A business intelligence dashboard is a unified data visualization platform that is used to display the status of KPIs and other business metrics on the screen. It is an essential element of many BI software and generally used to deliver systematic information to employees and business administrators. BI dashboards aim to help in making firm decisions by allowing organizations to collect, analyze, and generate reports from their important data.
BI dashboards are more user-friendly than static reports, it helps in better strategic planning and decision-making by enabling users to access and compare the data through graphs and charts for better analysis. Sometimes BI dashboards behave as a data management tool that simplifies complex data sets to give the status of current performance at first glance. BI dashboards have various features, a customizable interface, and a possibility to extract data from different resources and interactivity to a certain level are a few of them.
Advantages of business intelligence dashboard
A Dynamics business intelligence dashboard is one page summary of the information. It’s like an overview of your system at a glance. There are significant benefits of using a BI dashboard for your business. Some of the major benefits are:
- Improve visibility
BI dashboard enhances visibility by providing the information from multiple resources in the form of charts and graphs at one centralized location that helps in viewing overall performance status.
- Timesaving efficiency
BI dashboard saves the user’s valuable time by extracting data from a single location and displaying it as an understandable overview. Therefore, you do not have to waste time generating reports.
- Enhanced forecasting
BI made future prediction easier, by using the past information of each customer a business strategy can be planned more efficiently for the next business cycle.
BI dashboards provide the business executive with a summary of recent KPIs to review the performance of multiple areas creating actionable insights.
- Inventory control
BI dashboard gives you a real-time view of inventory details. The sales team always knows the current status of inventories, what products are in stock, which products to order. All of this helps in improving inventory control and reducing the risk of stock-outs.
- Real-time customer analytics
You can achieve higher retention rates and better revenues with accurate insight into consumer purchasing behaviors in a real-time dashboard. It allows the sales team to focus on the right client at the right time.
- Improve decision-making
BI dashboard allows organizations to quickly analyze the data. Visualized interactivity is used to deliver complex and huge amounts of data in a way that is easy to understand, which helps in making better business decisions.
What are the three types of business intelligence dashboard software?
There are three types of reporting dashboards;
Let’s discuss each of them.
- Operational dashboard
An operational dashboard is a kind of reporting tool that is commonly used to track and monitor the current performance of KPIs and business processes. It gives information based on immediate business performance. The dashboard updates as soon as there is any modification in data. It is specially designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the performance of the entire day, at a glance. Operational dashboards also help organizations stay ahead of problems and proactive.
An operational dashboard example is a Daily Web Overview Dashboard. It monitors hourly performance against the task given to the marketing team.
- Strategic dashboard
A strategic dashboard is another reporting tool used by folio3 to monitor the long-run organization strategies and is generally used by executives. These dashboards are likely to summarize performance over time. The strategic dashboard updates less frequently as compared to the operational dashboards. These dashboards are viewed after a while, maybe once or twice in a day, and help directors to stay on top of KPIs all over the business.
SaaS CEO Dashboard is an example of a strategic dashboard. By using data visualizations, it monitors the Key Performance Indicator across the business.
- Analytical dashboard
An analytical dashboard is a type of dashboard that is used to examine a vast amount of data enabling users to predict outcomes, discover insights, and investigate trends. These are typically designed and developed by data analysts, so they are common with tools of business intelligence. These are widely used when complex information is huge, and require visualization to execute analysis of generated data. The analytical dashboard must have to contain up-to-date and accurate data that do not update frequently. These dashboards support advanced BI features like ad-hoc querying and drill-down.
MRR/Accounts dashboard is an example of an analytical dashboard; this is a lightweight version of an analytical dashboard.
10 best business intelligence dashboard best practices to follow in 2021
- Know your reporting requirements
Knowing your requirements is one the most important, the very first things you need to clarify includes; who is going to use that dashboard, and why do you want to report? Once you identify your audience, you will be able to decide what you must have on your dashboard.
