Data-Driven Decision Making: The Role of Business Dashboards


  1. What Is a Business Dashboard?
  2. The Importance of Dashboards in Business Intelligence
  3. What Types of Dashboards Are There?
  4. Uses of Business Dashboards
  5. Benefits of Business Dashboards
  6. Dashing Dashboards: A Must-Have for Businesses

How would your business benefit from having constant access to real-time data? For starters, it’d be much easier to assess metrics that influence decision-making. A business dashboard gives you that and more.

One of the vital components of a successful business is leveraging data. Many elements need monitoring, with each contributing to the overall functioning of the company. 

What’s the best way to keep track of it all? Read on to discover how a business dashboard streamlines the data-driven decision-making process.

What Is a Business Dashboard?

Imagine you could access all the most critical company information in one place. Enter a business dashboard. This digital platform gives you a complete overview of your organization’s performance.

Example metrics include key performance indicators (KPIs), productivity goals, revenue, and project budgets.

Dashboards often have charts, gauges, and other visual elements to simplify complex information. These tools allow you to view the successes and pitfalls of the organization at a glance.

The Importance of Dashboards in Business Intelligence

Most businesses expand through data acquisition using annual, quarterly, or monthly reviews. While these reports are useful for monitoring operations, they’re based on past performance.

Using a business dashboard gives you clear insights into current data. This tool is versatile, and you can implement it at any tier of operations.

In many cases, a business dashboard is most useful at the executive level. The data displayed allows individuals in these positions to make informed decisions. The objectives can relate to strategies or ways to improve revenue.

Having all the company data at your fingertips makes analyzing each aspect easier. It also makes understanding the Pareto 80/20 principle clearer.

When viewing graphical data, you might find that 20% of your assets are resulting in 80% of your revenue. Alternatively, 20% of your products could be behind 80% of the storage costs. 

It’s straightforward to apply the Pareto principle to any part of the organization. A business dashboard helps you take the relevant actions to optimize operations

Using the Pareto principle is handy in: 

  • Risk management
  • Quality improvement 
  • Time management
  • Employee performance
  • Website analysis
  • Product portfolio analysis 

Tables and charts that identify what works within the 80/20 rule make it easier to scale the business.

What Types of Dashboards Are There?

The needs of every business differ, and so do the types of dashboards required. These tools are versatile. You can adapt them to measure whichever metrics you find most crucial. 

The ideal option for your business needs to drive action based on the data provided. Before you implement a dashboard, decide what information you require most

There are several dashboards to choose from, each orientated at a different aspect. Some focus on analyzing information to establish targets. Others are operational and highlight current progress towards these objectives. 

Most business dashboards fall into four broad categories. Let’s look at an overview of each.

Strategic Dashboards

Strategic dashboards are often implemented at the executive level. They involve data for long-term strategies and contain high-level metrics

These dashboards can be more complex than others. They affect decisions that impact the entire company. Strategic dashboards usually align the company’s core goals with long-term strategies. They also track performance metrics concerning these objectives. 

In many cases, strategic dashboards summarize an organization’s progress. The data is measured over a set period. It’s similar to traditional reports, except it’s digitized. It helps companies reach their KPIs sooner. 

Executives get a clear overview of any issues, allowing them to take action promptly. These tools may also come in the form of interactive reports. 

Here are some types of strategic dashboards:

  • Executive reports
  • Digital marketing reports
  • Social media reports
  • E-commerce reports
  • SEO reports
  • PPC reports on paid advertising 
  • CTO dashboards
  • Sales KPI reports 

Strategic business dashboards can also be more detailed. Examples include: 

  • Management strategic KPI dashboards. These tools display cohesive data. They concentrate on revenue, customer acquisition costs, and sales targets. They’re usually set to a predetermined time frame.
  • SaaS management dashboards. Customers, revenue, and cost are the three main focuses. Tracking these metrics can help optimize processes.
  • Chief marketing officer dashboards. Certain metrics are more relevant to the marketing department, including sales data, marketing strategies and results, leads and customer acquisition costs. These dashboards analyze the target KPIs and help with making decisions.
  • Chief financial officer dashboards. Monitoring the financial progress of a business is crucial. Metrics on this tool are broad. They include data on revenue, operating expenses, net income, and gross profit. 

