Why data dashboards are important
Dashboards connect all kinds of different metrics, data sources, APIs, and services to help companies extract relevant information from those sources and display it in user-friendly ways. Like a car’s dashboard, data dashboards organize and display important information at a glance to help you understand your company’s most valuable data and unearth answers to crucial questions.
By connecting dashboards to specific metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs), you gain vital business intelligence and the ability to dive deep into specific pieces of information to continually monitor success. Just like in a car, dashboards indicate how far along you are on your journey and how long it may take to get where you want to go.
What can I do with a data dashboard?
Part of a dashboard’s power lies in its ability to provide up-to-date information and context to help inform business decisions and empower employees. For example, an IT team could use a dashboard to help detect signs of a security breach. Or, a business could embed the dashboard into an app or mobile device for firstline workers—who are out in the field—to ensure they always have the data they need, when they need it.
Dashboards also help answer essential business questions like:
- How many deliveries did we make this week compared to last week?
- Which of our three products drives the most revenue? Which items should we promote?
- Where does most of our website traffic come from?
- How do our buyers find us?
- Is our marketing funnel working? Is it on target?
The benefits of data dashboards
Dashboards are meant to provide quick, easy data visibility you need to start improving your business right away. Of the many ways to create and use dashboards, the following examples illustrate some of the major benefits:
Customizable dashboards allow your business to set specific KPIs that help you track the information you need to see how you’re doing in multiple areas and across departments. You may want to understand whether groups are meeting their goals, whether marketing pieces are working as anticipated, or what the most popular restaurant dish is.
Data transparency and accessibility
Dashboards bring different kinds of data together to display key metrics and insights in a way that’s digestible enough for everyone to understand—whether or not they have access to backend data. By dismantling potential data siloes, everyone within an organization has visibility into how different areas perform—and everyone becomes empowered to help the business improve.
Dashboards are designed to help detect changes within a business, both positive and negative, often in real time. When you see something new as it happens, you get the opportunity to quickly change course if needed—or even get ahead of emerging trends.
If you embed predictive analytics powered by artificial intelligence (AI) in your dashboard, you create a powerful tool for shaping your business’s future. Dashboards, especially those powered by AI, help you compare historical data to understand trajectory, create more accurate sales forecasts, plan territories more strategically, and help departments determine the right path forward to meet their goals.
The importance of KPIs
KPIs are an essential part of dashboard architecture. You need to know where you are now in order to know the best step to take next. When choosing your dashboard’s KPIs, select only the ones that help answer your primary question—not so many that it dilutes your data, but not so few that you don’t get an accurate picture.