The past decade has seen several irreversible changes in how businesses are run. While work from home has become the norm in recent times, the amount of data that is generated by companies has tripled. Therefore, dashboards have become extremely important while becoming something that the senior management monitors daily.
There are a plethora of variations for a single dashboard. Each dashboard can also constitute different types of reports within them to serve a certain purpose. The dashboard theme is usually determined by the visualization requirement by the senior management and the purpose of the dashboard that has been created.
However, despite a large number of dashboards one can produce, here are three of the most commonly used dashboards that help give a snapshot of the interior workings of an organization.
#1 Strategic Dashboards
A lot of time is spent discussing corporate strategy. Defining a strategy is of tantamount importance and is the cornerstone of success for organizations. A key element to formulating a strategy is KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Once these KPIs have been defined, they become an important part of the Strategic Dashboard.
Typically, a strategic dashboard’s data sources include sales numbers achieved monthly or quarterly. The achievements will be benchmarked against pre-defined KPIs. The reports showcased in these dashboards would also have an option to be drilled down to look into values and data sources. Typically, KPIs and metrics are tracked for the sales and the marketing teams. However, these KPIs can be tracked across divisions/departments in the organization including HR, finance, and operations.
A strategic dashboard provides a bird-eye view of the organization for the upper management and adds significantly to the data transparency across teams as well.
#2 Operational Dashboards
An operational dashboard is perhaps the most commonly used dashboard within an organization. The metrics showcased on this dashboard are generally updated almost daily and are updated on an hourly or bi-hourly basis.
An operation dashboard gives a snapshot of the daily performance and captures metrics that are related to daily tasks. These dashboards generally do not have drill-down options and are well-suited for shop-floor activates in manufacturing plants. In fact, Stanley Black & Decker uses an operational (OEE) dashboard for its line information display to showcase the productivity of a particular line of products.
While there is no drill-down for an Operational Dashboard, the visual is required to be comprehensive. This type of dashboard is monitored by the senior management daily or sometimes even on an hourly basis. It is also used by mid-level managers as well as executives to assess hourly efficiency and other such metrics/KPIs.
#3 Analytics Dashboards
Organizations always keep one eye on the future. Lack of progress and innovation could very well lead to shrinking market size and subsequent loss in revenue. Looking at trends and forecasts, several upper management or C-suite executives make decisions for the future. An analytical dashboard thus comes useful at this stage.
Comparing data as a factor of time, markets, and several other factors to create an analytical dashboard. Building such a dashboard would require a well-learned data analyst as well as a management consultant. This dashboard can also implement the use of Machine Learning (ML) modeling and What-if analysis to forecast the organization’s future performance based on market conditions.
Building an analytics dashboard is highly complex. In certain cases, it requires a high-level understanding of data and data sources and is generally compiled by database analysts. Therefore, in the right hands, an analytics dashboard can be useful.
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