It is more important than ever for business executives and owners to be able to monitor the performance of their business on an ongoing basis through easy-to-use information management tools. Business dashboards are the tool of choice to help executives stay abreast of their business performance levels.
Here are four steps for building an effective management dashboard system:
- Identify a handful of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that the business needs to measure. Having a set of six to twelve KPIs would be more than sufficient for most businesses.
- Decide the target values for each KPI and have an understanding of industry best practices. You need to determine realistic goals for each KPI based on your knowledge of internal business capabilities and external competitive realties.
- Determine how the underlying data is captured, where it resides, and the best dashboard presentation format. This is more an IT-related process, requiring collaboration between business management and IT resources.
- Build a prototype dashboard around a handful of KPIs and test and refine it using an iterative process. It is advisable to start small, get a feel for the solution approach, and refine it as needed. Make sure applicable users are involved in the review process to ensure a well-designed dashboard solution.
Following a crawl, walk, and then run approach will enable you to build an effective dashboard solution for your business. This, in turn, will allow your key stakeholders to access critical business data in a timely manner and assist them with making decisions that are focused on achieving planned performance targets.
Has your business implemented dashboards? What have been the results? Share in the comments.