Importance and Types of Business Dashboards

We are living in an age of connectivity and information. All our actions and activities are captured in data. Data is all around us, and it has impacted our lives in many ways. The fast-paced world of business is no exception. A lot of digital data is generated by businesses on regular basis from customer data to financial transactions. However, the majority of this data comes in the form of transactions. In some cases, the quantum of data runs in giga-bytes and tera-bytes. Translating these transactions into meaningful and actionable information requires a lot of time and effort, in some cases days.

The solution comes in the form of data dashboards: one of history’s best business intelligence innovations. Business dashboard empowers organizations across the spectrum to track and improve their processes, activities, and initiatives using the power of quick and timely insights.

A dashboard is a visual representation of the most important information needed to achieve a goal. Dashboards enable companies to extract actionable insights and ensure continuous growth. Dashboards form an integral part of analytical solutions.  They offer users a comprehensive overview of their company’s various internal departments, goals, initiatives, processes, or projects. These are measured through key performance indicators (KPIs), which provide insights that will enable you to foster growth and improvement.

To properly understand dashboards, we must consider the fact that, without the existence of dashboards and dashboard reporting practices, businesses would need to sift through gigabytes of unstructured information, which is both inefficient and time-consuming. Alternatively, a business would have to adopt a spray-and-pray approach concerning its most critical projects, and customers, which translates to either lost opportunities or more critically unsatisfied\ churned customers.

Dashboards can be categorized into four major types in today’s world of business. Let’s take a quick look at these types:

  • Operational dashboard: Operational dashboards are designed to monitor trends and pattern changes while helping you work on specific performance benchmarks. These dashboards are responsive, dynamic, and effective for real-time or near-real-time decision-making.
  • Analytical dashboard: Analytical dashboards are typically used by senior executives and decision-makers. These types of analytical tools enable users to drill down deep into specific pockets of information and gather a level of intelligence that aids razor-sharp trend discovery from a top-level perspective.
  • Strategic dashboard: Strategic dashboards serve up information and visualizations that enable users to discover which initiatives work best and worst. A big data dashboard packed with invaluable metrics, these types of analytical tools help assess KPIs from every angle and, ultimately, formulate business-boosting strategies across departments.
  • Informational dashboard: Informational dashboards are usually focused on a very specific process or branch of information and are effective for gaining useful at-a-glance data or short-term strategic decision-making.

In the future, we will discuss in detail about the effectiveness and limitations of business dashboards and how organizations can efficiently use this tool to gain optimal results.

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