How proactively delivered personalised dashboards improve business intelligence

You often hear business leaders talking about their key performance metrics. Many even track them through visual dashboards cluttered with all sorts of impressive-looking charts, graphs, and numbers. But how effective are these dashboards, really?

For one thing, dashboards often present lots of complicated data with little, if any, analysis or context – they also take forever to load. This makes them unapproachable for employees who aren’t trained in analytics or don’t know how to sift through the raw data to find the information they’re interested in. That might not be a problem if the data mattered only to top-level managers. But even employees on the ground who carry out routine, everyday tasks can achieve a 17 percent performance boost (and use 20 percent fewer mental resources) by visualising data.

Ideally, you want all your employees acting and making decisions based on the latest performance intelligence. That’s why the ability to personalise dashboards and proactively deliver them to employees is crucial. When done right, employees receive the data that matters to them, wherever they are, in a format that’s easy to interpret even for those with no background in data analysis.

“The greatest value of a modern business dashboard lies in its ability to provide real-time information about a company’s performance,” says digital marketer Karola Karlson. “As a result, business leaders, as well as project teams, are able to make informed and goal-oriented decisions, acting on actual data instead of gut feeling.”

Proactively delivered, personalised dashboards help reduce the amount of time employees spend aggregating and checking information by presenting the data in one place for at-a-glance consumption. They also allow cross-functional teams to easily share intelligence related to a specific project or goal. And, most importantly, they help ensure all decision-makers at all levels have access to the insights they need to make informed decisions.

Proactively delivered, personalised dashboards make employees smarter by helping enterprises:

Solve specific problems

When you have a particular goal or problem you want to focus on, a personalised dashboard makes it easier to monitor your progress. For example, let’s say your goal is to shorten your sales cycle. You want to keep a close eye on metrics like customer conversion rates, time between sales stages and overall time to close. These metrics might already be set up on each regional sales team’s dashboard, but you don’t want to have to hunt them down individually each time you have a conversation about the sales cycle. Instead, you want this dashboard – based on your metrics and requirements – assembled and delivered to you so you never have to look for it.

Monitoring company metrics through a personalised dashboard can also help you identify problem areas that need attention. “Managers that use KPI dashboards daily for getting a quick overview know where to focus their energy and realise if there’s a need to improve any poorly performing process,” Karlson says.

Support cross-functional collaboration

Personalised dashboards aren’t just helpful for individuals. They also help foster collaboration—both among team members and between departments. In fact, the right visualisation tools can make teams 8 percent more productive and 10 percent more mentally efficient when collaborating on a project.

Each team or department might have its own dashboard for measuring metrics specific for their job, but certain projects or collaborative efforts might involve employees from different departments. With a project-specific dashboard delivered to each member of the team, team members can effortlessly monitor the relevant metrics regardless of what department they originate from. Being able to track the progress of a project in real time helps keep employees motivated while ensuring everyone stays on the same page.

Follow data through the pipeline

The verdict is in: Departmental silos get in the way of business growth. In top-performing companies, data recognises no departmental boundaries. Effective sales teams stay in tune with their marketing team. IT relies on constant information from human resources. With personalised dashboards, employees can track relevant metrics from across the organisation.

“As KPIs filter through the organisation, they must grab employees’ attention to make sure that everyone is moving together in the right direction and delivering value to the business,” says Adaptive Insights. “Departments, and even individuals within an organisation, may have their own KPIs. But it is important that they understand the context of what they are being measured against and how it fits within the broader business strategy and goals.”

Monitor mission-critical metrics

Every manager has metrics that keep them up at night. These are the big make-or-break metrics the team needs to stay on top of. If they go red, you must be prepared to drop whatever you’re doing and fix it.

A proactively delivered, personalised dashboard puts all of these mission-critical metrics in one place without any unnecessary data to distract you from what matters most and delivers it to employees when there is something of note to look at. That way, employees know when it’s time to grab the fire hose, or better yet, know when to wet the area to avoid the fire in the first place.

According to a recent study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Sapho, 75 percent of employees have a hard time accessing information in their enterprise systems, while 74 percent desire easy access to personalised and relevant data. This isn’t a surprise – data can be hard to understand! This is why new enterprise solutions are working on improving employee effectiveness by proactively delivering relevant data and tasks before they have to search for it.

Your business would be much more intelligent if you could easily create proactively delivered, personalised dashboards for every individual, team, department, project and goal within your company.

 

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TobyBeresford
24 Oct 2017, 4:10 p.m.

To get the best results in terms of behaviour change, I think it's key, when delivering personal dashboards, that managers transition from a "managing" mindset to a "coaching" mindset. Like having a FitBit, I find users respond better to dashboards that report on both goals that they subscribe to and own for themselves.

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