4 steps to a successful management dashboard in 2023

Reporting tables have become indispensable tools for businesses, particularly as they increasingly rely on data exploitation to enhance daily performance. So, how does one go about creating an effective management dashboard? Let’s dive in!

Definition of a Management Dashboard:

A dashboard is a management and decision-making tool that measures a company’s level of performance, explores key indicators and communicates data that everyone can understand.

Frequently updated dashboards are essential for managing a company’s business. They enable you to monitor the health of your organization on a daily basis, as well as to quickly detect any deviations or anomalies.

Primary Types of Dashboards:

  • Operational Dashboard: Offers real-time updated data for monitoring daily company performance.
  • Strategic Dashboard: Involves comparing historical data with current data to measure changes over time.
  • Analytical Dashboard: Enables the identification of trends and decision-making through the analysis of past data.


Setting Up a Dashboard in 4 Steps

Before creating a dashboard, it’s essential to define its purpose.

Determine the goal of the dashboard

A dashboard must have a well-defined purpose from its conception. Upfront, it is necessary to identify the business issue it should address and the goal it pursues: monitoring the overall performance of the company, managing the launch of a new product, steering sales, improving customer relations, etc.

Each company and each department is unique; that’s why the goal must be adapted to the audience and its operational needs. Indeed, the user requires quick access to relevant information that corresponds to their profession and level of responsibility.

It is common to create a dedicated dashboard for each department: sales dashboard, financial dashboard, marketing dashboard, etc. As for the project dashboard, it allows (as its name suggests) steering the progress of a project within the organization.

Choose relevant key performance indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measures used to assess the level of achievement of a pre-defined objective.

It is essential to identify KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) adapted to the company, its sector of activity and its strategic priorities. There are a multitude of possible indicators, ranging from sales to payroll, cash flow or conversion rate.

KPIs can be used to measure financial results, costs or employee performance, as well as to assess certain processes with a more qualitative approach: logistics, customer satisfaction, etc. Specific dashboard indicators can also be used as part of project management, right from the planning phase.

Manage Data Collection and Formatting

Before you can create a management dashboard, you need to be able to continuously feed it with reliable data, guaranteeing the accuracy of your analyses and the quality of your decision-making.

Hence the importance of using a Business Intelligence solution capable of collecting and aggregating data from multiple sources. Data is then stored, processed, restructured and enriched to generate relevant KPIs.

Build the Management Dashboard

Now it’s time to build the management dashboard itself. To do this, the performance indicators selected must be classified and presented logically. For example, HR indicators must be distinguished from retail KPIs.

Ideally, each indicator should be accompanied by an element of comparison, whether with a previous value or with the target to be reached. The rate of progress of the KPI in relation to the final objective should also be highlighted.

Last but not least, it’s vital to update the dashboard regularly, according to a pre-defined frequency. Up-to-date data guarantees the relevance of the information contained in the dashboard.

Tips for a Successful Management Dashboard

In addition to these 4 key steps, here are a few tips to help you set up a relevant, high-performance management dashboard.

Select a limited number of indicators

“Less is more”. It’s best not to multiply the number of KPIs, as this will overload the dashboard and make it unreadable. However, a dashboard should be easy to consult at a glance, enabling rapid decision-making. That’s why it’s recommended not to exceed a dozen indicators.

Choosing the right presentation and graphics

Data visualization (or dataviz) is an essential element in making the information displayed on a dashboard more meaningful.

One of the most important rules is to choose the right graph for each KPI. For example, a curve is ideal for describing a trend, while a pie chart is ideal for presenting a percentage.

Colours are also essential: traditionally, green indicates a positive result, while red is synonymous with danger or counter-performance.

Use a high-performance Business Intelligence tool

With a dashboard and reporting solution such as DigDash Enterprise, you can create a customized dashboard in just a few clicks, using an intuitive interface. For even greater simplicity and autonomy, a dashboard creation wizard is even available to users.