Five reasons your company can benefit from executive dashboards
Every executive knows going in that it can be lonely at the top. But perhaps no one thought to mention that it can also be quite a strain to see all that is going on down below — the nuts and bolts of the business. Until the advent of integrated executive dashboards, that is. As a single, readily accessible, visual source of critical information across business departments and functions, executive dashboards are rapidly emerging as a must have for business leaders in every sector.
Rather than wait for data to be distilled into a dense report, or for different departments to weigh in on their particulars, a properly configured dashboard can provide a real-time, global view of a user’s organization at a glance. A recent Forrester Consulting study conducted on behalf of Datorama looked broadly at the economic impact of related integrated dashboard solutions for companies, concluding that they contributed significantly to reducing analytics process time and improving marketing effectiveness, among other key benefits.
How executive dashboards work
As far-reaching and even revolutionary as executive dashboards can be for a business, they are surprisingly uncomplicated to install and simple to use. Dashboards use application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect with all of a company’s existing source systems. When this data is collected into one single source of truth, the information can be viewed and visualized in a multitude of ways for business users to better understand their marketing activity.
The Gartner “Cool Vendors in Data-Driven Marketing” report for 2016, in fact, singled out Datorama for its commitment to creating dashboards for marketers, rather than the IT professionals other data integration tools are designed for. Datorama was created to serve marketing pros who regularly find themselves faced with pulling data from potentially dozens of sources and find themselves spinning their wheels searching for the story the data is conveying.
That means executive dashboards are a lot more than just another pretty picture.
Once up and running, they provide immediate benefits that enhance decision making and improve ROI.
Just to name a few…
||Executive dashboards won’t replace detailed reports and analyses from key department heads entirely, but they will give decision makers the real-time information from across organization to monitor and optimize plans to course correct as needed. At the same time, they eliminate the need for team members to manually log into siloed databases to gather data that a dashboard can put right at their fingertips.
|Keep an eye on the money
||With customizable KPIs it is possible to keep track of spend data at all times, including such essentials as working capital, net profit margin, budget vs. actual figures, inventory turnover, receivables, and any other indicators a company chooses.
|Track marketing and sales KPIs
||Rather than waiting for lagging data or “soft” metrics that have been traditionally attached to marketing initiatives, executives can have a continuous view of executive KPIs such as sales revenue, customer acquisition costs, social media traffic, conversion rates, competitor pricing comparisons, marketing ROI, and customer lifetime value, to name a few.
|Improve communications within the company
||Executive dashboards have the capacity to break down silos by providing visibility into cross-department relationships. That matters for the executives themselves, of course, but it also makes the dashboard a powerful tool for sharing information and creating presentations that foster a shared vision of a company’s strategic challenges and opportunities.
|Bottom line: executive dashboards increase profitability
||Collecting and analyzing data is more than an intellectual exercise, of course. Fundamentally, it’s all about gaining the insights needed to optimize processes and maximize efficiencies in order to improve the bottom line. In that way, dashboards are a uniquely powerful tool for an executive to gain a real-time understanding of what is/is not working at peak performance.
Improving the view from C-level dashboards
When it comes right down to it, there’s every reason to expect that every corner office will sport an executive dashboard in the not-too-distant future, and that every leader will come to think of it as being as indispensable part of their daily routine. Just as computers and smartphones quickly became essential resources, it’s likely that it will soon be inconceivable that anyone would attempt to run a business without help from a well thought out dashboard.
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