5 Tips to Designing Executive Dashboards

designing executive dashboards

Are you designing executive dashboards that will be useful to the entire company as well?

1. Dashboards must be interactive
The key to designing executive dashboards is to make sure the dashboards not only present what's “top of mind” for the executives but allow for interaction. When a data point is out of tolerance or expectation, the executives will then ask, “Why?” The dashboards must have the ability to drill down and be interactive. A dashboard that is not interactive is just a sexy report.

2. Host a Dashboard Design Workshop

The best way to identify what should be on the dashboard is to host a dashboarding workshop where the team defines the objects and visual presentation of the data. Try a software agnostic dashboarding workshop where team members create a visual representation of their dashboards on paper during an interactive dashboard exploration. Workshops eliminate the situation where report designers create dashboards end users don't use. During the workshop, the team should define a standardize template including color and logo guidelines to provide a consistent visual experience for all dashboards. If the dashboard will be used on a mobile device, the design must consider the limited real estate of mobile devices. Executives will not want to continuously scroll.  Lodestar Solutions Destination Dashboard Workshop can help everyone agree to an effective dashboard design.

3. Dashboards must display a measure of “Why Clients Buy from You”

Dashboards should reflect your company's competitive differentiator and why your clients buy from you. Your competitive differentiator is what your clients’ value.  When the organization is focused on the unique value they provide to clients, it is much easier to hold margins and market share even in a highly competitive market.   The challenge can be how to measure why your clients buy from you, but this can be accomplished with surveys.  Including the measure of your competitive advantage on your dashboard will motivate the entire organization to perform and improve the number resulting in increased sales.

4. People will perform based on what is monitored and visible

One example is a company with rapid growth had an issue with attrition of employees at 5 years. When they evaluated exit interviews, they realized managers were not performing annual employee reviews. We included a score for each manager that measured the percentage of reviews that were performed on time each month. Within 45 days, managers were hitting 100% and thus were able to remove the graph from the dashboard. Dashboard items will affect behavior of team members so choose your items carefully but be open to modifying them as your business changes.

5. Leverage the request for designing executive dashboards as an opportunity to evaluate what you measure

New dashboard projects should be used as an opportunity to evaluate the focus of the organization. The question should be not be what we are measuring, but instead, what SHOULD we be measuring. If you are implementing a new dashboard, use this opportunity to examine how you look at your business. Technology has advanced and dashboards can now incorporate data from sources like Goggle Analytics and other comparative data sources.

Click here to view our video on Dashboards For Success