Operational Dashboards

Operational dashboards are geared at showing data measurements of operational processes. They have shorter time frames and often focus on a specific area. These tools are an excellent source of information for urgent decision-making

These dashboards offer quick and accurate data between operations departments. They’re also the most popular type of business dashboard. They’re detailed and assist organizations in proactively avoiding pitfalls

Examples of operational dashboards include: 

  • Marketing operational KPI. These tools display the performance of various campaigns. They’re set over an allocated time frame. Metrics include expenditure and total customer acquisitions. 
  • Manufacturing and production. These tools track production by analyzing various data, like product volume, quantities ordered, returns, and active manufacturing machinery. 
  • Pick and pack operations (logistics). The best way to optimize order processing is with an appropriate dashboard. The main function is reporting on quality. Other metrics are efficiency, cost of packaging, and equipment utilization. 
  • Customer service operational metrics. These tools look at response time and resolutions for customer service. They also track how many calls were made and the number of unresolved queries. 
  • Daily overall operating effectiveness (OOE). These dashboards are ideal as monitoring tools. They’re especially useful in end-to-end production line data.

Analytical Dashboards

Analytical dashboards are data-rich and give a comprehensive overview of complex business information. They help identify patterns and industry trends. These tools are ideal for comparing variables to make calculated predictions.

Examples of analytical dashboards include:

  • Financial performance. The focus of this tool is performance. It displays data on capital expenditure, return on assets, and equity. It also gives a balance sheet overview.
  • Procurement cost. These business dashboards depict the cost and savings metrics. 

Dashboards in the analytical category vary. The right option is industry-dependent and company-specific. 

Tactical Dashboards

Tactical dashboards are handy performance tracking tools. In some ways, they’re similar to analytical ones. 

These tools provide detailed information for monitoring processes involved in strategic initiatives. They typically provide more data compared to alternative tools. 

Tactical dashboards vary according to industry. Common ones include human resources talent management, supply chain, and social media. Some businesses also use this tool to track the quality of customer service.

Uses of Business Dashboards

We’ve highlighted some uses of business dashboards. Let’s delve into some popular ways to incorporate these tools in various departments.

Social Media

There are multiple social media platforms businesses can use in their marketing efforts. This strategy can successfully result in leads and revenue. Managing all the profiles, however, could get daunting. 

Using a dashboard to manage each social media profile simplifies the process. The metrics for these tools are diverse. They include the number of followers, liked posts, comments, reactions, and shares. 

Web and Marketing Data 

The marketing department gathers a variety of essential insights for analysis. Having a dashboard streamlines this task. 

It simplifies web analytics and allows you to centralize all the marketing data. Seeing a clear overview makes it easier to notice challenges. It clarifies what to address and which successful tactics to continue.

Sales Tracking

There are various elements that businesses can analyze in the sales department. Decide on the most important metrics and apply them to a dashboard for convenience. 

Having all the data in a single location makes drawing up reports easier. A visual representation is useful for assessing projected targets against the accomplished numbers

Financial Reports

A well-organized financial department is crucial. The data can get quite complex, and manual analysis can result in errors. 

Many businesses automate financial processes quickly and easily with dashboards. Accurate information is formulated into pie charts, tables, and bar diagrams. There are fewer chances of misunderstanding the data. Drawing up reports is more straightforward.

Benefits of Business Dashboards

Business dashboards have an extensive list of uses. They play a vital role in multiple departments and make data collection easier

Some of the main advantages of business dashboards include: 

  • Keeping stakeholders informed about business performance in real-time. 
  • Providing valuable insights on potential issues or urgent problems.
  • Encouraging growth, improvement, and prosperity in the business.
  • Helping track KPIs.
  • Identifying industry changes and trends.
  • Improving reporting and data analysis. 
  • Achieving accurate data-driven decision-making.

Dashing Dashboards: A Must-Have for Businesses

Doing business in the digital age means having access to plenty of data. This information helps businesses make informed operational decisions. The metrics require careful and accurate analysis to ensure success. 

Business dashboards make it easy to achieve your organizational goals. They allow you to view vast amounts of data on a single platform. 

Are you ready to take your brand to the next level? Contact Innovation Park to streamline your data with the ideal business dashboard.

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