Analytics for a 360 Degree View of Your Organization
The executive management team is busy at every organization, and it is vital that they have an accurate view of how the company is currently performing. Imagine trying to get an understanding of organizational performance with a schedule full of meetings all day. A department may have a report that it uses to track daily statistics, but what if the organization contains many departments? An executive does not have the time in his or her day to sit down and open each individual report to review results. Executives require a better way of understanding “across the board performance” to be able to steer the company toward success. Developing a dashboard is the perfect solution to provide executive management with a 360 degree view of their organization.
What is a 360 degree view of an organization?
The answer is simple, it can vary based on the company, but essentially it should be a complete look of the company – in one glance. This should include the current state of the business, but it is also helpful to look at data from the past to display trends over time. The future plan of the business could be included in the 360 degree view as well. Executive management makes decisions on where the company should go in the future based on where the company is today. The key performance indicators (KPIs) are a big part of an organization, and should be included in the data visualization. It could be helpful to include a comparison of how the company is actually performing versus how that company planned for itself to perform. It is important to take in all pieces of the business’s past, present, and future to display a complete, 360 degree view.
What would an executive like to see in a dashboard?
The dashboard should provide real-time data so that it refreshes upon opening, giving the executive the capability to see the company’s performance at a snapshot glance. It should also be able to filter on different cuts of the organization, so that if the executive wants to look at specific department or product information he or she can do so easily without leaving the dashboard. Finally, the metrics used on this dashboard should be at the highest level. Executives will not have time to study detailed numbers. Executives may prefer to see different metrics on a dashboard depending on what industry the company is currently in today. In a company in the finance industry, executives may want to see total transactions and number of stores which were active that day. In the manufacturing industry, executive management may want to see the total number of products produced for the day or the average time at which an assembly line was running. Management will determine what metrics are important to understanding the success of the business.
How would you build a dashboard for an executive?
Any dashboard created for an executive should have one key quality: Simplicity. The dashboard needs to be easily accessible from a page or folder that the executive has access to and visits daily. Keep charts clear of clutter, excessive points or crisscrossing lines. Make sure to label all graphs and axes. All metrics displayed on the homepage should be at the highest level of the organization. The dashboard should then offer the functionality to drill into more details in case the user would like to look into any positive or negative trend. Finally, incorporate company colors and fonts to make the dashboard consistent with the company brand.
By taking all of the above things into consideration, a dashboard can be created (like the one pictured below) which will provide executive management with a 360 degree view of the organization. Management is now able to view the data from all lines of business across a company in one easy to read file. This will have the benefit of freeing up time for the management team and providing them with up-to-date information so that they are able to steer the company forward to success.
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