Gathering data is an important part of what a business does. In fact, it very often drives decisions about what the company’s strategy will be in the future. Here we’re going to answer the question what is the purpose of using a dashboard for data?
As a company that provides important data via a dashboard for our popular incentive program, we understand the process of gathering and understanding data and designing a dashboard to portray that information.
So what is the purpose of using a dashboard for data? Well, here’s a quick summary answer, then we’ll get into more detail.
The dashboard’s main purpose is to show an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of relevant data from different sources. Dashboards enable you to monitor, measure, and analyze relevant data in key areas to help formulate business decisions and develop strategies on all levels.
You might also want to check out our article on why dashboards are effective.
But here we’re focusing mostly on how and why data should be on a dashboard – the main purpose.
In most systems, there is often an overwhelming amount of data. The key is to understand and determine which data is relevant and should be awarded the area on the screen or report.
By using a dashboard, users can quickly scan and analyze the data in an organized manner to identify key trends or anomalies.
The goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes to interpret the data into actionable insights that can be used to improve efficiency, customer service, and ultimately profitability.
Furthermore, dashboards are designed with flexibility in mind. They can be easily customized to meet the needs of any business …allowing users to quickly interrogate, rearrange data and adjust settings as the business changes.
The combination of simple visuals, organized data, and on-demand user customization makes dashboards ideal for quickly monitoring performance or interpreting complex information.
It’s fair to say dashboards have become a common, and essential tool for data professionals in most organizations today.
Selecting which data gains prominence on a dashboard depends on the type of business and what information needs to be monitored.
For instance, a manufacturing company may track production rates, customer satisfaction ratings, and inventory levels; while a sales department may track total revenue generated each month or the average conversion rate of sales leads.
Of all the data you have though, what data should you show?
When thinking about which data should take priority on a dashboard, you will want to start by determining the most important information for your organization.
What is the goal of your analytics? If you’re trying to track sales performance, customer satisfaction, or indeed performance from incentive rewards, then those metrics may take precedence over other items.
Additionally, ensure you cover the following:
- Consider what needs to be monitored in order to make better decisions – these are the metrics that should have priority on your dashboard.
- It’s important to ensure that any data displayed is up-to-date and accurate. Data that isn’t current or complete can lead to inaccurate conclusions and bad decision-making.
- Ensure the right processes are in place so all relevant data is captured accurately, and regularly, and updated accordingly on the dashboard. With the confidence of the right data and metrics at your fingertips, you’ll be able to make informed decisions with confidence.
The graphical user interface that determines how you set out your data is also important to create easy viewing and interpretation. If users find it hard to read or understand the data then they will ignore it.
Once the right metrics are in place, think about how best to present them – which we’ll discuss more shortly.
As a quick summary on this…
The purpose of using visualizations on dashboards is so that users can get an easy-to-understand and quick overview of relevant data the company has gathered, available in one central location. This facilitates quick interpretation, and understanding to inform business decisions.
To ensure accuracy and relevance, it is important to have a system of checks and balances in place, such as regular data updates, so the information presented on the dashboard is always up-to-date and reliable. This is why we’ve included it in our 10 steps to setting up a dashboard below.
By having access to this data in an organized manner, team leaders and decision-makers can use it to make informed decisions quickly and accurately.
By visually seeing data, staff gain a lot of job satisfaction from seeing results. This is why incentive dashboards help drive growth, help team members take ownership of responsibilities, and improve your profitability.
Check out how our incentive dashboards help achieve growth.
You should set out data using a variety of appropriate graphical elements such as tables, charts, and graphs that can help make complex data easier to interpret.
Think about which method is most appropriate for each metric.
For example, pie charts are great for comparing proportions while line charts work well when tracking changes over time.
Including clear, and descriptive labels on the dashboard helps users understand what each element represents quickly without having to go elsewhere for more information.
Additionally, use larger text or bold text, and colors strategically to draw attention to key information or trends.
To get started with creating a dashboard, here are our 10 steps to follow:
- Identify the goals and objectives of your business, as well as the key performance metrics that need to be tracked and measured.
- Decide how you want your dashboard data to be organized – for example, by company or department, or even by individual user accounts.
- Select an appropriate tool for creating your dashboard and determine which features are most important for your business needs.
- Gather the data from all relevant sources (e.g, databases, spreadsheets) in order to populate the dashboard with current information.
- Design the layout of the dashboard so that it is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
- It helps to have a dashboard that is interactive – users should be able to filter, sort, and drill down into data sets in order to gain insights or answer questions.
- Test the dashboard prior to launch and make sure that all elements are working correctly.
- Train users on how to use the dashboard effectively, so they can take full advantage of its features and benefits.
- Monitor the performance of your business using the insights provided by the dashboard and adjust as necessary based on changing market conditions or customer needs.
- Regularly review and update the dashboard with new data sources or improved functionality for maximum impact and usability.
It’s important that the dashboard allows users to manipulate data according to their needs and preferences.
For example, allowing them to filter by date range or adjust chart types so they can view data in different ways. This gives users the ability to easily customize their experience and make informed decisions based on their own criteria.
In addition to data analysis and monitoring performance, dashboards are also effective decision-making tools. Dashboard visuals allow managers to compare and contrast different metrics side by side in order to make informed decisions.
Decisions based on a dashboard’s data enable your team to take swift action and quickly realize the results.
With dashboards, you can also experiment with different ideas and strategies to see which ones have the best impact and outcome.
By having all the data displayed in one place, decision-makers can quickly scan through the dashboard for trends and insights, which can then be used to inform their decisions.
This makes it easier to keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs) and spot opportunities or issues with ease.
No matter what industry you are in, dashboards can help you and your staff gain valuable insights into your operations so that you can make more informed decisions and ultimately improve efficiency, customer service, and profitability.
Ultimately, dashboards can simplify the process of gathering information and analyzing data, freeing up time for higher-level tasks such as strategic planning or problem-solving.
In conclusion, dashboards are a useful tool for businesses when used properly — they help simplify complex reports into easy-to-understand displays of key insights from multiple sources in one place.