Analytics

10 Best Dashboards Recommended By Experts [Templates Included]

Learn what makes the best dashboard and 10 examples of amazing dashboards to use in your business. We’ve also got free, ready-to-use templates.

Masooma Memon Masooma Memon on June 8, 2022 (last modified on June 6, 2022) • 17 minute read

The best dashboard is one that presents important metrics in an uber-readable manner.

In doing so, it gives you the information that you’re looking for at a glance, simplifying data-backed decision-making for you.

The question then is: what are some amazing dashboards that you need? Web analytics, marketing, and sales dashboards are just some of them. In fact, there are 6 main dashboard types that businesses across industries must use according to the 24 expert respondents that we talked to.

Of these respondents, 25% come from the marketing/advertising industry, 20.83% come from IT and services, and 12.50% come from tech companies.

Ready to learn about the best dashboards to use? Let’s go.

  1. Business Dashboard
  2. CEO Dashboard
  3. Marketing Dashboard
  4. Web Analytics Dashboard
  5. Sales Dashboard
  6. HR Dashboard
  7. Customer Support Dashboard
  8. SaaS Dashboard
  9. Software Development Dashboard
  10. Ecommerce Dashboard
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Must-Have Dashboard Types for Businesses

According to our research, the six must-have dashboard types for businesses across various industries are:

  • Web analytics dashboards
  • Marketing dashboards
  • Sales dashboards
  • Business dashboards
  • HR dashboards
  • Customer service dashboards
Most common dashboards used across different industries

These insights come from respondents who have at least some experience in using dashboards. In fact, over 60% of them have been using dashboards for some time and 25% have just started using them. The rest (12.50%) don’t use dashboards but plan to.

Experience in creating and using dashboards

Based on this research, we identified the top 10 best data dashboards to use regardless of your industry and type of business.

With each dashboard, we are also sharing ready-to-use dashboard templates from Databox. The examples that we’ve included, are the most popular ones in our template library. Any dashboard example from our template gallery can be customized and adjusted as you see fit – from adding (or excluding) metrics and data sources, to customizing colors, fonts, and more.

Let’s dive in.

1. Business Dashboard

Business dashboards give a quick snapshot of your business’s key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time as this fully customizable Stripe (MRR & Churn) Dashboard Template does.

Business Dashboard example

As a result, such a business dashboard can instantly tell you about a company’s overall health and performance in minutes.

The key, however, is to “always start small,” advises Jared Stern from Uplift Legal Funding. “Don’t blindly follow the industry’s best KPIs. Choose what’s relevant and makes sense to your business goals.”

So whether you’re choosing from a business dashboard template or creating yours from scratch, pay attention to the KPIs.

Stern shares, “Sometimes it helps to create a combination to get a better picture. For instance, unique visitors was one metric that was not as important as I had initially imagined. I thought the unique visitors metric would help assess brand awareness and reach.”

“The metric was ambiguous as it did not answer how my customers or potential customers engaged with my site. It was merely a number,” continues Stern. “So, I switched to using Bounce Rate.”

“Furthermore, the Keyword Click Through Rate was a metric I considered extremely important. It provided good insights into how my keywords, ads, and listings performed. However, it felt like a short-term shortcut to increase reach. I combined it with organic search traffic to get the complete picture.”

In short, Stern advises, “Slowly build on your processes. This will help build a data-driven culture for your organization. Better data-backed decisions can be made in the long run.

2. CEO Dashboard

A CEO dashboard is another useful dashboard to have.

“As the name suggests, it’s intended for business owners who want an easy view of their company insights and always stay alert on customer dealing,” points out Cristina Cason from Texas Family Home Buyers.

In fact, by easily seeing all the essential metrics laid out in a dashboard, a CEO doesn’t need to go through extensive reports for an overview of the business’s performance.

Here’s an example CEO dashboard template showing metrics like Churn, MRR, Customers, New Customers, Upgrades, and more. It also displays Growth Rate over a period of time.

