satisfaction scores over time.
Executive dashboards also often include forecasting tools. With forecasting, executives can use their historical and current data to predict future data trends. This allows them to better prepare for the future and anticipate upcoming business issues.
Dashboards put all the critical information in one place
A good executive dashboard centralizes all the information that a given executive needs into one place. This means that executives can be more productive no matter their role or the industry they work in.
Dashboards visualize data analytics, which allows executives to quickly and clearly understand trends and insights. Instead of relying on static, numerical reports, an executive can use a dynamic dashboard filled with charts and graphs to find insight.
The world operates on data-driven insights. Every successful business tracks customer, market, employee, and industry data. If a business isn’t working out a broad data strategy at the executive level, it won’t stay competitive for very long.
Easy to read data visualizations
Data visualization can support your decision-making. Business intelligence dashboards feature charts, graphs, and gauges that make it easier for executives to understand patterns and trends, which allows them to make the best decisions for their company.
For example, one executive could be working with a sales team that wants to know how many new customers are being generated by each salesperson on a monthly basis.
With the right software and analytics tools, this executive can create a bar graph that shows exactly how many customers each employee is bringing in over time.
This visual representation could also allow executives to quickly see whether any employees are underperforming compared with others, and figure out how to strengthen the effectiveness of their whole sales strategy.
The easier it is to read these visualizations in a shorter amount of time, the greater the flexibility of the executive in responding, measuring, and predicting future organizational needs.
Some other key factors that should be visualized in an executive dashboard include:
1. Sales results
Sales results are a key performance indicator that can be tracked by the sales team, marketing, and customer support. Sales results can be tracked by product, region, customer, and channel. Sales results can also be tracked by the sales process.
Many different executives, from sales executives to high-level marketers, value sales data. Often, sales information is one of the most valuable KPIs for gauging overall business health, which makes it good for more general executive dashboards as well.
In addition to tracking basic sales KPIs, organizations may also want to consider displaying sales data in a broader context, like in the context of marketing spend, payroll, or overall capital expenditure. This can give executives more insight into their specific roles.
Operations are the processes that make a company run. There’s all sorts of operational information, and the kind of operational data an executive dashboard should display depends on the executives’ roles and needs.
For instance, a chief financial officer will want to see operational information like overhead costs and payroll, while a marketing executive will want operational data about marketing success.
Executives want information about how well they’re progressing towards their company-wide strategic goals, and operational data is an important element of that. Executive dashboards are operational dashboards at their core, and through operational data, executives can get more insight about business success.
Almost every executive dashboard is going to contain some sort of financial data. Executives in every role use financial data to gauge success since profit is the goal of every company.
Each executive contributes to the financial health of their business in different ways, so they all need different financial data. A sales executive will want sales data, clearly, but a chief technical officer will want financial data that’s more specific to the company’s technical efforts.
During the design process, think about what sort of financial information a given executive would want. If all the financial information for a given role won’t fit on one dashboard, it’s a good idea to build out secondary dashboards or drill paths.
Of course, much of the financial data that executives want is sensitive or confidential. There may be special procedures or data governance requirements for accessing and utilizing that sort of data.
Reducing data silos
Often, a business can’t or won’t transfer data out of their business software. Data stays where it’s collected, and it’s very hard to get it into the hands of the people who need it. When data can’t move freely, that data is ‘siloed.’ The places where this inaccessible data is stored are known as ‘data silos.’
Data silos are a big problem. They can lead to information overload and confusion, missed opportunities, and poor decision-making. In addition to keeping your executives in the dark about important data, they make it difficult for them to understand the complete picture of your business.
When you have multiple departments working on different projects with different goals and objectives, you need some way for those departments to communicate with one another about what’s going on in each other’s workflows.
Executive dashboards can only get a high-level view of business health if they can actually get all the information that’s necessary to make that judgement. Otherwise, key parts of the business picture will be missing.
Imagine a situation where a chief financial officer can’t access their company’s payroll information. That’s going to affect the value of the decisions that they make, since they’re missing a key part of their financial data.
Track recurring trends
Another great feature of BI dashboards is the ability to track changes in performance over time. If you’re tracking a metric that fluctuates with seasonal factors, this is a great way to identify trends and make sure your departments are performing well year-round.
For example, an executive might want to know how their book sales are doing over time. If they create a dashboard that compares monthly sales figures and use it regularly, they will be able to see what times of year yield the best results. This also informs leadership when it’s worth investing more resources.
This can lead them to adjust their strategy accordingly and ultimately work towards having more stable sales throughout all twelve months of the year.
Quick decision making with BI
Dashboards allow executives to make quick decisions by giving them a high-level view of their business. With more information on their side, executives can make better decisions and design more valuable strategic plans.
If your executive has been looking for an easy way to get key insights into their business, a dashboard is a solution. Dashboards allow executives to see the big picture and make sense of their business’s place in it.
Business intelligence dashboards can make it easier for executives to stay on top of the information they need. They can be used to monitor KPIs and other relevant metrics, saving time and energy for executives who want to focus on more important things like running their business.
Check out some related resources:
Harnessing the Power of Data to become a better Credit Union
Creating modern data experiences that help your customers succeed
Domo Showcases ESG Solution for Gartner BI Analytics Showdown
Try Domo for yourself. Completely free.
Domo transforms the way these companies manage business.