What is a digital dashboard?
A digital dashboard is a graphical user interface for visualizing aggregated data from various data sources, such as physical files, web services, and SQL databases. A digital dashboard allows you to make the right business decisions by monitoring the metrics of your business performance.
As your data grows day by day, it’s difficult to monitor all of it, and even more difficult to monitor it in a way that leads to improved business performance. This is where a digital dashboard can be useful to visualize your data into meaningful insights, historical trends, and real-time information using different KPIs.
To create your own business dashboard, refer to this blog post: 10 Great Business Intelligence Dashboard Examples.
How does a digital dashboard help you make the right business decisions?
Making the right business decisions depends on choosing the right KPIs in your dashboard to help you track your business performance, and choosing a KPI depends on a good understanding of your business goals and what is important to the organization. Some examples of KPIs to track are the number of new users over a period of time, how your product performs on social media, and your production and sales over time.
You can refer to our blog post Build Your Own KPI Examples with Sample Data Sources for more examples.
Digital dashboards can play an important role in helping define a strategy for business success. Dashboards differ greatly from one business to another depending on what data needs to be visualized and tracked to make decisions in the future.
Types of business dashboards
There are three main types of business dashboards: operational dashboards that update in real time, strategic dashboards that track your KPIs, and analytical dashboards that help in making future decisions based on past data.
These dashboards are generally used to visualize data related to daily operations in real time. Operational dashboards provide comprehensive snapshots of the day’s performance. This means avoiding drill-down visualizations in the data displayed in the initial view.
For example, consider the following retail business dashboard. The daily sales are listed and the performance is tracked on a daily basis without using drill-down charts or pivot grids.
Analytics dashboards help you make decisions about the future based on your past data. They allow you to interact with the data on the dashboard with pivot tables and drill-down charts.
For example, the following dashboard shows production analysis with various factors quantity, manufacturing cost, labor cost, and others compared between the previous and current months to help make decisions for the next month.
Strategic dashboards are most commonly used to share information throughout your organization to let everyone know what’s going on with the business and how it is performing over time. This can be used to motivate and propel the business toward success.
For example, in the following IT business dashboard, the KPIs are defined to track the number of issues and the average time required to resolve an issue. These statistics can motivate developers to improve their performance and resolve issues more quickly. They can also see the ratios between the numbers of tickets opened, resolved, and unresolved.
Before creating a dashboard, refer to our blog 5 Questions to Ask Yourself before Creating a Dashboard to determine an objective for your dashboard and how to achieve it.
Benefits of using digital dashboards
Using digital dashboards, business people attain many benefits that improve their overall business performance. Here I have listed the four most important benefits of using digital dashboards:
The most important factor to success in your business is decision-making. Dashboards complement this well by tracking important metrics and insights, providing evidence to guide you to better decisions.
Visualizing data on dashboards varies from business to business. Some dashboards may show only static information whereas others require visualizing dynamic data as well. Digital dashboards allow you to interact with data through filtering and visualizing data over different time periods.
In an organization, everyone needs a way to collaborate to make better decisions. Digital dashboards allow you to collaborate with various departments in your organization over data by mentioning specific user names.
It’s always useful to access data from one centralized location. With digital dashboards, you can access your data and analyze your business performance metrics through mobile devices and apps no matter where you are in the world. Sometimes it is helpful to access your business data anonymously, such as when you want to make it visible outside of your organization to showcase how your business is performing to clients or shareholders. Making a digital dashboard visible publicly allows anonymous access.
To learn more about the significance of dashboards, please refer to our blog Data Visualization: Importance and Benefits.
Visualize your data
We previously discussed the importance of KPIs in this white paper. However, it is also important to choose the right widgets to visualize data.
The following are some sample industry dashboard solutions:
You can also explore more sample dashboards categorized by industry and department under the Solutions menu on the Bold BI site home page.
Once you use them, digital dashboards become an essential part of making the right decisions for your business. Accessing dashboards through mobile devices and tablets means you can keep track of metrics anywhere in the world. It is easy to choose a KPI and the necessary widgets to visualize the data in a dashboard and share it within your organization or publicly.
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section below. You can also contact us by submitting your questions through the Bold BI website, or if you already have an account, you can log in to submit your question. Bold BI dashboards now come with a 15-day free trial with no credit card information required. We welcome you to start a free trial and experience Bold BI for yourself.