The Value of Business Dashboards

One of the most important elements of successfully implementing a strategic plan of any size (whether a business plan, an annual company plan, a marketing plan, etc.) is establishing benchmarks or objectives that are specific and quantifiable and that will be tracked throughout the planning period. The use of dashboards is a great way to visually – and simply – convey information on how the organization is doing. Sharing this information openlywith employees is also important because, without their support and engagement in the process, results will never be achieved.

Execution of their plans is something that many businesses struggle with; a focus on metrics through the use of dashboards can significantly help to address this problem.

One of my big “aha” moments as a business owner was recognizing the importance of monitoring certain “leading indicators” to help me stay on top of desired results. I very early on realized that, in order to achieve the downstream revenue thresholds that I desired, I would need to develop, monitor and impact certain upstream indicators.

For instance: $ value of new projects taken on each week; $ value of projects completed each week; $ value of proposals in circulation (monthly). These are some of the items that I track on my dashboard and they give me an indication of whether my annual revenue projections are under/overperforming and areas where I may need to shift my focus.

If I’m overperforming I can choose, if I wish (but I generally don’t) to “slack off” for a week or so. This becomes very important, though, when planning for a vacation; during the weeks leading up to a planned vacation I will purposefully work to boost my weekly numbers to cover for the downtime. If I’m underperforming I can increase my target numbers for proposals, completed work, etc.

Monitoring business performance metrics through dashboards can help businesses of any size ensure that they are on the right track. From my experience it can also help to ease the ongoing uncertainty about what may lie down the road. If you’re tracking the right indicators you should know. To help some of our clients with this process we’ve created a white paper that provides additional information on designing effective business metrics.

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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