We make decisions based on what we know. When we think we know what is going on and we actually do not, we are more likely to make the wrong decisions. Thus, something as “simple” as a dashboard can make a dramatic difference to decision-making and project success in the business. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander shares some tips to select the best dashboard for your operations.
The Dash for Knowledge
Dashboards must effectively manage your knowledge of your key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics represent the vitals of the project or the business. A good dashboard will present fast at-a-glance summaries of KPIs at the top level, so that you can make easy use of data even in mid-conversation. However, it should also allow you to then dive deeper into the numbers to see what precisely is going on. You should be able to see what is going on in the data collected in esoteric Excel sheets in real time.
A good dashboard will also be individually customizable to the needs of many:
“Projects often have many different implications across business units, which is why it’s important to set up dashboards that are specific to each stakeholder’s needs,” said Ben Carpel, CEO of business dashboard creator Cyfe. “Everyone has different KPIs that are important to them. Some are mostly interested in making sure that the project deliverables are progressing nicely. Others need to know that the tasks are being handled up to standard….When you have the flexibility to present different cross sections of these various types of information alongside each other, you start to get a holistic picture of the situation from whatever perspective matters to you most.”
These days, dashboards are expected to be web-based so that they can be used from anywhere. They should likewise use simple, quickly-read graphs, and nobody should have to scroll around just to see top-level information. Clearly, accessibility is crucial, and it should be demanded when you are examining dashboard options.
Ultimately—and obviously—dashboards need to be aligned with organizational strategy. When there are disputes between leaders about business direction, you should be able to pull up disparate data on the dashboard and get a consolidated picture that makes sense to both parties. Then you can be sure you have a tool with real business value.
You can view the original article here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-select-dashboards-that-improve-kpi-tracking-and-increase-project-success-rates/