Using Management Dashboards to Make Decisions

Using Management Dashboards to Make Decisions

Using Management Dashboards to Make Decisions

In order to make proper decisions that don’t backfire and improve your business, you need data. Interpreting data can be tricky, and collecting it can be tedious. What makes collecting and interpreting data more manageable though is using management dashboards. There are many uses and types of dashboards that will be discussed in this post that can help your business flourish and the decision-making process easier.

The Impact of Decisions

Management DashboardsHow fast you respond to a challenge and how long it takes you to make a decision can make or break your business. Client satisfaction can be either ensured by fast improvements or can be destroyed through slow decision-making. At the core of it all are data and metrics.

For example, if you want to know how successful a certain product is on the market, you can use your management dashboard to see a graph of sales over a period of time. Based on that, you know if you should continue manufacturing that product or if it needs some improvement.

What is a Management Dashboard?

A management dashboard provides you insight at a glance into how your business is doing. Your management dashboard collects all the data you have entered and gives you a big picture view of what that looks like. Depending on the dashboard, it’ll give you certain types of data. Some data it can include or look at are revenue, profit, profit margin, number of sales, etc.  Most of our candidates are ICAEW qualified accountants so know what data makes sense for management.

4 Types of Management Dashboards

Here are the four different types of management dashboards you can choose from:

  1. Strategic
  2. Operational
  3. Analytical
  4. Tactical

Strategic Dashboards

Strategic dashboards summarize performance of your business during a specific time period. It analyzes if your strategies are performing well or failing. Time periods are typically set to a month, quarter, or year. Typically senior management will work with these types of dashboards the most, allowing them to pivot strategies quickly.

A benefit of using strategic dashboards is reducing operational costs, and not losing money on strategies that aren’t working. Strategic dashboards can evaluate data in order to give you sales targets, customer acquisition costs, and customer lifetime values for example.

Operational Dashboards

Operational dashboards allows for you to get a better understanding of how operations are going in your business. Usually the operational dashboard focuses on a very short period of time. These provide real-time data allowing for quick responses and fast action so customer satisfaction is guaranteed.

An operational dashboard can let you know how an email campaign is performing, how many people clicked on links, and how many resulting sales were made. Having this data will allow you to know what kind of e-mails do well, which ones to send more of, and which sales language is performing best. It also allows you to determine whether or not you should increase your budget in this area, or if it’s best to cut costs here.

Analytical Dashboards

Analytical dashboards look at large amounts of data collected over a longer period of time. These are typically used to identify trends and then use those trends to predict future implications, as well as help identify realistic targets based on the historical data of your company/business.

Analytical dashboards can include financial performance dashboards, procurement cost dashboards, and analytical retail dashboards. You can analyze buying trends, customer retention and reorder rates, an overview of balance sheets, and more.

Tactical Dashboards

Ironically, tactical dashboards are often (not always) more analysis-heavy than analytical dashboards. These are interactive dashboards that help greatly with decision-making. The most commonly used tactical dashboard in business is the tactical sales dashboard. These can track your sales target, and allow you to isolate certain products and see how they comparatively perform.

Other Management Dashboards

Some other specific kinds of dashboards that are helpful to business owners are risk management and HR dashboards. These can help with employee satisfaction and retention, as well as keep risks minimal.

Final Thoughts

Management dashboards are incredibly helpful and effective in taking all the data of your business and compiling them in visuals making it easier to spot areas of improvement, and areas that may be costing you unnecessary time and money. However, a management dashboard only gets you so far.

You also need someone to interpret them accurately and help make good decisions based on the data being presented in these dashboards. With FD Capital, we offer financial experts to help interpret any financial data is presented to you via a dashboard. For more help and information, feel free to contact us here.  We offer part-time, interim and permanent FDs and CFOs all of whom are very experienced with management dashboards.

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