Business Dashboards

The advantages of a business dashboard

Business DashboardsBusiness dashboards are a valuable business intelligence tool, offering an “at-a-glance” big picture view of a company’s performance. Most accounting software companies are jumping on the bandwagon, which is making your life so much easier to instantly see your business highlights.

Some business owners use a dashboard to track KPIs relevant to just one aspect of their business, such as sales growth, marketing, or financial data. Others rely on an executive dashboard for an overview of data culled from various sources (e.g. their accounting software, CRM tools, and website analytics).

The great advantage of a dashboard is that it presents and compares complex data drawn from a number of sources using visual tools (i.e. tables, line graphs, and bar graphs). With access to this consolidated data – info that would take hours to compile and analyze on your own – business owners are empowered to make more informed real time business decisions.

So what information can (or what information should) a business dashboards tell you in order to help you grow a more profitable business.

1. Better business intelligence

Business owners get the most value from using a business dashboard when they have specific objectives in mind. When you know your objectives, you know which data to monitor, and which type of dashboard will help you gauge progress and meet your goals.

Think about your priorities for the next six months, 12 months, 18 months. Once you’re clear on your goals,
test drive a free trial to get a sense of how business dashboards work and find one that might be a good fit for your needs.

Of course, free software with limited features won’t demonstrate everything a dashboard can do. But testing one out can help you see the potential for your business, and decide whether to look into other paid options.

2.Customised dashboards

The great thing about most cloud software these days, is that you can customise the information at your fingertips.

Options usually include: analytical, operational, or information dashboards, as well as those that operate via software, web-based tools, cloud-based, and mobile-friendly dashboards.

As a tip, many business owners prefer cloud-based dashboards for their convenience, allowing real time data to be accessed from multiple devices. A cloud dashboard solution with a drag and drop interface is simple to use, and lets you decide which data you want to view, and how you’d like it displayed.

There are many benefits to working with a business dashboard, but the main advantage is that they can help you make more informed decisions that will have a positive impact on your company’s agility and competitiveness – and ultimately, your bottom line.

Using a dashboard can help you spot problem areas and negative trends quickly, so you can take steps to correct them. You’ll know what to do more of to increase sales and profits, and implement the best strategies to achieve your business goals

3.What if Scenarios

We all have those moments in business where we need to gaze into the crystal ball to predict the future.  What if I hired an employee, what will be the impact on my bottom line?  What if I produced another product, what will be the impact on sales and cost of goods sold?  What if I changed shipping/freight companies, what will be the impact on my profit margins?

These are all legitimate questions, and we all know a crystal ball doesn’t exist. However many business dashboard programs will allow you to make tweaks to future numbers and perform those “what if” scenarios.  So you can instantly see the future impact those investment decisions will make, before you leap into the deep end.

If you haven’t updated your business plan recently, take some time to identify your high priority objectives. Then you can take the next step and find a business dashboard that offers you the business intelligence you need to meet your current and longer term goals.