How do your company’s executives get to the information they need to understand business drivers and make mission-critical decisions? If they’re asking techies from various departments to run ad hoc reports or spending their valuable time elbow deep in spreadsheets and formulas, there is a far better way: the dashboard. Let’s take a few minutes to get to know this colorful, customizable, designed-for-the-business-user data visualization tool.

Command Central for Today’s Informed Decision-Maker

Put simply, dashboards bring your business intelligence to life. Cloud-based BI dashboard tools eliminate your traditional, manual BI reporting activities and replace them with interactive, web-based access to the most relevant up-to-date data insights—all on one screen.

In fact, dashboarding capabilities are among the key reasons cloud-based BI solutions are being adopted by companies today. According to a recent BARC Research and Eckerson Group Study, the top 3 cloud BI use cases are dashboard-based reporting (76%), Ad-hoc analysis and exploration (57%), and Dashboard authoring (55%).

The dashboard is such a powerful tool because it puts the business user, analyst, or executive decision-maker in control of their own data. Depending on the underlying technology systems (e.g. ERP, CRM) or set of integrated data sources (e.g. Excel spreadsheets, Zendesk, MySQL), dashboards may be built to answer specific questions for at-a-glance answers or for on-demand point-and-click reporting and drill-downs. Most cloud-based dashboard tools enable:

  • Self-service access to real-time data from multiple sources, so users get a 360-degree view of their business performance, KPIs, and more
  • Customization, so users can see the data and insights they want to display in formats that make the most sense to them
  • Sharing and collaboration, so insights can be both disseminated and acted on with efficiency

One of the most important “selling points” of the dashboard is it prevents users from getting their hands dirty in the underlying data—unless they want to. All of the data programming, systems integrating, and analytical crunch work is handled by your IT staff or technology partner. All your users need to worry about is opening their software and viewing their dashboard, interacting with it if they choose to.

Every Picture Tells A Story

More than anything else, a dashboard is a platform to tell a story with data. Take a look at the examples below to get a feel for the strong visualization tools provided by cloud-based BI dashboard solutions:


NetSuite allows users to reconfigure and customize their dashboards around the tasks and information they use most frequently.

NetSuite Dashboard Example

Learn more in Why You’ll Love NetSuite’s Business Intelligence Dashboards

Dynamics 365

Microsoft’s line of ERP and CRM apps, connected together via Dynamics 365, has a robust Dashboards feature that puts a wide range of business insights at users’ fingertips.

Dynamics 365 Dashboard Example

Learn more:

3 Ways Microsoft Dynamics 365 Helps Businesses Work Smarter

Dexmet Corporation Case Study


MicroSoft’s data visualization tool connects to hundred of data sources, simplifies data prep, and drives ad hoc analysis.

Power BI Dashboard Example


This ERP system’s dashboards offer a way to visualize complex data through widgets that can display a wide variety of data types.

Acumatica Dashboard Example

Eager to Start Dashboarding

Work with our expert team to select the right data visualization and dashboarding tools for your organization. To get started schedule a free consultation