CEO Dashboard example

Related: Monthly Recurring Revenue: 11 Tips for Improving Your MRR for Better Business Growth

When choosing and using Databox’s executive dashboard templates though, keep in mind that you’re free to add or remove any of these metrics to create a fully customized dashboard from this template.

In fact, “It’s best to build a customer-centric view of a company across multiple touchpoints and different functions,” points out Cason.

“The dashboard also identifies and provides valuable information like customers who often buy and cancel their plans. The metrics to use for this dashboard are Net Profit Margin Working Capital Return on Equity,” Cason writes.

3. Marketing Dashboard

Marketing dashboards give an overview of your overall marketing performance as in this Monthly Marketing Performance Dashboard Template — one of our most downloaded dashboards.

Marketing Dashboard example

Again, you can add more metrics and custom calculations to this board depending on your marketing team’s priorities and requirements.

Take it from Keynote Speakers, for example. Sergio Diaz notes that the main KPIs they use are: “Total Traffic, Traffic sources, Traffic Regions, Bounce rate, Leads generated, Total potential business, Conversion rate, Total monthly revenue, Average dwell time, Content/pages viewed.”

“We also run heatmaps to get some data on user experience,” adds Diaz. “For beginners, it is important to keep it simple in the beginning and try not to overcomplicate things as it is easy to get quickly overwhelmed.”

“Conversion Rate Optimization is about testing one key factor at a time and then when you have fully optimized that, then move on to the next one,” Diaz explains.

“For example, if you are optimizing your traffic source, you need to make sure you fully understand the value of one specific traffic source (SEO, Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) before you start doing more. Very often new businesses are so excited to get out there that they do too many things at once and then it’s hard to measure the success and do proper CRO.”

4. Web Analytics Dashboard

Another best dashboard to create is a web analytics dashboard that displays all the essential web data on one screen. Use it to monitor key data that will help you optimize your web pages.

Not sure what to add to this dashboard? Take this Google Analytics Website Traffic & Engagement template, for example. It’s one of our users’ favorite dashboards that tracks and displays all the essential website engagement metrics such as average time on page, bounce rate, and average session duration.

Web Analytics Dashboard example

Another web analytics dashboard that our users love is this Google Analytics KPI Dashboard. It displays useful metrics like Top Pages by Pageviews, Sessions by Channel, and a complete Audience Overview.

Google Analytics KPI Dashboard

It’s not necessary that each of these metrics in these templates would be important to you. Chances are you’re focusing on a handful of web metrics — not all of these. In such a case, pick the template that best suits you. Then, remove metrics not important to you — even add different ones as needed.

Portant’s James Fyfe, for instance, shares their company focuses mainly on four metrics:

  • Unique Monthly Visitors. It’s crucial that we monitor the unique visitors it has monthly. It helps us identify where our unique visitors come from – backlinks, social media, or organic traffic. It allows us to focus on the source that generated the most unique visits.
  • Conversion. Besides recording the number of visits, it’s also important to identify which of those visitors were successfully converted to active users. We follow the formula of converting leads to customer percentages.
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue. This is really a must since we can easily identify whether we improved versus our previous month or not. We can use this as a basis to identify if we’re generating any income, as well.
  • Free-to-paid upgrades. This is another important KPI to track when you offer both a free and paid version. In our case, we would see how many free users upgraded because they are maximizing the services we offer. It also gives us a preview of our ROI. Of course, if the rate is low, then all of our investments are lost.”

5. Sales Dashboard

“A sales performance dashboard measures things like sales performance, which will help inform the strategies of not just the sales department, but marketing, financial, and operational planning teams too,” defines Textel’s James Diel.

This Databox Sales Overview dashboard template, for example, does exactly this — informing you about sales performance by displaying KPIs like New Deals, Closed Won, Closed Lost, and more.

Sales Dashboard example

You can also customize it to add other KPIs such as profit margin and total revenue — metrics that Diel recommends adding to a sales dashboard.

