Let's say, you're driving down a road and you come across a speed-limit sign of 20 miles per hour. How will you know if you're driving safely within speed limits and avoid the consequences of speeding? You'll look at the speedometer on your dashboard, which will give you the current speed of your car. If it is over the 20 mile per hour limit, you'll use your brakes and accelerator to bring down the speed. Dashboards, in business intelligence tools, work the same way.
Dashboards in business intelligence software refer to a set of indicators that tell you the current state of a process or business metric. They are business intelligence data visualizations. They work if their design and aesthetics help you understand the data better. It helps the decision-making process on a daily basis.
Whether you're steering your organization from a loss making year to a profit making year or from a profit making year to a larger profit making year, you need to have a road map. Your road map is your strategy. At each turn, crossroad or fork that your business presents, you need to know which direction to take. And if there is trouble on your route, you need to know which other route you can take to get where you want, ideally without losing time. That's the big picture. But while you're steering it, your guide is your dashboard. How you read it determines the fortunes of your company. Technology firms can help you set up your dashboard but what indicators you select is entirely up to you.
For example, if you're a travel website company, you'd probably want to know:
These data sets become indicators on your dashboard.
If you're selling cars, you'd probably want to know:
These data sets become a part of your dashboard.
Depending on the type, size, and location of your business, dashboard requirements will vary. Your choice of indicators will depend on: