Designing a Business Dashboard

An integral part of exit strategy execution requires you to have access to data that is relevant to the success of your business as well as your exit strategy. One of the most valuable tools a business owner can have is a dashboard of Key Performance Metrics (KPI).  Similar to dashboards which appear in automobiles, business dashboards have differing appearances but share common characteristics.  Both provide real time information to the driver (business owner) regarding the car’s (business) condition and performance. I recently had the opportunity to hear an expert speak on the topic of dashboard design. Eric Eager, a CPA and Vice President of BizNet Software, Inc. offered the following dashboard design considerations:

  1. Identify KPI:  While it’s tempting to measure everything, for effective dashboarding, stick to high level metrics that align with what you’re trying to accomplish. What really matters to the success of your business?  What information is critical to sound decision making?
  2. Draft Dashboard Layout:   Presentation matters, so think it through in advance! Dashboard layout should be organized and offer clarity at a glance.
  3. Locate, Organize and Connect the Data: This is the toughest part and requires time.
  4. Finalize Dashboard Layout:   The form and availability of data often dictates a different layout.
  5. Roll-out the Dashboard to the Company: Start with the executive team, and move on to other team members who will benefit.

The biggest challenge is getting the data organized, reliable and timely. Look for a future post on the 5 best practices for your business dashboard.

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photo credit: via photopin (license)

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