Using Dashboards to Manage KPIs

So we wrote sometime back regarding the importance of establishing (and using!) KPIs as part of your management process.  And by this time you’ve taken us to heart, right?  You’ve sat down with your management team, identified the most critical areas of your business, developed measurement mechanisms, and wrapped them in KPIs.  You have 34 of them.  Sweet!

Now what?

You need a dashboard.


 

What is a Dashboard?

A dashboard is a graphical representation of your KPIs or other metrics.  Dashboards are important because, at the very least, they give you a bird’s eye view of your business.  Done right, management will be able to look at their dashboard and at a glance get an understanding of the health of their business.


Everything is a Range – the Low End

At the most basic level, a dashboard can simply be your whiteboard.  Go ahead, block off some squares, title them with your KPIs, and jot down the actual metrics.  But manual systems tend towards entropy.  Best intentions become “I’ll get to that after the weekend.”

whiteboard_db


Mid-Range

When you are ready to upgrade, consider an excel version.  Go ahead and google around, there are about a million versions of excel dashboards out there that you can work off of.  Want to get a little more fancy?  Try a solution like Domo.  With a little magic you’ll be able to access live-ish data.

excel_dashboard1

 

 


Top End

Finally, use live data.   Many CRM systems such as Salesforce have built in dashboard components.  You could also use a third party tool such as Tableau or Klipfolio that will pull and report live data.  While these systems tend to be more costly, they also tend to bring data to life and help you manage your KPIs more effectively.

domo_laptop-dashboard-lrg

 

 

 


Conclusions

Regardless of your technical acumen or your budget, there’s still a Dashboard solution out there for you.  The form doesn’t matter nearly as much as the substance.  If you’ve spent some time and resources developing KPIs for your company, it only makes sense to develop a way to display them smartly so you can action upon them.

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