A dashboard, or control panel, is a set of gathered metrics that provide information such as speed, RPM, fuel level and others for an airplane pilot or racing car, for example.
Usually, a management dashboard is organized in a way that you can clearly view as much information as possible.
Therefore, pilots can make decisions quickly, without taking their eyes off the runway or the horizon for long.
The correlation is very clear when considering a company manager.
They need to be aware of what is happening in the business, while maintaining day-to-day operational control. This allows them to quickly make tactical decisions, and prepare for strategic decisions with reliable information.
So, to answer the question:
What is a management dashboard? It is a visual, easy-to-understand presentation that shows key performance indicators, or KPIs, that an organization defines to assess whether its operation is on track to achieve its business goals.
But it’s no use knowing the answer to ‘what is a management dashboard’ if you don’t know what indicators to use and how to use the management dashboard to manage your business in the most assertive way.
Now that you know our answer to ‘what is a management dashboard’, check out other important information about them.
What is a dashboard in business management, and how should you use them?
As you’ve seen, a management dashboard is a chart that summarizes the most important information a manager and team needs to know in order to make decisions.
But how do you choose what information to include in the management dashboard?
Also check out: The different types of KPI’s: Learn about them all
Choosing the indicators for your management dashboard:
Analyze your process chain and identify the areas that add value to your business. Which means, those that deliver more perceived value to the end customer.
Setting KPIs for processes that are not relevant to your business will only leave your management dashboard full of information that adds nothing to decision-making.
Another important factor: KPIs have to be easy to measure and have no possibility of calibration errors.
If this occurs, even if the data is relevant, it will be unreliable.
A KPI should be represented by numbers, called indexes, which are simple to interpret by the whole team.
Finally, it’s possible to define KPIs that show results and others that show if you are on the right track. These are called trend indicators.
For example: the value of monthly sales measures a result and can determine if the performance was good at the end of the period.
The number of sales quotes requested is an indicator that can help predict whether sales will be good before the end of the period.
Remember: a management dashboard shows a snapshot of your company’s situation at that time. You have to interpret it correctly, by comparing the two types of KPIs mentioned above, to get an idea of future results.
The methodology for setting business goals and OKR objectives can greatly benefit from the use of management dashboards.
Learn more about it: Check out 10 examples of OKRs and see how this methodology works
Best practice when using management dashboards
Management Dashboards should contain enough information, but not too much, so as not to impede an efficient view.
It’s very important to know how to choose the right graphic for the proper visual representation of each indicator, in the most intuitive way possible.
Colors are another element that can help a lot, but you must take care that the contrast is not excessive.
Some management dashboards, with strategic and confidential information, you should restrict to the highest levels of management.
You can share tactical information with teams and their team members. This usually includes BPM, marketing automation and team management software.
Finally, many organisations show management dashboards with operational performance indexes to the entire team on large monitors. This is a very common habit in customer support teams and telemarketing, for example.
When defining the best process performance indicators for a management dashboard, a BPM modeling tool can help you understand what the key processes in your business are and what indexes to choose for each of them.