However, you can arrange your dashboard according to the requirements of readers and stakeholders by interviewing or discussing what is most relevant to them. Once you are done with this, it will be easier for you to select from KPIs list, the one that will be suitable for your viewers. Make sure that the main goal of the BI dashboard is to clearly show the business performance reality and help in making the right decisions at the right time.
- Know about types of dashboards
Before you choose any BI dashboard, it’s important to know about the different types of Business Intelligence dashboards and features & functionalities offered by each type. The key here is that once you know the features & functionalities offered by each type of BI dashboard, you will be in a better position to choose the right dashboard as per your business unique need.
There are multiple types of dashboards available, you must know about them before selecting your tool. You can make the right choice only once you know all about different types of dashboards and features brought about by each type.
- Strategic – it mainly focuses on high-level metrics and long-term strategies
- Operational – shows shorter operational processes periods.
- Analytical – hold huge amounts of data generated by analysts.
- Design data to avoid clutter
You will be all ready to implement your desired dashboard once you have known about different types of the dashboard. You must be focused on the effective design and conciseness of the dashboards. Keep the dashboard simple yet attractive, you must hear about the “Easy on the eyes” design, which may look simple but delivers the maximum information.
It is a huge misunderstanding that a visually attractive dashboard will interact more efficiently with your viewers. BI Dashboards should be designed in a way that they deliver clear, fast, and concise information about your business that you must get an overall idea of what is happening with your business. You must follow the 5-second rule, which says, “Your dashboard should deliver only the relevant information within 5 seconds.”
The problem with the clutter always remains the same, it will occupy space in the audience’s mind, and yet fail to have any beneficial impact. It will not only have a negative impact on viewers but it will make the data look more complex. You must find ways to avoid clutter. Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception is a great way to find the form and characteristics of the clutter. Those six principles are discussed below, let’s have a look at these.
- Proximity: The proximity principle states that we are more likely to assemble elements based on “Proximity” or location. This principle allows for the utilization of ideas through clearly grouped and well-placed data.
- Similarity: This principle states that we tend to assemble elements, which are comparable to each other. This means that the elements from similar colors, fonts, and shapes are intended to group from the visual point of view of the viewers. This principle also helps in removing unnecessary data after the communication with the client.
- Closure: The principle focuses on the tendency to “Close the gap” and create whole elements. This concept usually use when some part of figures and shapes are missing
- Enclosure: This principle states that we will able to see the elements and objects as unique groups if elements are operated by a shading or visual border. Such as prior principle, this principle can work as a ground of graphical data presentation
- Continuity: This principle states that if the separate linear elements are placed with one another, then we are more likely to integrate all parts of elements. Then every single line will be viewed less as distinct and more like a continuation of one element.
– Connection: This principle states that when there is a definite linear tie then our visual combinations are strongest. That is, rather than arranging elements via shape, color, or spacing, a direct linear connection will be used to build the basis for our visual relationship with data.
- Design data with a clear visual order
Subconscious desire is one of the most influential factors for dashboard data analysis. If we won’t be able to value the clean and clear reorientation of data then it will result in dashboard data disorder. Let’s check out the well-ordered dashboard elements
- Consistent Alignment: Consistent alignment is one the major factor that makes data representation simple yet informative. It is good to have your most informative data placed at the upper left. It is important to know what to place and where.
- White Space: White spaces don’t necessarily mean wasted spaces, it is a designing term that is used as a reference space, which is not used for any specific element.
- Use of Contrast: Contrast is similar to white spaces. Both belong to the same family but each has its individual properties. They can create an astonishing one-two visual hit when combined. The contrast is mainly applied by changing the color scheme of the data. Simple design and color variation provide an efficient, comfortable, and focused data experience.
- Select data visualizations
Visual representation is more likely to digest more efficiently as compared to a textual representation. This means that you should display your dashboard in a way that interacts with viewers in a meaningful informative manner while ensuring that the data you are delivering drives the business progress forward.
