Pass or Fail: Grading Your Weekly Dashboard

Weekly dashboards, status updates, progress reports. These regular briefings are a reality for professionals in just about every industry.

In order to understand your business, it’s important that you keep a pulse on the week-over-week, month-over-month and year-over-year changes to your business. Most importantly, this is your opportunity to keep track of when you are you hitting your targets and identify where you are lagging behind.

But too often, the maintenance of weekly or monthly dashboard reports can go into autopilot mode. Because it is such a hassle to regularly update an existing dashboard, it’s common for dashboards to go unchanged for years at a time. Eventually this results in your team becoming fixated on the same metrics week after week which leads to a variety of issues that can hold back your team from taking full advantage of business data.

So ask yourself: When was the last time I updated my business dashboard? If it’s been a year or longer, it’s about time to consider revamping the data, metrics and insights inside your dashboard. Below are the top 3 reasons why a stale dashboard can hold your team back from real insights:

Dashboard Tunnel Vision: When you focus too much on the metrics at hand, you can stop thinking about the many other variables that may also be impacting your business. Especially in today’s digital world, there are many new variables that can directly impact your sales. Factors like the lowest advertised price, retailer promotions, and competitor promotions may be key drivers for your retail sales. But is your dashboard evolving to incorporate these other variables as they become more influential on your sales?

Redundant Visualizations: Your dashboard includes graphs and charts, but after a while you realize that no one is looking at your visualizations because they’re no longer insightful. When your charts and graphs don’t evolve over time, you run the risk of including data visualizations that are no longer relevant. And unless you’re a spreadsheet wizard, it’s not easy to create new data visualizations every week or month.

Spreadsheets Just Won’t Cut It: We’ve all been there. You spend an entire day building a beautiful dashboard that will become your go-to weekly business intelligence report. But then one day, your boss asks you to add a new column, or pull in a new source of data. You have an internal panic attack as you think about the hours it’s going to take to re-format and update the dashboard in your spreadsheet. Not many people have the time to invest hours in dashboards, which often results in dashboards that become static and stale.

Dashboards That Do More

Thanks to technology, dashboards have evolved over time to capture more metrics and provide better insights. With open source tools like Freeboard.io and retail analytics platforms like Askuity, companies now have many avenues outside of spreadsheets to build more informative, versatile dashboards. And with these intuitive platforms, your team can visualize data in a way that encourages everyone to become more engaged in the data discussion.

As a simple example, let’s imagine that you’ve just launched a brand new product across the U.S. market. Your first step is to compare this product’s performance and traction across various regions and states. The only issue is that you can’t find a graph that delivers this type of high level overview in a clean, highly visual fashion. This is where an analytics platform like Askuity comes in handy.

It’s never easy to transition your team to a more data-driven culture. As with any initiative, there are always laggards who require extra motivation to change their ways. And when it comes to getting your team on board with a fact-based culture, visual dashboards can help your team become more engaged and involved in the data discussion.

A better business dashboard ultimately leads to better business visibility. And with powerful visualizations leading the way to greater insights, you can expect a fresh dashboard to ignite more engagement from your team and drive greater results for your business.