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Running a business can require constant measurement and management of different metrics and data. Understanding that data can help you improve your business’ functions and accomplish its goals and objectives. A great way to measure and examine data is through key performance indicator (KPI) dashboards. These dashboards allow you to organize the data you want to see and create a more efficient workflow. In this guide, we discuss what a KPI dashboard is, review how you can benefit from them, and show how to create one with KPI dashboard examples.

What Is a KPI Dashboard?

A key performance indicator dashboard is a tool that takes all your KPIs and puts them in one spot so you can easily compare and analyze them. Key performance indicators are the metrics businesses use to measure how well their processes are performing. For example, let’s say a company wanted to measure the effectiveness of its marketing campaign. The key performance indicators it tracks might include its cumulative number of sales, sales revenue, sales numbers in specific regions or locations, and how much it’s spending on marketing efforts.

Examining these KPIs helps the company understand how well its marketing campaign is doing and if there’s anything it can do to improve its efforts and reach its goals. By placing all the KPIs on a dashboard, the company can see all of this data in one place to examine and analyze it more easily.

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Related: 7 Content Marketing KPIs to Track

What Are the Benefits of Using a KPI Dashboard?

There are several benefits to using a KPI dashboard, including:

Analyzing Your Business Strategy

KPI dashboards offer businesses real-time, interactive data all in one place. This allows marketers to analyze their business goals and strategies more efficiently and determine if they need to make adjustments. For instance, if a business noticed its marketing expenses continued to increase with little-to-no change in its sales numbers, the team knows changes might need to be made in order to reach objectives.

Improving Efficiency

With all the key performance indicators in one spot, business departments and employees can improve their work efficiency. That’s because all employees have access to the data they need in one convenient place. Whenever any department needs access to sales numbers, conversion rates, or revenue growth, they can pull up the dashboard quickly to find the information and continue with their work.

Making Informed Decisions

Using a KPI dashboard, companies can make better, more informed decisions because they have access to their data all in one place. For example, let’s say a business without a KPI dashboard saw that its marketing efforts weren’t helping its sales numbers. The business might not realize that, though its sales numbers were unaffected, its conversion rate and bounce rate improved significantly. Instead of scrapping the marketing campaign altogether, the business can readjust it to turn its conversions into sales.

Finding New Opportunities

KPI dashboards allow businesses to find opportunities they might not have known about previously. For example, using its dashboard, a company might notice that its sales momentarily increase every summer without applying additional marketing efforts. It can use this information to either apply more marketing and further increase its summer sales or reduce its marketing budget in the summer to save money.

How To Create a KPI Dashboard

Here’s a list of steps you can take to create your own KPI dashboard:

1. Decide On Your Business Goals

To make sure your KPI dashboard is as effective as possible, it’s important to set goals you can use the dashboard to track. A great way to set your business objectives is to use SMART goals. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

 

If you ensure your goals follow these guidelines, it’s easier to measure their performance and make adjustments as you go to ensure their success. For example, let’s say you’re trying to develop more social media engagement. Though setting a goal of “increasing engagement” is good, it might be better to create the goal of “increasing engagement by 25% over three months.” This aim provides you with a specific, attainable goal and a set amount of time to achieve it.

Related: Marketing Goals: How To Set and Achieve Them

2. Know Who’s Using It and How Often

Knowing who’s going to use the dashboard and how often can help you create a more efficient design. For example, if employees are accessing the dashboard every day, you need one with real-time data that’s constantly updating. It’s also helpful to understand who’s using it to help you create its visual design. If the employees using the dashboard don’t know a lot about data analysis, display the dashboard’s information in a way that’s easy to understand. But if the employees using the dashboard have a strong understanding of data analysis, your designs can be more advanced.

A great way to ensure your dashboard fits the needs of all employees who access it is to get them involved in the design process. Ask them what they want to see when they open the program and why they might need to use it.

3. Determine Your Key Performance Indicators

As you determine the key performance indicators, it’s important to focus on just the data you need to measure and use to accomplish your goals. It might feel helpful to have as much data as you can on your dashboard, but if it doesn’t directly relate to your goals, it might take up unnecessary space and clutter your display.

For example, if you want to measure your social media engagement, it might be helpful to include data such as paid engagement, organic engagement, page views, and rate of engagement from week to week. However, it might not be helpful to include sales information. Though it could be interesting to see how your social media affects your sales, it’s not a part of your goal to increase engagement.

4. Find The Best Visuals for Your Data

Dashboards often use different graphs and visuals to display a business’ data. As you create your dashboard, it’s important to pick the right visuals so you can easily read and analyze the information. For example, if you’re trying to compare social engagement based on industry or another demographic, it might be beneficial to use a pie graph or bar graph. But if you’re trying to uncover trends or changes over time, a line graph might be more useful.

Ensuring you have the right graphs for your data can help you and your team gather the information they need from the dashboard more quickly. This can help improve overall efficiency and allow your dashboard to deliver the best results.

5. Draft Your Design and Template

Now you’re finally ready to piece everything together. As you design the actual dashboard, it’s important to create a flow that’s easy for your employees to follow and understand. It’s also helpful to make sure the main KPIs are easily identifiable. For example, if you’re testing the effects of your marketing on sales, it might be good to have your cumulative sales numbers up front and center on your dashboard every time you open it.

If you’re able, consider hiring a graphic designer and coder to help you piece your dashboard together. There are also different software programs you can find online that can guide you in creating and stylizing a KPI dashboard without additional coding or design knowledge.

