A business dashboard can be a powerful addition to any organization- revealing critical insights that lead to better decision-making, improved productivity and enhanced performance. Unfortunately, after investing a considerable amount of money and time into the creation of a business dashboard, many organizations are disappointed with its performance.
If you’re considering using a data dashboard for your business, we encourage you to learn about the benefits of a dashboard as well as how to create an effective dashboard. We also think it’s important that you’re aware of the top reasons why many data dashboards fall short.
The saying “more is not always better” certainly applies to data dashboards. Organizations are generating huge amounts of data that can offer a wealth of insights, but trying to monitor every metric results in data overload. Too much data and non-essential or unrelated data makes a dashboard confusing and ineffective. That’s why the first step to creating an effective dashboard is to determine problem/s are you trying to solve, or what are you trying to accomplish by using a dashboard. Then, pinpoint a core set of actionable metrics and data that can help you achieve your goal.
Tip: To avoid data overload, ask yourself these questions when deciding what metrics and data to include in your dashboard: Do I need the data more than once or twice a month? Will this data help me achieve my objective/s or help me solve my problems? Is the data essential?
Just as including too much data can render a business dashboard ineffective, not including enough data or incorrect data is equally detrimental. A data dashboard should offer a “big picture” view that alerts the user to potential problems, and also give them the power to drill down into the data to find out the cause of the problem, do trend analysis and more.
Tip: To help ensure enough data, as well as relevant data is included in your dashboard, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your end-user’s needs. And keep in mind that even the most well-planned dashboard will fall short if it’s based off flawed data.
Using old or stale data is another common mistake of business dashboards. An effective dashboard is one that provides real-time, actionable data. That way, a user can recognize when a metric starts to deviate from its goal, and take actions immediately, not 30 days later. In short, real-time data provides decision makers with the information they need to quickly make well-informed, evidence-based decisions.
Tip: A dashboard isn’t static. Once you’ve created a dashboard, you’ll need to review it regularly as your organization changes and grows to ensure it remains effective. You’ll also want to be sure that the mobile version of the dashboard offers real-time data- in some cases real-time data is only available when accessed via desktop.
Even the most impressive looking dashboard is useless if it isn’t put in front of the right people- or it is, but it measures the wrong key performance indicators (KPIs) or fails to include the data that’s most important to the end-user.
Tip: As you begin planning a dashboard, seek input as well as feedback from those who will contribute to, manage and leverage the dashboard to help ensure its value.
From enhancing customer service to improving production rates, the purpose of a dashboard is to clearly convey critical information that can help your organization achieve its goals. Unfortunately, all too often dashboards are decked out with things like red/green/yellow stoplights, bells and more that make it look impressive, but hinder functionality and negatively impact user adoption rates. At the end of the day, you’re left with pricey, fancy looking and ineffective shelfware.
Tip: A dashboard doesn’t need to look like a piece of expensive artwork to offer value. In fact, many organizations enjoy the best ROI with a competitively priced, agile user-driven solution like Yurbi that offers users easy, straightforward access to the data they need without digging through all the fluff.
The right dashboard software can be a powerful tool that helps your organization meet and even exceed its goals, but don’t buy into the hype: expensive, “bell and whistle” solutions are not always better. In fact, decision makers often come to 5000fish in search of an affordable solution after spending too much on BI software and being disappointed with the results. Remember, if the money you’re spending on the dashboard and the services to support the dashboard exceed the benefit your organization is realizing from leveraging the solution, it’s not a good fit for your organization.