According to Diel, “This dashboard should include all your metric ‘biggies,’ like total revenue, profit margin, closing rate, and sales growth. Don’t be distracted by all the bells and whistles — dashboards are supposed to make complex data simple and digestible.”

It’s important to keep in mind here that sales and marketing alignment is key for business growth. Diel also mentioned that a sales dashboard is useful to more than just the sales team. To this end, create another dashboard that offers shared insights relevant to both teams.

Our users love this fully customizable Marketing & Sales Overview Dashboard template for this very reason. 

Marketing and sales dashboard example

Remember: you can change KPIs to track in this template as needed.

David Reid from VEM Group recommends tracking metrics like Customer Lifetime Value and Customer Acquisition Cost. You can always add them to the templates above.

Here’s a walkthrough of the KPIs Reid suggests adding to a sales dashboard and why:

  • Marketing revenue attribution. Understanding this metric is very crucial as it determines the success rate of the campaign. Since no company wants to spend their budgets on things that do not give them good returns, this KPI metric, when included in marketing, can let the companies know about the places where they are missing out on it. One can use either single-touch attribution or multi-touch attribution, depending on their capabilities. This is merely a metric that shows how your revenue is influenced by the marketing efforts that you put in.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost. This KPI metric looks at the total money spent on marketing and how much more has to be done to gain a new customer. It also includes other metrics like salaries, technology, commission, and software needed to associate a lead to your business.
  • Customer Lifetime Value. This metric calculates how much a company can expect to provide from an average single person in their lifetime. It is more important than the others as it also includes the money needed to attract new customers to one’s business. The lifetime value of the customers can be obtained as a product of average sales per customer, the average number of times a customer purchases, and the average lifetime of a customer.”

6. HR Dashboard

An HR dashboard is another best dashboard to design as it helps optimize human resources. In fact, Tim Schroeder from Learning Real Estate says “HR dashboards are a must-have for a company because it promotes effective communication within the organization.”

“This particular dashboard is not only beneficial for the HR department but also for employees. It can be used as a platform to share important news, such as work anniversaries, birthdays, etc.,” Schroeder says.

Using an HR dashboard, in particular, “reduces any chances of human error, like double booking candidates at the same time or misplacing resumes. It also helps the HR team to be organized and efficient.”

“It’s most helpful for the HR department, but others can use it to view the company policies and procedures,” adds Schroeder. “This dashboard becomes a portal to check all the resources for employees. As a result, it boosts employee morale due to a transparent work environment.”

The best part? Creating this HR dashboard isn’t rocket science. Simply pick a dashboard template from Databox’s template library, customize it to meet your needs, and your dashboard is ready.

Here’s an example Team Time Report dashboard template to try:

HR Dashboard example

While this is an example of a time-tracking HR dashboard, another example of an HR dashboard is a workforce diversity dashboard that Foxbackdrop’s Evelyn Smith highlights.

“This allows us to dig deeper and understand our workforce. It enables us to understand any potential gaps in management representation at the senior level. This type of dashboard is helpful to managers, Chief Human Resource Officer, CEO, and the company’s stakeholders.”

Smith goes on, “The metrics that you can track in this dashboard would be the ethnicity of employees, country of origin, and the compensation of diverse employees. The data provided through this dashboard is easy to understand, allowing stakeholders to make decisions to ensure the sustainability of our company.”

7. Customer Support Dashboard

Quick and helpful customer support can help you stand out against competitors because it shows your customers you value them. It’s why we couldn’t miss adding a customer support dashboard to this list.

The dashboard helps you see all essential support metrics in one central place, assisting in improving your support service.

Not only that but a customer support dashboard template can help you see how your team is performing. This is crucial for optimizing performance and setting realistic goals around improving your service.

Here’s a Customer Support Overview Dashboard template that you can use. It gives a full overview of the Leads coming in, the ongoing Conversations, how many conversations the support team is having on a given day, and so on.

