Quick, easy, comprehensive, accurate, and meaningful. In a nutshell, these are the most important attributes of executive dashboards—at least from an executive’s perspective. The whole point of an executive dashboard, after all, is to provide a real-time, at-a-glance view of the company’s performance. Whether the insights are “nice to knows” or “need to knows,” they’re all important in the day-to-day workflow of today’s busy visionary/decision-maker.
What’s important to note here is that unless they’re programmers-turned-CIOs, the C-Suite users of your cloud-based business software—from ERP and CRM systems to BI tools—aren’t technicians. They don’t need to know “how the data got connected” or how transaction details travel in real-time to your servers and into the report on their mobile app. They just need to know that it’s connected, and that it does, and the insights are there when they need them.
Here’s a closer look at what they’re expecting every time they log into their executive dashboards—and what you can, therefore, expect your state of the industry cloud software to deliver.
1. Big-picture views with drill-down capability.
They’re checking in for an update, but what if they have a question while looking at a metric? A quick click should do the trick.
2. Instant access.
For users of cloud-based software, long gone are the days when the IT department was called in to run reports that took two days to produce. (Take A Look Inside the Evolution of the Self-Service BI Trend). Today, data is within reach of the most (and non-technical) fingertips.
3. Just what they need.
A dashboard and its companion reports are only as good as the value they’re delivering. What does the decision-maker want to see when they sign in? Thankfully, they can customize their views, define the KPIs that display, etc., and usually with drag-and-drop configuration, maybe with some help from IT.
4. Projected vs. actual results.
One of the great things about the data being collected—and the tools used to analyze it—is it’s capable of projecting outcomes, through historical data or predictive analysis. While perusing their dashboards, executives may need to comparison check to determine whether business is moving along according to plan.
5. Graphics, graphics, graphics.
Aside from looking great, visual interpretations of data are easier for strategy-minded users to comprehend, explain, and share.
6. Mobile functionality.
Today’s decision-makers are on-the-go, staying productive using smartphones and tablets while sitting at the airport, working from home, or sharing insights at a board meeting. Cloud-based business software provides mobile solutions—web access or mobile apps—so users are always connected.
7. All the data.
What good, really, is an executive dashboard that tells only half of the story? Business systems built for the cloud are designed for integrations, so the data from almost every piece of software a company uses can be centralized and accessed from one place—the executive’s dashboard, of course.
8. Collaboration tools.
Rarely do decision-makers work in isolation. Modern businesses aren’t limited by data and communication silos that were so common before the internet and cloud computing. Most executive dashboards include sharing functionality enabling annotations, group chats, messaging, and more.
Work with our expert team to select the right data visualization and dashboarding tools for your organization. To get started schedule a free consultation.