As more and more businesses move to systems to facilitate their business processes, the opportunity to harness the data in these systems increases. As each activity/process creates data, this data can be collated into meaningful information to provide up-to-date information on the position of the business. These "dashboards" allow staff and management an insight into the business at a glance and can increase the responsiveness of business in their day-to-day processes.
Much like a dashboard of your car, digital dashboards aim to provide you with a visual overview of your business: a window into business operations that can immediately convey a position/status to the viewer. The aim of such dashboards is to summarise the vast amount of data in a business into meaningful visualisations that can portray information in a quick and efficient manner.
In management information systems, a dashboard is "an easy to read, often single page, real-time user interface, showing a graphical presentation of the current status (snapshot) and historical trends of an organization's key performance indicators to enable instantaneous and informed decisions to be made at a glance." Peter McFadden, CEO of ExcelDashboardWidgets "What is Dashboard Reporting". Retrieved: 2012-05-10.
The aim of digital dashboards is to display data in a visual manner at a very high level. It should summarise data from numerous sources of data to create an overview of the business performance.
Examples of dashboards can include:
- Position reports to display the current status of a business;
- Budget performance reports to display how a business is trending based on expectations;
- Exception reports to display real-time alters of exceptions (or areas outside of normal operation) occurring in a business; ... and much more
Whatever the dashboard you chose to implement, ensure that it can provide decision makers with a high-level overview of the business to allow them sufficient input to "drive" business decisions.
A well-designed and implemented dashboard will then allow you to delve into the data behind specific metrics to see what's behind the overview; thus allowing you to quickly identify areas where investigation is required, then look into the specific transactions behind that position.
If you are using systems in your business, then it may be of great use to implement dashboards as a way to manage and monitor your business. By providing summarised, visual reports of your business, you can gain a greater insight into your business performance in real-time - providing you with relevant input to help make decisions to drive improved performance in the business.
If you're interested in implementing Dashboards in your business, Contact Us for more information. As IT Consultants, we can help you to determine the reports you require and then implement them for your business.
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