Management dashboards present all important business or project information and key performance indicators (KPIs) in one place. They provide valuable visuals to help see everything in a single glance and give quick snapshots of a project.
A dashboard management system serves as your business’s control panel. The good thing is that nowadays, they have become more customizable, enabling businesses across various industries to set it up with specific functions that will serve their different needs and objectives.
When used the right way, it can simplify complex processes and deliver optimal benefits for teams and the business. It empowers fast and logical decision-making, encourages better collaboration and can help strengthen strategies and business plans. Here are some tips on how you can make the most out of your dashboard management system.
Keep it Relevant
Dashboards are customizable, so you can decide what to include and not include. However, this does not mean you should overly saturate it with information. Users must plan ahead and strategize when building an effective dashboard for the best benefits.
Establishing a purpose and objectives for your dashboard at the very beginning keeps it focused. With this, you can identify what type of management dashboard you need. The most common dashboards used in businesses are:
- Operational Dashboard– Often used for monitoring day-to-day operations and workflows in different business departments
- Strategic Dashboard– Focuses on KPIs for tracking business progress and developing strategies
- Analytical Dashboard– Tracks large volumes of data for analysis, prediction, and strategy development
Choosing a dashboard type will relatively narrow down your options on the data you can include. To maximize its functionality, stick with the priorities so as not to bog down the dashboard with too much detail. Identify the quick takeaways you’re going to want frequently and exclude anything that doesn’t fit within that category.
The way the information is presented on your dashboard will affect the perception of its value or importance. So keep it comprehensive and always place the most relevant information upfront as you customize your board.
Utilize Strategic Metrics
Dashboards offer great infographics and data analytics capabilities. They provide features that make it easy for you to record, extract, and present data in creative and visual ways, so use them strategically.
A strategic approach is much needed when creating a highly effective data-driven management dashboard or an executive dashboard. It should comprehensively present necessary data, so be selective in what you include. Think about things you would like to track over time and valuable information that could be used to share with clients or potential clients.
Not all metrics have to be appealing to your business. It is a good idea to track metrics that need some work to understand where you stand. Using this data can help you decide what approach to use and how to execute strategies.
Turn it Into Action
All of the KPIs, data, and metrics should ultimately help improve your business. A dashboard can help you gather, organize, view, and share these pieces of relevant information. Hence, when designing your dashboard, think of how you can turn this information into actions.
For example, when using a client management dashboard, if it shows poor performance with meeting client deadlines, you can easily evaluate your present and even past data to make the best decisions. You can use the data points you have to see what is needed, whether it is lengthier deadlines, longer intervals, more workforce, etc.
If the data presented on your dashboard cannot be turned into action or does not help in your decision-making, you might need to evaluate whether they deserve a spot on your dashboard or are just clutter that can be omitted.
Keep it Nice and Clean
Your project management dashboard is a visual representation of your work that should be shareable and digestible. Therefore, keep it clean and as visually appealing as possible.
Think about how each element should be presented and the various graphs and charts that could represent certain information. The way data is presented will affect how viewers will perceive its urgency and importance.
Refrain from displaying unnecessary symbols, images, colors, text, and data that do not explain or present the information you need to exhibit. Everything displayed on your dashboard should be intentional and have a purpose. When you share it with executives, colleagues, and team members, substantial insights should be generated.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Wrong
Often, dashboard information reveals unattractive facts about ROI (return on investment) and KPIs. But there is no need to fret! This is okay, as this is the whole point of dashboard management.
When set up properly, you can use your dashboard to improve ROI and KPIs. It provides a comprehensive overview of your metrics. Use this as an opportunity to find the points that need improvement and modification. Not all information has to defend or support existing processes. Sometimes, they need to be challenged. Your dashboard helps provide a bigger picture of your business and processes. It helps visualize results so you can compare them against your plans and objectives. More so, it gives you a space for trial and error to find strategies that will work best for your business.
Let Your Dashboard Work for You
A management dashboard has great potential to help you work smarter and drive your business forward. Take advantage of its customizability and design it to work for you, your business, and your teams. Keep your dashboard clean, accurate, and complete to ensure you can maximize its benefits and yield the best results.