How To Prepare Kpi Dashboard
Rather than looking at the data or even the software or maybe the KPIs, consider who is going to use the dashboard and exactly why they are going to do things. So let me challenge you to consider making a KPI dashboard a little bit different. For many, you will be able to use the dashboard for Excel, but if no one views or cares about the dashboard, you won’t get very far.
For our clients, a critical success factor is alignment and buy-in for any KPI reporting solution. I’ll go into more detail on each topic below. Here is the structure for creating a KPI dashboard.
Without meaningful KPIs, you may be looking to the heavens for signs that your business is successful. Well-defined KPIs would be the beating heart of the dashboard. Take the opportunity to understand who you are creating the dashboard for, and you will soon realize why you are creating a dashboard in the first place.
A KPI report is just another means of communication, such as email or maybe a slide presentation, so it’s crucial to align with your audience. This includes the latency of the data, the style of visualizations, and the amount of data displayed. A supervisor may have completely different data requirements compared to a manager.
Take the time and effort for this step. Executives are better off leaning on a reporting dashboard, while a business manager may need an operational dashboard. Every dashboard I’ve ever built starts with a napkin drawing.
Every minute you spend talking to stakeholders can save you time designing and improve end-product adoption. Choosing the very best visualization for a KPI is not always self-evident. Designing a very effective dashboard is difficult.
Maybe it’s a mix of charts and bullet charts, or tables and sparklines. When you start collecting KPIs, a logical design can emerge. Design choices may seem indefensible when the supervisor is scratching her head wondering what exactly the information is telling them.
By making a low-fidelity prototype of the dashboard and then discussing it with stakeholders, you immediately have an idea of the results of the dashboard. This is tricky. In general, data visualizations shouldn’t be difficult so that a brand new employee can understand the content you’re trying to convey.
You can definitely develop a successful KPI dashboard for Excel. But starting with something that can be thrown in the trash will save your ego and save time designing the Excel dashboard. At the end of your day, KPI dashboards should save you effort and time creating and distributing reports.
The task comes next when you want to update the information on that dashboard. Each KPI you track can have a minimum of one data point coming from one system or another. Collecting your computer data likely requires multiple services, working with your operations team to create a number of SQL queries, and using APIs to automate data retrieval.
Most software vendors offer expertise, something you would want to consider when the challenges within this step are insurmountable. Take a moment, create a spreadsheet, and plan the data picture behind your key KPIs. In my experience, the very best dashboards are the ones that take simplicity as his or her mantra.
It’s a problem every dashboard application vendor tries to solve, some much better than others. The success of the dashboard depends on your own ability to drive its adoption. If you are faced with the choice of a scatter chart or perhaps a bar chart, select the bar chart.
Aim for everyday looks and style for this use case. Dashboards that become a daily habit are more likely to succeed. When people are enthusiastic about what you have built, even when they ask for changes, it means that you are on the right track.
Take it in stride. And a fresh, natural conversation starter, one that encourages adoption from the dashboard. It’s a way to grab attention to gain visibility for your KPIs that power your business.
Technology is excellent, but it has to be a service to solve human challenges. The central thesis of the post is the fact that KPI dashboards need to take your human element into account more than anything else. Investing your time and effort in gathering feedback and inspiring conversations about the KPIs can result in both a better dashboard and one that will be used.