What it Takes to Be a Pro “Dashboarder”
It’s no secret: dashboards are the future, not to mention the present, of effective business reporting. Whether you’re new to digital reporting or are extremely comfortable with data processing, there’s always room to grow. So, how do you know if you’re getting the most out of your digital reporting? Here are a few guidelines to help you expand your dashboard arsenal:It’s no secret: #dashboards are the future of effective business #reporting. Click To Tweet
1) Find new ways to use your dashboard
Data dashboards can benefit virtually every facet of your organization. In other words, don’t pigeon hole your data. Instead of restricting your dashboard to one purpose, find new areas of your company that could use better reporting. If you started out using dashboards for sales, that’s great. But make sure you explore additional opportunities to help your data shine. Avoid falling into a “data rut” by only using your dashboard for one goal; instead, continually be on the lookout for more venues that could use your reporting. As a pro dashboarder, you should have a clear and effective data strategy for every department – not just the ones that appear to need it the most.
2) Get the most out of real-time data
Important decisions take time, but your data reporting shouldn’t. Let’s say you’ve implemented a new process for your sales force. You don’t have to wait a month – or even a week – to track its success. You have the power to see real-time information, so use it! Keep in mind that the more data you gather, the more accurate your assessment will be. This doesn’t mean you can’t take real-time data into consideration, though. Instead, use play-by-play data to predict trends and prepare for the most likely outcome. If your new sales strategy appears to improve performance metrics from the get-go, start thinking of how you can build on that success in other areas of the company too.
3) Embrace customization and change
As a dashboarder, you know that good data makes for good decisions. It helps your company improve its performance, initiate positive change, and grow. Apply the same principle to your dashboard. Don’t launch your dashboard without room to expand and change; instead, look for new ways to make it better. If you’ve deployed interactive dashboards to multiple areas of your organization, get feedback from users and stakeholders. If several people from the same team express interest in a metric or drilldown that isn’t in the current dashboard, customize it to meet their unique needs. As company performance improves, your dashboard should develop with it.
4) Focus on KPIs, actionable data, and goals
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are at the heart of BI (business intelligence). They’re also at the heart of your data reporting and business improvements. These KPIs should determine two things: your company goals and the metrics you need to track. The most important KPI for your sales team, for instance, could be monthly or quarterly sales. Other important metrics might be customer retention, the percentage of high-value sales, and your sales cycle timeframe. Each of these KPIs comes with an implied goal: boost sales revenue, retain more customers, sell more high value products, etc. Once your KPIs and goals are in place, you can focus on gathering actionable information (data that helps you meet your goals) with your dashboard.
Read next: Defining Strategic KPIsKey performance indicators (#KPIs) are at the heart of #BI (business intelligence). Click To Tweet
5) Streamline and automate reporting
Use your dashboard to eliminate the manpower you need to build and distribute reports. As a rule of thumb, automated reports are faster and more accurate than manual ones. Manual spreadsheets, on the other hand, take time. A lot of time. If you’re already using dashboards, you know that digital reporting is more efficient. But don’t stop there. Keep looking for new ways to streamline your reporting so you can get important information to the right people, at the right time. In short, create dashboards that do the heavy lifting for you. That way, you (and the rest of your company), can focus on turning a better profit, not gleaning information from complex data pools.
Get the Guide Fundamental Design Principles for Dashboards
Even if you’re not the artistic type, this guide will have you thinking like a graphic designer and making informed choices that support your data narrative.