Corporate Culture | Dashboards and Data Viz

Business dashboards are powerful tools that can increase data transparency and utility. They make it significantly easier for businesses across all industries to quickly view key performance indicators and other important short- and long-term data so they may adjust their processes accordingly.

There is really only one purpose of a dashboard, and that is to provide relevant information for end users. Therefore, these tools are only useful when employees understand them, regularly use them, and can draw direct lines between what dashboards offer and how to make improvements to their work. No matter how much the software initially appealed to your organization, the end product needs to be accurate and pertinent while addressing the needs of staff members. How can you make the necessary changes with this concept in mind

Tips to Increase Dashboard Adoption

Meetings and focus groups with primary users

Focus Group End Users for Dashboard Adoption

During the implementation phase of your BI software, it’s imperative to have discussions about its relevancy to users. Keep in mind that initial expectations don’t always align perfectly with employee needs, especially as time passes. That’s why it’s important to keep the channels of communication open between the people that build the dashboards and the people that use the dashboards. You may need to bring together staff following implementation to discuss areas of the dashboard they don’t frequently use, or how to increase dashboard adoption in general.

What you’ll gain:

  • Receiving direct feedback from the intended group of users
  • Making them feel their voices are heard and appreciated
  • The ability to quickly act after the focus group or meeting ends

Of course, it’s best to have as much information as possible before you bring together employees to discuss improvements. No one wants to waste time in meetings, so preparation is critical. Some data on use goes a long way toward guiding the conversation and making future changes. How can you gain that vital context?

The Visibility Pack: A dashboard for your dashboards

Visibility Pack

iDashboards has a free tool called The Visibility Pack, available to all on-premises users, that adds more internal insight to business dashboard use. The Vis Pack lets you track and visualize individual and group logins on a rolling basis or over a specified period of time. You can even see which dashboards are utilized frequently and which aren’t.

This is an essential tool when you’re creating your focus groups. Consider creating different groups for engaged users and disengaged users. They’ll likely have different answers to your questions, and it’s important to know why people are choosing to not use the dashboards that have been created for them.

Gamification and friendly competition

Gamification and Friendly Competition

A gamification approach can increase engagement and get users into a daily rhythm of regularly checking their dashboards. This tactic can be particularly useful in areas where employees are naturally inclined to compete with each other, like a sales department. Sales gamification is a popular – and effective! – strategy in particular. Simply by sharing the statistics relevant to a specific campaign or ongoing effort, everyone involved can track their progress and see how they measure up to the rest of the team. This can be even more effective when the metrics are shared on wall displays within the department.

Other benefits to gamifying your dashboards:

  • Reduces micromanaging by giving employees access to relevant data.
  • Offers natural recognition for the highest performers.
  • Only requires a few KPIs be added to a dashboard to put everyone on the same page.

Embed applications into dashboards (and dashboards into applications)

With all of the recent advances in business intelligence and technology, it can be hard to keep track of all the available tools. Even after familiarizing yourself with new processes, flipping between different applications poses an unnecessary disruption to the workflow. With iDashboards, you can create an environment that is easy, straightforward, and free of disruptions by:

  1. Embedding applications into a dashboard using an HTML panel.
  2. Embedding dashboards into any application with the necessary functionality.

No matter how you choose to approach this integration, whether it’s a company intranet platform or Salesforce, users benefit from having all the information they need on just one screen. When embedding into iDashboards, web-based applications retain complete functionality.

When using iDashboards inside of another application, users can watch the information they enter in that app lead to immediate changes in the relevant areas of their dashboard. That creates a streamlined atmosphere that’s conducive to engagement and productivity.

Gentle reminders with alerts

Dashboards with Alerts

After creating a dashboard perfectly suited to users’ needs, integrating it into all relevant applications, and gamifying when possible, you think your work would be done. Unfortunately, you still may not realize perfect adoption rates.. To get over this final hurdle, consider automated reminders.

Alerts provide an email or text message reminder to check KPIs and other important information. They can be set on a schedule so you receive them at regular intervals. You can also set thresholds, so if metrics go above or below a certain level, stakeholders will receive an instant alert. This simple addition is a straightforward way to encourage use.

Optimizing dashboards so that they will be used by everyone is an ongoing process, so embrace the challenge! Just remember to keep communicating with the people on the other end of the screen. For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, check out our webinar.

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Warren Singh

Warren Singh heads the training and consulting team at iDashboards. He is passionate about teaching new dashboard tips and tricks, and truly believes that if you storyboard it, you can build it and they will come.

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