Customer Support Dashboard example

8. SaaS Dashboard  

“The subscription model is beneficial because it ensures continuous revenue for businesses. A subscriber commits to your service for a fixed length of time, resulting in regular monthly income for the duration of the contract,” notes Alex Haley from YardsNearMe.

But for you to track how much revenue those users bring, how many of them are staying with you, and more, you need to track performance metrics. It’s here that another useful dashboard comes into the picture: a SaaS dashboard.

Like other dashboards shared in this list of amazing dashboards, a SaaS dashboard also shares important KPIs. These are, however, relevant to your SaaS product, showing how well it’s doing.

This Profitwell Churn Overview Dashboard, for instance, shares all churn-related metrics and happens to be one of our most downloaded templates.

SaaS Dashboard example

If you don’t want to limit your SaaS dashboard to churn-related metrics only, personalize this template to add other KPIs.

Haley even shares ideas for creating different SaaS dashboards:

  • “Large Ticket Item Dashboard. This dashboard would be valuable to a marketing team in almost any company with a high price point and, as a result, a high client acquisition cost.
  • Deals Closed Dashboard. This is an accommodating KPI dashboard for determining whether your marketing plan is on track to meet your objectives. For example, the ‘First Page Seen’ area displays which page your visitors interact with first; if that page hasn’t been updated in a while, consider optimizing it for better conversions.”

9. Software Development Dashboard

SaaS businesses also need to keep track of new features released, their performance, bug complaints, fixes, and similar.

Again, using an IT dashboard helps reduce work and tasks related to tracking new features and bug fixes across your team.

Thankfully, this GitHub Overview Dashboard Template can help save time by providing easy-to-digest information on a well-designed dashboard.

 Software Development Dashboard

It gives all the latest updates on one screen including the Issues Open and Close, and Total Pull Requests.

10. Ecommerce Dashboard

Don’t run a SaaS company? Use an ecommerce dashboard that shows your store’s performance metrics such as Revenue, AOV, Transactions, and so on.

This way, you can easily track and optimize your store’s performance and understand which products and channels drive the most revenue. Use the information to double down on revenue channels that are working and improve or provide offers on products that drive the most revenue.

Instead of creating a dashboard from scratch though, use this Google Analytics (Ecommerce overview) Dashboard Template that shows all key metrics on one screen:

Ecommerce Dashboard example

If you prefer, you can change the metrics as well as the data sources in this dashboard template.

And if you have a Shopify store and want to track metrics from there instead of Google Analytics, use this Shopify Store Overview Dashboard Template instead:

Shopify dashboard example

Build Beautiful Dashboards in Databox for Free

Here’s hoping you’re ready to start leveraging dashboards for your business now that you have a ready list of the best dashboards to use.

Stuck on choosing the right dashboard building tool? Chances are “you may be tempted to choose a tool that slices and dices data in every way imaginable,” James Diel from Textel points out.

“But if it leads to a complex interface that is less user-friendly, you may be better choosing another option,” Diel warns.

So what should you be looking for instead? “Look for a data architecture that presents the most essential data simply, and progressively drills down into more detail as needed for clarity. Your goal is to remove as much of the ‘noise’ as you can to save time and gather valuable insights.”

And to simplify the decision further, we recommend using Databox.

For one, it gives you customizable, ready-to-use templates that help users hit the ground running. All you’ve to do is to connect your data sources with the dashboard building software and it’ll pull all the important metrics on one visually engaging screen.

And two, not only does Databox present data simply and beautifully, but it also auto-updates it so every time you review a dashboard, you see freshly updated insights.

To top it all, Databox is easy to use. So what are you waiting for? Take Databox for a spin for free and create well-designed dashboards today.

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About the author
Masooma Memon
Masooma Memon Masooma is a freelance writer for SaaS and a lover to-do lists. When she's not writing, she usually has her head buried in a business book or fantasy novel.
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