6. Get Feedback on Your Finished Product

After your dashboard design is complete, ask your team for feedback. This can help you make sure your dashboard is effective and delivers all the data your team needs. Some questions to consider include:

  • Is the information you need easy to find?
  • Do the graphs and visuals make sense for reviewing the data?
  • Does the dashboard’s information help you understand and measure your goals?
  • Are any key performance indicators missing from the dashboard?

 

Once you’ve heard feedback from your employees, make the changes so your dashboard is as efficient as possible.

KPI Dashboard Examples

Here are some KPI dashboard examples you can use to help you create your own. Though the KPIs may vary, depending on a company’s goals or objectives, these examples use common metrics you might find useful:

Management

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a management teamImage via Datapine

A management team might need a dashboard to see some general, yet crucial, information about a business’s performance. When developing a management dashboard, it’s helpful to include information, such as the number of customers, revenue, marketing expenses, and current targets or goals. These numbers help the management team see the progress of the company as a whole and make effective decisions to help it reach its objectives.

Sales

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a sales team

Image via Datapine

The sales dashboard allows a company’s sales team to see how their work is affecting sales numbers and revenue. On the dashboard, you can include information, such as cumulative sales revenue, sales for different regions, and the target sales for the quarter or year. Showing this data in real time can help employees and managers see the immediate results and benefits of their work to help motivate and encourage the team.

SaaS

Graphs depicting different KPIs for an SaaS company

Image via SimpleKPI

SaaS stands for Software as a Service and it’s a type of company that sells its software, either at a one-time fee or as a subscription service for businesses and consumers. Most often, these types of companies perform a lot of their sales through an e-commerce website. Therefore, it’s helpful for them to develop a KPI dashboard that covers important metrics, such as their conversion rate, number of website visitors, and the number of visitors compared to total sales.

Marketing

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a marketing teamImage via Datapine

Marketing dashboards provide information to marketing teams so they can see if their current efforts and campaigns are effective. When creating a marketing KPI dashboard, companies often include information such as the amount of money spent on marketing campaigns, current progress for sales or lead generation goals, cumulative sales, and the current return on investment percentage.

Related: Marketing KPIs: What You Need To Know and How They Can Help Your Marketing Campaign

Manufacturing

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a manufacturing teamImage via SimpleKPI

Manufacturing companies and departments might use KPI dashboards to keep track of important production data. These dashboards often update in real-time to make sure the company is meeting quotas and producing products at a consistent rate. On a manufacturing dashboard, businesses often add metrics, such as the number of goods produced, goods or units lost, overall productivity, and daily or weekly goals. If production falls behind, manufacturing managers can notice the delay on the dashboard and make adjustments to fix the issue.

Financial

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a financial team

Image via SimpleKPI

No matter the type of business, it’s helpful to keep track of your finances to manage your expenses and ensure everything stays within your budget. These dashboards provide employees with excellent insight into a company’s finances and help them make sure they don’t dip into the negative or overspend. Some common metrics on this dashboard include current assets, current liabilities, budgets for various departments, and your cash conversion cycle.

Retail

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a retail teamImage via Datapine

Retail dashboards help retail businesses keep track of important information, such as inventory and sales numbers. It also helps managers or store owners better understand customers’ purchasing habits and what items they’re most likely to return. Some KPI dashboards can also help retailers understand what times of day they’re most busy so they can properly staff the store. Some common KPIs you might find on this dashboard include the rate of return, the total number of sales, number of customers, and average sales per hour or day.

Human Resources

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a human resource team

Image via SimpleKPI

Keeping track of your human resources (HR) department can help you understand the effectiveness of your employees and how they contribute to your business needs. For instance, if your company is trying to hire more employees to help it grow and succeed, the human resource’s KPI dashboard can track the number of recent hires, along with the company’s current production rate. Some other data you can track with the dashboard include total HR costs, rate of employee absence, and the average number of days it takes to hire someone.

Warehouse

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a warehouse businessImage via Datapine

Warehouse inventory and management require constant upkeep to ensure everything is running smoothly. Using a KPI dashboard can help you make sure the warehouse is operating efficiently and that the operation costs don’t outweigh the benefits of the space. Some of the key elements to add to your warehouse dashboard include operating costs, current inventory level, total shipments or deliveries, and on-time shipments.

E-Commerce

Graphs depicting different KPIs for an e-commerce business

Image via SimpleKPI

E-commerce dashboards allow companies to understand how their online business is performing. Dashboards are especially helpful for this type of business because they often have a constant influx of data it needs to process and analyze. When developing an e-commerce dashboard, it’s helpful to include information such as the number of sales, conversion rate, and new customers versus returning customers’ comparison.

Customer Service

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a customer service teamImage via Datapine

Customer service focuses on improving consumer relations and helping them solve any problems or challenges. Having a KPI dashboard that informs you about important customer metrics can help you improve customer satisfaction and potentially increase other areas of your business, such as sales and revenue. Some helpful data to include on your customer service dashboard includes customer service budget, customer satisfaction level, number of open customer service requests, and the average time to solve an issue or challenge.

Social Media

Graphs depicting different KPIs for a social media marketing teamImage via Datapine

When you conduct social media marketing, there are a lot of metrics to consider to ensure that your posts and marketing materials are effective. Using a KPI dashboard can help you see that data in real time so you’re able to make more informed decisions and create posts with which your audience wants to engage. Some important metrics to include on your social media dashboard include the number of posts or page views, rate of engagement, the number of likes, comments, or shares, and the current number of followers.

Using KPI dashboards can help you better understand how your business functions and allow you to make more informed decisions about its processes. Knowing which types of dashboards to create and what to include in them can help you develop your company and engage with your target customers more efficiently.

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