- Data context
To completely analyze the data available on the dashboard everyone from the heads of companies to the junior level employee needs to understand the concept of context. Therefore, data observers must be fully aware and informed of the data context or any missing data; otherwise, data may generate more questions than answers.
- Web-based access
In today`s modern age online BI dashboards have become the most valuable tools an organization can utilize. Web-based data access helps its user to remain up-to-date by having real-time updates. Web-based data analysis and sharing cover wider viewers and allow for better co-operation with other data solutions. If capabilities and budgets are too limited then file-based publishing can be an option, but this would not support one of the best advantages of remote synchronization.
- Consider your viewers
Considering your viewers is one the most important essential part of BI dashboarding, it is important if you want to utilize the potential of BI dashboard completely. When selecting work designs and data visualization types, it’s critical to consider the viewers, which are going to view your presentation. You must sit down collaboratively and discuss within the organization about your targeting viewers before setting up the dashboard design.
- Tell a story
Storytelling is an influential practice for any industry or business, so take advantage of it. A compelling plot will not only grab the attention of your viewers but also divide your information into digestible and inspirational segments. This strategy will improve the success across the board.
- Refine – perfect – repeat
To maintain the success of any business you should always find a way to enhance and improve your efforts. Your BI dashboard may seem to be perfect as per today’s strategies, but it might not fulfill the requirement of tomorrow due to the constant variability in the digital world, so it’s essential to make constant improvements.
Business Intelligence Dashboard Examples and Templates for SMEs and Enterprises
Organizations have a variety of analytical and operational dashboards at their disposal that may assist them in decision making for individual departments or at the enterprise level. Below, we have enlisted some common types of BI dashboards that are designed to perform different functions, with the details of how they’re used and what they offer.
- Sales and marketing dashboards
These dashboards are specially designed for the business managers, sales and marketing teams, and corporate executives. A sales dashboard consists of retail and product cost, cost of sales operation, and KPIs, allowing a user to monitor the progress and find possible trouble spots. Likewise, a marketing dashboard consists of lead generation, response rates, data on costs, and other marketing metrics.
- Customer dashboards
A customer dashboard allows users to analyze and view an organization’s customer data, including churn and retention rates, lifetime values, size, and other customer details, that help in the planning of sales efforts and marketing campaigns.
- Financial dashboards
This dashboard is commonly used by the finance department employees that display the data on financial KPIs. This dashboard included assets and liabilities, operating expenses, profit margins, working capital, and much more to help companies in financial planning and analysis and monitor business performance.
- HR dashboards
HR dashboard is used by business executives and HR managers that provides information about the employees of the company.
This dashboard contains salary demographics and statistics, recruiting and hiring metrics, number of employees, and other important KPIs.
- Operational dashboards
This dashboard helps in tracking the ongoing business process and status of operations for the day-to-day management and monitoring uses.
- IT dashboards
IT dashboards are widely used by IT departments, the Business Intelligence department, data management, data science, and data warehousing teams. It helps them track and monitor various aspects including, the usage of applications, networks, systems, and databases, security issues, performance problems, technology cost, and available IT resources.
- Project dashboards
A project or project management dashboard displays data on the status and progress of business projects. Project managers can use one to track tasks, deadlines, costs, and other parameters to aid in monitoring work, spotting problems, and keeping projects on schedule and budget.
- Mobile dashboards
A mobile dashboard is not an individual type of dashboard. Normal dashboards are designed in such a way that they are accessible on both PCs and mobile phones. While designing the dashboard designer needs to ensure that the dashboard displays in an appropriate and readable way on tables and mobile phones. The mobile phone dashboard is comparatively simple with less amount of data presentation that can be easily viewed on mobile phone screens.
Business intelligence dashboards are highly cost-effective and efficient. These dashboards are widely used in streamlining the business and decision-making process by eliminating the chances of human error.