/ Why a reporting dashboard is critical to your business intelligence success

Why a reporting dashboard is critical to your business intelligence success

As data leads the way in most modern business decisions, it is critical to have a sound reporting dashboard. Dashboards provide a snapshot of a company’s performance and help executives make better business decisions.

However, many business owners and executives pass over this data in favor of a business intelligence solution. With many forms of data now at their fingertips, deciding between a reporting dashboard and a business intelligence solution can be challenging.

When it’s time for a company to choose a reporting dashboard and business intelligence tool, it’s important to understand a few key considerations.

In this article, we will look at these key considerations and how a reporting dashboard can improve business intelligence success.


What is a reporting dashboard?

A reporting dashboard is a visual interface that displays metrics from different data sources. These data sources may include sales reports, marketing analytics, customer service records, and more.

In the past, it was difficult to aggregate this information into one central location. It has also been historically difficult to consolidate all the data needed for an intelligent dashboard that will benefit the business.

A reporting dashboard will typically display the most important metrics for your business, but not necessarily in real-time. Dashboards can be built in Microsoft Excel or other tools, and offer insight into how performance is trending and identify when there are opportunities for improving results.

Data is presented either with text or in graph form, which allows you to easily identify trends over time.


What is a business intelligence solution?

A business intelligence solution, on the other hand, is software that consolidates data into one cohesive platform.

Business intelligence solutions are typically built with an end goal in mind, whether it’s increasing sales or identifying marketing opportunities. These solutions can automate tasks and provide one centralized location for all of your business data.

Rather than comparing metrics over time, this software will consolidate data in order to provide an “at a glance” view of your business. BI includes dashboards and analytics; the best BI tools also provide real-time data delivered immediately to the dashboard.


The essential elements of a reporting dashboard

A reporting dashboard offers the following essential elements that are critical to your business intelligence success:

A snapshot of how your company is performing

When designing your reporting dashboard, it’s important to include the metrics that reflect the health of your company. These key performance indicators should be automatically updated so you can monitor progress in real-time and make adjustments as needed.

An “at a glance” viewing of business performance

Rather than searching through multiple reports, a reporting dashboard will present metrics in real-time and allow you to easily identify areas for improvement. You should be able to drill down into data as needed and adjust your focus as the needs of your business shift over time.

Instant access to company information

All relevant data should be consolidated on one platform for easy access and manipulation. Dashboards allow you to filter, sort and export this data at any given moment depending on how you need to use it or what questions you want answered.

Easy-to-monitor KPIs

You should have the ability to set key performance indicators for your company so you can easily monitor progress and make adjustments as needed. Your reporting dashboard should offer pre-built reports that are tailored specifically toward these metrics.


Is a reporting dashboard right for your business?

A reporting dashboard is a great solution for businesses that rely on real-time data. It’s also perfect for companies that want to centralize their information in one interface.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding if a reporting dashboard is right for you:

Do I need to monitor key performance indicators in order to improve company operations?

A top reason to utilize reporting dashboards is to have ready-built access to KPI data. Depending on the users of your reporting dashboard, you can design specific data sets that reflect critical information that users need to monitor their performance and success.

Do I require instant access to my most important data?

One of the best reasons to invest in a reporting dashboard is that it can help you to identify trends and make adjustments as needed. As a result, your business will run more efficiently and effectively.

Is it essential that all of my most relevant information is consolidated in one interface?

The reporting dashboard will consolidate all of your important data in one location. This is crucial for businesses that rely on data to drive their decision-making process.

Before committing to a reporting dashboard, however, it’s important to determine if the amount of data you need is manageable within one location. If not, it may be better to invest in a business intelligence solution that can provide more detailed information for your unique needs.

Are my reports limited without the assistance of business intelligence software?

A reporting dashboard is intuitive software that allows you to monitor your company’s performance in real-time. It is great for scenarios where immediate information is needed or where having all data centralized into one interface would be beneficial.

If the amount of data you require exceeds what is possible with this type of platform, it may be time to invest in business intelligence software that can provide you with deeper analytics.

Is it easy to see where my business is excelling and where areas for improvement are?

When designing your reporting dashboard, be sure to include metrics that will allow you to easily identify both areas for improvement as well as times when your company is performing well. If this information is not readily available, it will be difficult to adjust your company’s strategy when necessary.

A reporting dashboard is crucial for making business decisions in real-time. It can help you monitor key performance indicators and allow you to access important data immediately when needed. A reporting dashboard also makes it easier to see overall progress when utilizing your information to drive decision-making throughout your organization.

When assessing whether or not a reporting dashboard is right for your business, consider how much data you need to access in one location and what metrics will be most valuable for your decision-making process.

Keep in mind that when it comes to developing reports with instant results, a dashboard can’t always compete with the insight provided by business intelligence software.

Domo Finance Dashboard

Possible limitations of a reporting dashboard

Although there are many benefits to utilizing this type of solution, there are also some possible limitations.

Reporting dashboards are not well-suited to provide in-depth analysis across a variety of channels.

If you need a more detailed picture of your business, you should invest in a platform that offers intelligent analytics, such as the information provided by business intelligence software.

A reporting dashboard is very easy to use. However, if there are multiple people using the same interface it may be difficult for them to navigate their way through the software.

It may be necessary to invest in business intelligence software if you require more detailed metrics than what can be offered by a reporting dashboard.


Tips for utilizing this data to improve your organization’s operations.

When using the information provided by both business intelligence solutions and reporting dashboards, consider these tips:

1. Create customized reports that are easily accessible

By streamlining your reporting processes, you will be able to incorporate data into your decision-making process more efficiently.

2. Identify the metrics that are most valuable for your unique needs

For example, if you are a fast-food chain, one of your key performance indicators may be employee turnover rate because this impacts your customer service.

3. Ensure that you are making the right decisions for your unique situation

Not every solution will work well for all types of businesses, so make sure to measure how these solutions impact your operations.

When deciding whether or not a reporting dashboard is a right choice for your business, consider how much data you need to monitor in one location and how quickly you need access to this information. If a reporting dashboard won’t be able to give you the insight necessary for your decision-making process, consider investing in business intelligence software instead.

Remember that these solutions work best when used together, so if one isn’t giving you the information you require it may be beneficial to combine them. This way, you will be able to access the information you need in one convenient location.



A reporting dashboard is one of the most effective tools for monitoring key performance indicators and keeping up with your business information.

It can give you real-time insight into how well your company is performing while also allowing you to utilize data more effectively when making business decisions.

When deciding whether or not a reporting dashboard is right for your business, consider the amount of data you need to access in one location and what metrics are most valuable for your needs.

Make sure to assess the limitations of this type of solution so you know how best to harness its benefits.

When you have access to your most critical business data in one convenient location, you will be able to make smarter business decisions and improve your organization’s operations.

Check out some related resources:

Elevate Your Organization's Data-Driven Culture with Strong Governance Practices

Power to Your People: The New Data Experience

Data-Driven Decisions Are Both Science and Art

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