December 22, 2016

Dashboards: Why Every Business Should Have At Least One

by Colin Quinn

Financial dashboards allow your team to connect to the bigger picture and creates a culture of transparency and accountability.

Although you may not realize it, you use dashboards every single day. The simplest and most common is your phone. When you wake, it tells you what time it is, consequently it also lets you know how long you have to get out of the house. If you drive to work, another great example is the instrument panel on your dashboard, it provides key information you wouldn’t want to be without. Let’s face it dashboards surround us. In business, dashboards commonly provide a quick view in sales data and revenue. Here’s how you can use dashboards to improve the performance of your organization. A CFO is uniquely positioned to get the ball rolling on this.

Why use dashboards?

Dashboards provide a point of convergence by being a place where the entire team can focus on key performance indicators. Historically, it wasn’t unusual for business reporting to be on a monthly schedule. Imagine waiting a month or even a week to get the key information you need to do your job. Thanks to todays well-designed dashboards, you can capture and report information on a daily or even in real-time.

Dashboards in business take the lid off what is important. For a coffee shop, it may be cups of coffee sold. For an urgent care, it may be how many patients have been treated during the a specific shift. As a CFO, you are intimately familiar with the drivers of your business. Dashboards provide an opportunity for you to get that same information to team members throughout your company quickly with less burden.

How do they help?

High on the CFO list of demands today is the transparency of data to create accountability to drive performance improvement. Dashboards build a culture of transparency and accountability. Dashboards provide team members a clear view into the measurements and metrics they are responsible for. It is much easier to take corrective action to improve performance if they can see what is happening in real-time.

How do they engage the team?

In today’s world, people want to feel connected. Although their individual efforts may or may not not have a direct link to revenue, they certainly impact the numbers. With dashboards, everyone regardless of their role in the organization can regularly see how their efforts drive success.

How to get started

The trick to getting started is to decide on the 3-5 most important things you want to know about each day, and build a dashboard to report them.

At Kinetek, we started with the following:

The great value of a simple CFO report was that, at a glance, it told us:

  1. How we did yesterday,
  2. How we are doing year-to-date
  3. How year-to-date performance compares to last.
  4. How we are doing against our goals.

The bigger picture

Now is the time for you to sketch out the 3-5 most important things you want in your dashboard. When you get to work today, run it by a few co-workers and start planning. Pin it to the water cooler. You may be surprised at the conversation it triggers…

Or check out our CFO Dashboard – Understand your business in brand new ways by consolidating relevant data from multiple sources into a single application. Explore key relationships in your data while facilitating secure, real-time collaboration. Visualize data with engaging, state-of-the-art graphics. Search across all data and interact with dynamic dashboards and analytics from the convenience of your desktop, laptop, or mobile device.