This article is a contribution from our friends @crowdreviews.com
What is a dashboard in business and what is the role of dashboards in business intelligence?
Executive Dashboards are platforms that offer a visual representation of your business organization’s real-time performance. They have gotten the name “dashboard” because they work similarly to car dashboards.
Think of your business as the engine under the hood and your executive dashboard as a car dashboard that shows you all the important metrics of your engine’s performance immediately.
Making valuable decisions has always been one of the most important things in business and those decisions are made based on numbers analysis that similar tools offer. A business dashboard software is also a tool that gives business leaders valuable information, and it provides a quick outlook of all the most valuable numbers, which allows business leaders to perform accurate business analysis.
It is possible to use business dashboards at any level of your business operations, however, most dashboards are used by higher managers, CEOs or business leaders, and this is why they are also called executive dashboards. Managers and executives get insights all the time, they are informed of everything that is happening within their companies at all times and this is why they need dashboards to take a quick look and get some essential information that can help them “fit” the puzzle and make an important decision.
The reason why dashboards are one of the most popular business intelligence software solutions out there is not because they are easier to implement or cheaper than they were before. The main reasons why so many people use them is because of their usability, efficiency and the fact that they can help you make actionable decisions.
The Role of Dashboards in Business Intelligence
In the past, there were business dashboards that were general in nature and they couldn’t offer a user the kind of specific and relevant information he or she might have needed. But things have changed today and this technology has come a long way since then.
This is why there are so many different kinds of dashboards that specialize in different areas of business. Simply put, these customized dashboards, their interpretation and data analysis have become more relevant, quicker and easier.
Another thing that is slowly starting to change is the act that there are more and more people who are not senior executives or managers that use dashboards during their everyday work. The role of dashboards in business intelligence not so limited to big roles and large companies as the methods of using dashboards based on hierarchy or user roles has changed.
Today, employees working at every single level of their job positions have the need for measuring valuable performance metrics that are related to the goals of the company and measure KPIs. This type of quantitative and qualitative measurement of valuable data coming from multiple resources is essential for business.
Types of Dashboards in Business
Depending on where they are used, dashboards can be divided into three general categories:
- Tactical dashboards: tactical dashboards are used by managers who need a deeper understanding of a company’s actions.
- Strategic dashboards: used by senior executives to monitor the progress a company is making towards reaching strategic goals.
- Operational dashboards: operational dashboards are used for processes within separate departments such as sales, manufacturing, finances, services and human resources. All of these departments require operation dashboards so that they can perform their everyday activities efficiently.
Now we will go through how dashboards are used in different areas of business and explain how business organizations benefit from them.
Managing Social Media Channels Using Business Dashboards
Managing several social media profiles while using a new login access every time is a messy process. The prospect of accessing and managing all of your social media channels using one friendly interface while at the same time being able to create customized reports with a single mouse click is pretty amazing. This is exactly what social media dashboards allow you to do.
With a professional social media dashboard, you can manage social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Vimeo, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and many other popular social networks at the same time, the way you prefer it. This convenient platform saves a lot of time and efforts while allowing you to pay greater attention to creating better marketing material instead of thinking about login access or creating reporting formats that you can present at board meetings.
Social media managers have a lot on their plate and they need comprehensive solutions that will allow them to track valuable metrics such as followers, likes and shares. Furthermore, one of the biggest issues with social media managing is that there are so few options for measuring results and generating reports to board members.
With a social media dashboard, you can provide accurate analytics that will show how good your efforts are and learn from them to generate more leads. Measuring your social media efforts has never been easier and you only need to take a quick look at a simple graph and everything will be clear as day.
Browse through some of our favorite social media dashboards from ClicData.
Acquiring Web Analytics and Marketing Insights with Business Dashboards
In a lot of business organizations both web analytics and marketing teams rely on a lot of valuable data that cover from all over different places. The marketing manager’s job is to gather an enormous amounts of different types of raw data into a readable format, and ultimately, analyze all of this data from all the aspects needed.
Another role of dashboards in business intelligence is to simplify web analytics. By trying to perform all of these processes manually, you will risk making a lot of errors, as this can be an intensive process when done in this fashion. Furthermore, presenting marketing data according to that company’s goals and strategies requires you to have centralized control over configurable data and data repository display options.
With a dashboard platform it possible to monitor all of the important metrics of email campaigns, SEO campaigns, keyword ranking, newsletter subscriptions, content marketing, and all other marketing strategies that you might be employing at a certain time.
Furthermore, your web analytics team will have the option of tracking traffic sources, how people behave on your website, visitor trends and all the other important metrics concerning your website. With this valuable information, you will be able to analyze your strategies much better and see where you are doing well and where you need to improve. With this information, you can learn what goes well with your target audience and adjust your methods for improving business results.
Tracking Sales Using Business Dashboards
With business dashboards designated for sales, you will be given the option of monitoring and investigating a lot of different aspects of your sales process from the beginning until the end of its lifecycle. You can even stay on top of your best sales opportunities, while at the same time monitoring your sales funnel periodically. By using configurable dashboards your sales staff can compare the growth of revenue and prospects that are in their lists over time.
Business dashboards can also be useful to people in managerial positions that need to showcase sales data during annual meetings or quarterly meetings. When you have a sales dashboard, presenting this important data will be much easier and you won’t have to waste hours and hours in preparing dozens of trend charts, manual entries and excel sheets.
In case board members or your senior management wants a “projected vs actual” report and you need to enable them to see your monthly performance, then there is no better solution than implementing sales dashboards in your sales departments.
Using Business Dashboards for Improved Financial Reports
The way data is represented in any financial department is very complex and, because of this, there is a lot of room for misinterpretation and misunderstanding of some essential information. By implementing a dashboard tool, you will enable your financial analyst and finance managers to explain sensitive and critical data in a more convincing fashion.
It is possible to showcase department budgets through pie charts, present revenue charts graphically, show your expenditure and balance sheet in bar diagrams and much, much more. With finance business dashboards, you can manage customer invoices, business expenses, track revenue goals and all the other difficult financial tasks business organizations need to perform on a regular basis.
Monitoring Your Clients Using Business Dashboards
The role of dashboards in business intelligence helps businesses minimize the difficulties of monitoring a group of client accounts. There are simply too many accounts and it’s quite easy to let something that can affect customer satisfaction slip by unnoticed. Dashboards have notifications and alerts that will inform you about something important that is going on with your key accounts.
With business dashboards, you can easily update your clients on real-time profess concerning some projects. It is possible to configure dashboards that have reporting widgets and set them to send automatic emails that will inform customers about important recent events or send them status updates.
What’s even better is the fact that you can update any client about website visitors, AdWords results, top Facebook posts or Tweets, keywords ranking, and all of this in one dashboard. Dashboards allow clients and suppliers to be on the same page. Additionally, dashboards offer a great communication platform where both parties work on understanding each other and explain their angles better.
It is obvious how the beneficial business dashboards and the role of dashboards in business intelligence are crucial. However, as a business you must learn to use dashboards properly so that you don’t get negative results out of them. It is important to incorporate them well into your processes and train your employees to use them effectively.
A lot of business organizations failed to comprehend these tools and this is why they weren’t able to make use of them, but in reality, once you get used to them you will ask yourself how you were able to run your business without them in the first place. Now with this information, you can answer the question, what is the role of dashboards in business intelligence.
Visit the ClicData Website to learn more about the role of dashboards in business intelligence.