Your business dashboard is more than just a point-of-access into your management information system – or at least, it should be. Its purpose extends beyond acting as a graphical representation of your current business structure. By putting information like output and input data, key performance indicators and more at your fingertips, has the potential to be the very foundation of every actionable decision you make.

What Is A Broken Business Dashboard?

A broken business dashboard could be a major symptom of a much larger and more pressing issue: broken business processes, or worse, a broken business model.

If you're not getting the types of results you are after, your business dashboard may be to blame. Here are the five key signs to watch for along with information about what you need to be doing to fix it.

Tracking Marketing Initiatives and ROI

It's very likely that you have clear tactics for growth that you're trying to execute as we speak.

These are all valuable ways to help your business continue to grow. But if your business dashboard doesn't give you the ability to track initiatives and see which efforts are paying off, you have no way to see what is working (and more importantly, what is not).

A proper functioning business dashboard MUST be able to show you not just the ROI for each tactic, but how they work together to form a cohesive whole.

You're Having Difficulties Determining Your Online Opportunities

From a business perspective, if you have to boil the Internet down to a single word, it would undoubtedly be “opportunity.” There's a huge volume of traffic coming into your website at any given time. Similar to your CRM, your business dashboard should empower you with the ability to connect with these prospects in a meaningful way. It should show you a few things.  Where customers are leaving you or what is making them disengage.  This information gives you the ability to do something about it.

Business Trends

Does your business dashboard allow you to identify both positive and negative trends?  Does it enable stakeholders to determine tools and quick fix solutions?  If not, your dashboard is broken.

Your Goals Don't Exist, and Communication is an Uphill Battle

If the goals that your business dashboard is showing are outdated or non-existent, they are not goals.  Instead, you are analyzing old information.  This is putting operations farther away from meaningful objectives.

Organizational strategies are no longer systematic anymore.  As a result, this is a problem especially when they're needed to make sure everyone is on the same page.  And of course, you are moving forward with momentum.

It is normal for one department to have different goals from another, but at the same time, your dashboard should be a communications tool to help everyone see how they fit into the larger collective or overall company mission.

You're Running Reports, Like a Treadmill – How Do You Interpret Them?

Your business dashboard and other business intelligence tools may be great for running reports, but if you can not move beyond the data to get at the story underneath, what good are they? If your business dashboard is broken, it is very likely that you do not have the ability to take data and use it to create the types of actionable moves you need to make next. Your data should be informing your strategy or process – it should not BECOME your strategy or process.

Too Much Information, Too Little Time

Finally, one of the major signals that your business dashboard is broken is that you have so much information that you don't know what to do with any of it. You're being bombarded from all angles by digital noise and have no real way to focus on the most important thing of all: key metrics.

Attention needs to focus on the real takeaways, not the distractions caused by a broken dashboard.

If you try to cram your business dashboard with too much data, you accomplish exactly the opposite of “dashboarding” you make that data irrelevant to the point where it does more harm than good.

Fixing a Broken Business Dashboard

A business dashboard that functions properly allows your team to achieve better business outcomes. You can fix all of the issues mentioned above by setting up clear and measurable goals, by focusing on quality, informed data and by identifying partner organizations that can help you build not just a dashboard, but the RIGHT dashboard.

The advantage to updating dashboards is both your shortcomings and opportunities become immediately visible. Data should highlight on a micro and macro level where you stand, and summary should be easy. If one of those things isn't true, you've got a problem.

Business Dashboard Conclusion

When it comes to something as important as a dashboard remember this.  Your internal team might not be able to give you what you need. What's needed is perhaps another set of eyes.

Learn more.  Construct the type of data tool to carry your organization into the next few years and beyond.  Don't delay – contact Oakwood to get started!

About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.