What are dashboards and how do they relate to business? Aren’t they vehicle interfaces that display speed, mileage, fuel and other parameters at a glance? Dashboards are important tools for business operations. Just like the dashes in cars, business dashes are visual representations of a business’ performance in real time. The business, in this case, is considered as the engine under the hood while the executive dashboard is comparable to the car dash that displays the critical details of the car performance in real time.
Timely and informed decision-making is one of the critical components of successful business operation. These decisions are made based on the analysis of the current position of the business. A business/executive dashboard, therefore, offers valuable information to the key personnel in the company to facilitate better and faster decision-making. Dashboards can be used at every level of business operation, although they are usually implemented by the managers higher up in the management hierarchy. This is because they are in a position where they receive updates on what is going on in the business constantly. They, therefore, need dashboards to quickly explore and analyse various options and come up with decisions that are both timely and suitable.
Business dashboards have been around for a while, although those that have been used in the past have been more or less generic. As the dashboard technology has improved and advanced over the years, the tools have become more elaborate and tailored to suit specific businesses. Nowadays, business dashboards are fully customizable and have become the kind of tools that every kind of business needs to have so as to run better.
Below are outlined the important functions of dashboards that enable businesses to run more efficiently.
1. Offers a holistic overview of the business
Wouldn’t it be much more convenient to have all business data analysed and presented on a single platform? Executives would then have the capacity to get a full picture of where the company is and make critical decisions2. This is exactly what business dashboards are capable of doing. Numbers and performance of sales, data inventory, web traffic, social media analytics and other associated data is collected across all teams and departments and visually presented on a single dashboard simultaneously. The manager, therefore, has a bird’s eye view of the entire company operations.
Being able to reduce such massive amounts of business data to fit onto a few small screens is not just the definition of convenience but also an important decision towards enhancing productivity. Connections between data can be made and inferences drawn to help the business cut back on costs, improve services and provide quality products.
2. Better management of marketing strategies
Web analytics play a crucial role in shaping the marketing strategy of many business organisations. The marketing team collects lots of data that is then used to draw a marketing plan. Having a dashboard for the display of marketing data makes the process easier as compared to doing it manually. It’s also possible to avoid making mistakes that may end up proving to be costly in the long run. The dashboard platform makes it possible to monitor all SEO and email campaigns, content marketing, newsletter subscriptions, keyword ranking and other strategies employed to market the business brand.
3. Facilitates better tracking of sales
Another critical aspect of business operations that runs better with dashboards is the sales department. With lots of metrics to monitor and evaluate means that anything can go wrong if care is not taken to keep things crisp and clean. Each sales cycle is closely monitored from the start to finish to identify performance in revenue generation and the potential for expansion. Sales dashboards are also useful tools for visual presentation of sales data to other staff and shareholders during annual meetings. Many shareholders may not understand complex trend charts and spreadsheets, but dashboards make the process easier by simplifying the process.
4. Dashboards facilitate better financial reporting
The data originating from the financial department is usually the most complex to analyse because of the way it is presented. It is no wonder then, that most of the information ends up being misunderstood and totally distorted. But by implementing the dashboard tool, the financial reporting process is made much more transparent and accountability is enhanced.
Business financial managers and analysts can use the tool to present budgets, revenues, expenditure and the balance sheet graphically such that complex data is made easier to understand. It’s also easier to track sales invoices, revenue goals expenses and related financials on a daily basis to enhance operations.
5. Offering better customer service through monitoring
Among the most difficult tasks for any business is keeping customers happy by handling their concerns properly and in a timely manner. It becomes even more frustrating as the company grows and acquires several other clients. It is possible for certain aspects of customer service to escape notice and create problems later. But with a business dashboard, all this is handled effectively. Key client accounts are monitored in real time and notifications are generated automatically in case a problem crops up. The dashboard also keeps both the managers and clients updated on the project progress through automated emails and notifications.
Business dashboards are not something that a business can ignore without the risk into some challenges in future. The benefits outlined above clearly indicate what can be gained from adopting a dashboard for enhancing the operations of the business. Making the effort to find a custom dashboard may make a huge difference between running a successful enterprise and just surviving out there.
Whether you want to save time and money, or if your focus is more on risk management and mobility, business dashboards for web and mobile applications can make a huge difference in your day to day operations.
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