Even though they’re older than the automobile itself, dashboards remain one of the most indispensable tools in a business’s arsenal. What once displayed a car’s fuel, speed, and mileage at a glance, the modern, digital dash can now measure anything and everything a company might want to track.
As a UX design agency that serves businesses of all sizes and sectors, Codal has witnessed the benefits of the dashboards we’ve crafted firsthand—we’ve built dashes for enterprises like Charles Schwab and Baxter, as well as SMBs like Stokkup and CallPotential.
And so while we’re no stranger to the power of a well-designed dashboard, some businesses remain unsure if contracting out a department-specific or even company-wide dashboard is a prudent investment.
That’s why Codal has put together a brief rundown of why business owners place so much value on a high-quality dashboards, and enlisted some of our friends in the industry to offer their own insights as well.
With smarter (and more ubiquitous) data collection mechanisms than ever before, data has become the lifeblood of every business, regardless of industry. If you’re B2C, your customers are carrying around mobile devices that generate and collect data almost constantly. If you’re B2B, your clientele leverages a wealth of business-driven data every single day.
And without a dashboard, tracking such a massive amount of data is an overwhelming task.
“The primary benefit of dashboards is to streamline the process of collecting raw data and converting it into an easy-to-digest visual format,” says Faith Kubicki, content marketing manager at Intellichief. “From there, a company’s employees can use their professional knowledge to decide on the best course of action.”
Not only is that data presented in a readable and intuitive fashion, but many dashes also serve as incredibly robust data collectors. “In most cases, they can collect and present your data in real time,” continued Kubicki. “Which is essential in today’s fast-paced, results-driven business environment.”
Though it’s an often overlooked advantage of dashboards, having actionable, readable data directly at your fingertips directly results in you and your employees being mindful of short- and long-term goals.
“We’ve all heard the “out of sight, out of mind” theory, and it’s true,” says Claudio Pereira, Marketing Director at Uku Inbound. “If you never look at data you tend not to worry about it. Dashboards go a long way to making sure that everyone keeps results at the forefront of their minds when doing just about any level of task, from strategy to social.”
Too many high-level employees or business owners remain ignorant of major KPIs, and dashes are a great way to diagnose your performance and keep longer-term goals in focus.
Sales numbers, web traffic, inventory data—rarely are businesses monitoring just one kind of data. Dashboards allow for a more holistic view of your company, so you can see metrics across all departments and teams simultaneously.
“We use custom dashboard sets for just about every facet of marketing campaigns for ourselves and our clients,” continued Pereira. “As an example, being able to collect data from several sources like Google Analytics, Hubspot and Stripe help display the entire marketing and sales funnel in one visual.”
Condensing a massive amount of disparate data into a few screens isn’t just convenient—by analyzing (either through your own experience or a program), you can reveal connections between seemingly unrelated data.
Simplifying data collection, visualization, and analysis is a boon in its own right, but also comes with the added bonus of freeing up your employees for more productive pursuits.
“I think dashboards add to productivity while also not requiring more time to get those insights [sic],” says Matthew Parks of Bovsi Studio. “For us and our clients, it is a must! I spend less time getting more insight and more actionable data.”
As your company scales, your business’s goals and challenges change with it, along with the data you prioritize. Highly configurable by design, dashboards allow you to easy change course on the KPIs or metrics you’re tracking.
“The beauty of dashboards is that they are customizable to your specific business operations and reporting needs,” says Nathan Fuller, marketing & sales coordinator at Launch. “Being able to visualize the data that we rely so heavily upon gives us a clearly communicated snapshot of where we stand and where we would like to be.”
Few digital platforms are as robust as dashboards, making them a wise long-term investment. With such high levels of customization, they’re essentially the Swiss Army Knife of your analytics tools.
Dashboards are an invaluable tool for any company that uses data to make smarter, more informed business decisions—which is to say, almost all of them. Managers, directors and other high-level employees rely on dashboards for a variety of reasons, but nearly all of them cited: