Advantages of a Business Dashboard
Business dashboards have become a valuable business intelligence tool, offering an “at-a-glance” big picture view of a company’s performance.
Just picture this: One quick login on your tablet or smartphone and with your thumb you can scroll past visual representations and summaries of your sales, projections, cash flow status, debt, A/P and A/R, pipeline, and other key metrics important to your daily business operations. With available integrations in today’s cloud accounting software, such as Xero, it’s possible.
Some business owners use their dashboards to track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) relevant to just one aspect of their business, such as sales growth, marketing, or financial data. Others rely on an executive dashboard for an overview of data culled from various sources (e.g. their accounting software, CRM tools, and website analytics).
The great advantage of a dashboard is that it presents and compares complex data drawn from a number of sources using visual tools (i.e. tables, line graphs, and bar graphs). With access to this consolidated data – information and metrics that would take hours to compile and analyze on your own – business owners are empowered to make more informed real time business decisions.
Find out more about business dashboards and how they can help you grow a more profitable business.
Better Business Intelligence
Business owners get the most value from using a business dashboard when they have specific objectives in mind. When you know your objectives, you know which data to monitor, and which type of dashboard will help you gauge progress and meet your goals.
Think about your priorities for the next six months, year, three years. Once you’re clear on your goals, test drive a free trial to get a sense of how business dashboards work and find one that might be a good fit for your needs. Of course, free software with limited features won’t demonstrate everything a dashboard can do. But testing one out can help you see the potential for your business, and decide whether to look into other paid options. It might also be beneficial to seek out dashboards or custom KPI monitoring for your particular industry.
Partner with an Advisor
While some dashboards can quickly project useful charts, graphs, and real-time data, knowing what to do with that data is the key element to using dashboards effectively. Your business advisor or cloud accountant can virtually see the same metrics and visuals as you, but can walk you through their implications and make recommendations for business growth or improved profitability.
If you’re comfortable with coding, free open-source dashboard may be a good solution for your small business. Open-source dashboards allow you to integrate data from different sources to create the perfect dashboard to meet your needs.
If you decide to shop for a solution, you’ll have many customizable options to choose from: analytical, operational, or information dashboards, as well as those that operate via software, web-based tools, cloud-based, and mobile-friendly dashboards.
As a tip, many business owners prefer cloud-based dashboards for their convenience, allowing real time data to be accessed from multiple devices. A cloud dashboard solution with a drag and drop interface is simple to use, and lets you decide which data you want to view, and how you’d like it displayed.
Xero Dashboard Integration
If you’re partnered with an Alloy Silverstein Cloud Coach and using Xero, there are several software and app add-ons that can integrate with your existing financial data. Consider the following:
There are many benefits to working with a business dashboard, but the main advantage is that they can help you make more informed decisions that will have a positive impact on your company’s agility and competitiveness – and ultimately, your bottom line.
Using a dashboard can help you spot problem areas and negative trends quickly, so you can take steps to correct them. You’ll know what to do more of to increase sales and profits, and implement the best strategies to achieve your business goals
If you haven’t updated your business plan recently, take some time to identify your high priority objectives. Then you can take the next step and find a dashboard that offers you the business intelligence you need to meet your current and longer term goals.
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