Dashboards are a key part of any management process – every manager gets and wants the “ right “ data, that will tell them exactly what they need to know and act on. However, in reality, most companies have a plethora of dashboards – every process, every function, every department has one or even many, developed by different managers at different times, for different needs. They accumulate over time and instead of drawing attention to the right things, they become voluminous books of reports, painstakingly developed and sporadically used. So – what can we do to ensure our dashboards do what they should – talk to us about what’s going on?
Here are three ways to make sure your dashboards work for you:
- Include what you care most about: your dashboard should show what your organization cares about in your unit. What does your management team want to know from you and in what level of detail? Start by detailing that out and then ensure you have metrics that measure that in your dashboard.
- What are we aiming for: goals are critical for knowing how we are doing, but who comes up with them and who will be developing plans to make sure we meet/exceed them? How are those goals calculated and do the metrics reflect the same calculation as the goal?
- Make it speak: no dashboard should be presented without analysis. The data should be studied and trended, with key conclusions presented along with the dashboard. Without that, no manager should be shown only numbers. This is the biggest flaw in most dashboards.
Many dashboards are presented with nauseating levels of number and detail, but do they really tell us what we need to know? We can help create and manage your dashboard reporting to really make it “talk” to you!