Debunking Common Myths About Using A KPI Dashboard

Matt Black on March 16, 2016 • 5 minute read

Being able to hone in on data and metrics that tell the story of your business and how it’s performing isn’t just nice to have anymore – it’s an absolute must!

Now you may be thinking… easier said than done!

The key to making it a reality is to find the right tools and methods to keep track of the things that matter most to your business.

And that’s where KPI dashboards come in – designed to keep your entire company on the same page and aware of how the business is performing, your dashboard can show you the way forward while always keeping you informed in the moment.

You can’t afford to solely rely on your analytics team to help you understand where your business is at and why. Dashboards can save you a ton of time – and keep your business on its toes.

But despite their utility, several nagging myths may be keeping you from taking the plunge and letting a dashboard help guide your organization.

Let’s dispel a few of these and make it easier for you to find an effective KPI dashboard, shall we?

Myth #1: A KPI Dashboard is a pain to implement.

Any dashboard worth your time won’t be.

While some solutions may indeed take weeks or months to implement, others (like Databox!) can be connected much faster. When selecting a KPI dashboard vendor, make sure you’re clear about what data sources you’ll want to connect, as well as which metrics are important to you and your business. That way, you can select a vendor that gives you the most seamless integrations so implementation won’t be a pain.

As is generally the case, the devil is in the details. Pre-work is critical to make sure your implementation goes smoothly, and, even more importantly, that you’re introducing something that will have real value for your team. You’ve got to have a firm grasp on what it is you’re trying to measure and accomplish before you start trying to shoehorn data into a dashboard. You’ve also got to understand, specifically, which problems you want to solve for your business. For example, how deeply do you want to be able to dig? It also helps to be clear on whether you want to access your dashboard on your desktop, on mobile or both. (But more on that later.)

After making some of these key preliminary decisions, you could be just a few clicks away from your dashboard being ready to report.

Myth #2: Dashboards are too generic and can’t be personalized.

While there are some dashboards that are hard to use or still require BI to create new reports, that’s definitely not always the case. If you’re exploring the features of a potential dashboard, it’s safe to say that it’s not right for you if you can’t put your own spin on it.

Think about it: what’s the point if you can’t narrow in on the data you need and receive it in a way that’s most convenient for you and your team? Do you want everyone to be able to create their own reports? Or will there need to be different alerts or notifications set up for each individual? Questions like who is going to have access to the dashboard and how each stakeholder’s usage will differ really matter during the exploration process.

By setting up your KPI dashboard to fit your needs, you’re in a much better spot to make quick decisions based on what happens in your business. Your sense of control is greater. Plus, it allows you to be more versatile in your approach! Instead of focusing solely on sales figures or strictly marketing data, you should be able to mix and match your data in ways that are most convenient and easy-to-use for you.

Personalization gives you a stronger sense of ownership over your business’ results, and a greater ability to affect change. And isn’t that ultimately what it’s all about?

Myth #3: A KPI Dashboard won’t help me pay attention to what matters.

If your dashboard doesn’t help you pay attention to what matters, you’ve got the wrong dashboard…

But the key here is the first part of that equation – have you really zeroed in on what matters?

Because if everything is important, then nothing is actually important.

You’ve got to be clear on what the KEY metrics you really need to be tracking are – and from there, making sure those are front and center.

Instead of wasting time poring through figures that aren’t relevant at that particular moment, you should be able to get exactly what you want when you want it within a few quick seconds. For instance, Databox allows everyone in your organization to customize their own scorecard or set up alerts specific to the metrics that they need to stay on top of.

That’s about as personal as it gets.

You should always choose a dashboard vendor that allows you to easily customize what’s important for YOUR business.

Myth #4: Dashboards aren’t mobile friendly.

We’re all attached to our phones now… so any dashboard that doesn’t put considerable thought into the mobile experience it provides isn’t worth it’s salt.

And I’m not just talking aesthetics here.

Think about the dynamics of your organization – are people using tablets? Smartphones? On the road traveling a lot? Mostly sitting at their desks? You’ve got to consider a dashboard solution that makes sense for the use cases that matter most in your business.

Frankly, your dashboard should have one ultimate goal: help you avoid being caught off guard by keeping the key data you need front and center, whether you’re on-the-go, in a meeting or out with a client. You should feel in tune with how your company is performing – from anywhere, at any time.

Without mobile support, you’re blind to important data whenever you’re away from your desk.

While choosing a KPI dashboard to fit your business, you’ve got to make sure the tool you go with has a small learning curve, is easily personalized, keeps you up-to-the-minute and works well no matter where you are. Databox does all of this and more – sign up here to get started for free, and pay attention to what matters today!

About the author
Matt Black is a copywriting digital marketer based in Toronto, Canada. He loves sports, Quentin Tarantino's movies and traveling wherever, whenever.
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