Business Tips

Let’s talk about meetings. In the professional world, meetings tend to get a bad rap, probably because they take a lot of time and are (often) debatably productive. In fact, The Muse describes the amount of time people spend in meetings downright scary.  According to The Muse, middle managers spend about 35% of their workdays in meetings, and upper management can spend as much as half their working days in meetings. Even if you less of your time mining for solutions in meetings, one thing is true: Meeting efficiency is important.

Middle managers spend about 35% of the day in meetings and upper management spends 1/2 their day! Click To Tweet

From the Trenches: What Real Professionals Think About Meetings

meeting efficiencyHow often do you walk out of a meeting thinking, “Wow! That was a great use of my time!”? We asked employees at several of our partner companies the same thing, and the answers fluctuated between 25% and 40%. Laura Manahan, a Data Analyst at Francis Tuttle Technology Center, said her biggest meeting pet peeves are meeting “just to meet” or not having an agenda. Another iDashboards partner, George Basham at Lebanon Seaboard Corporation, said some of his biggest pet peeves are disorganization and “losing focus of the meeting scope.”

These observations do not represent isolated incidents. They’re indicative of a common trend in corporate environments: forgetting to stay on track and hone in on the purpose of the meeting.

What’s the Solution? We’re So Glad You Asked!

Dashboards can transform the way you gather, display, and deploy data, but they don’t have to target just one user at a time. By using dashboards in meetings, you can unite an entire team of people through a common purpose – exploring data. When your meeting revolves around real, tangible data, you decrease the possibility of rabbit trails and increase likelihood of reaching a solution.

#Dashboards can transform the way you gather, display, and deploy #data. Click To Tweet

More ways dashboards can improve meeting efficiency:

  • Provide visual data, which is easy to comprehend quickly
  • Offer direction, including upcoming tasks and projects
  • Give real-time updates on the status of current projects
  • Eliminate need for guesswork or decisions based on anecdote
  • Customized reporting for the unique goal of your meeting

Read next: How to Improve Your Team’s Productivity

How Often Should You Use Dashboards in Meetings?

At iDashboards, we went straight to the source to get the skinny on data viz in meetings by asking some of the companies who use our data reporting technology. When asked how often their teams meet to go over corporate dashboards, their answers fluctuated from weekly, to monthly and even quarterly.

meeting best practicesThere’s no right or wrong answer to this question. The type of meeting, for example, can determine whether or not you need to a dashboard on hand. In short, if your meeting involves data or might involve data, including a dashboard in your meeting prep is probably a good idea. The best part? Dashboards are accessible from virtually any device, including your tablet or smartphone – so you can access them on the go or during impromptu meetings, too.

If your #meeting involves #data, include a #dashboard in your prep for a more effective approach. Click To Tweet

How Dashboards Can Make a Difference in Your Meetings

Laura Manahan described her experience with dashboards in meetings like this: “We are all on the same page. Our data is transparent and easily accessible for all involved. We are using our data in a more efficient manner, which in turn allows for more open communication about our data and needs.”

In reality, this should be the goal of any meeting, not just one scheduled for the specific purpose of reviewing reports. If you’d like to learn more about meeting efficiency check out our blog or discover more about your data reporting options at iDashboards, by trying us out, completely free.

If you use data visualization in your meetings, tell us more about it in the comments section below or share this blog on social media!

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Trip Dixon Director of Operations @iDashboards

As iDashboards Operations Director, Trip Dixon manages all aspects of the marketing, professional services, pre-sales services and technical support departments. In addition to Trip’s leadership expertise, he is an experienced presenter and has spoken at numerous industry events all over the world.

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