8 August 2016
7 Ways Business Dashboard Software Can Change A Manager’s Life
It feels great “being in the zone”, doesn’t it?
You’re completely aware of everything going on in your company; deadlines are met, everything is under budget, you’re firing on all cylinders.
You -> Zone. Don’t you wish it could be like this more often? Not just for you, but everyone at your company? Here’s the deal: it can.
Imagine having one place where all of the information you need to do your job is available and waiting for you. You can have a personal assistant that can get you up to speed on everything you need to be a rock star in your industry.
It’s called business dashboard software, and it and visually reports the status of different areas of your business in one place. Think of it as a car dashboard: it’s showing you your speed, engine temperature, amount of gas, engine revs, mileage, and alerts you of any issues that may arise.
You can have that for your business as well, and here are 7 ways it can change your life.
Reason #1: Get the “pulse” of your company
This is a good exercise to find out what you could use in a dashboard.
Whenever we start on a dashboard for one of our custom software projects, I always sit down with the person who’s going to use it and say, “You just left a marathon meeting and stop at your desk before heading to the bathroom. What do you need to know in 30 seconds about what’s going on in your company? Because you obviously can’t wait.”
The point is that you can’t sit and wait for a report to download. Depending on what you may have had for lunch, you need that information NOW.
Whereas before you’d probably call a few people to ask the status of this or that task, where a report is, what do the numbers look like on this sale – all of that can be pulled for you automatically and made available in an instant.
Reason #2: Quickly identify issues
Rarely does a situation just happen. There are always warning signs.
Maybe the project budget is creeping too high. Maybe too many hours are being spent on a task. Maybe a deadline slipped in the very beginning of a project which could have a snowball effect further down the line.
Over the years you’ve learned to identify these warning signs so you’re able to respond. These warning signs can be put in a single place and made available for you so you can respond faster.
Instead of waiting for the building to burn down, you can respond at the first sign of smoke.
Reason #3: Information comes to you
You probably pull a report, analyze that report, and make a decision based on that report. How much of your time would be saved if step 1 and part of step 2 were already done for you. Minutes add into hours over the course of a week or month.
Instead of having to go get last month’s sales numbers to compare to this month, you can just glance and see the trends. Or a notification can be sent to you when a project budget exceeds 80%. You could see what tasks were completed between all of your employees without having to chase them down.
When the information comes to you, you’re able to make decisions that much faster.
Reason #4: Your business in your pocket
Thanks to responsive design, you can have your business dashboard available anywhere.
Your mobile phone can be your window into the status of your business. The information that you need to make sure everything’s running smoothly can be there while you’re waiting for a cab, or when you walk out of a meeting.
Instead of having to sort through email and phone calls to understand what’s happening, you can quickly get up-to-speed while on the go and know exactly what demands your attention.
Reason #5: Automates reporting
Ask yourself this: why do you need to go get information and then assemble it yourself so you can learn how your business is doing? Reports can come in a variety of shapes and formats – but nearly all of them can be automatically pulled and delivered to you.
Your accountants can have the previous day’s sales sitting in their inbox when they arrive. Managers can have the week’s hours waiting for them. Instead of requiring your employees to go get the information they need, you can automate the reporting of this information and make it available the exact time they need it.
Reason #6: Task people instantly
You have all of this information at your fingertips. What do you do with it?
Tasking people and resources to handle a situation is the unsung hero of a business dashboard. Being able to see the status of your business at-a-glance allows you to better positions resources and people to address issues or create opportunities.
Reason #7: Reduce decision fatigue
This is the best part of a business dashboard.
Decision fatigue is that feeling of being “drained” at the end of the day. Your mind is only capable of so many decisions in a day before it needs to be recharged. High-level CEOs and heads of state get around this by having armies of assistants that can gather the information they need and present it to them, saving their time and brainpower to make important decisions throughout their day.
Instead of having to chase down information to push things ahead, you can save your brainpower for just the high-level decision making and really focus on working on your business, and not in your business.
This can free you up to make the high-level decisions to better steer your company in the proper direction. How good would a captain be if they spent all of their time below deck checking in on the cargo, engines, etc – instead of up top making sure the ship is going in the right direction?
Business dashboard software may seem like a luxury, but in today’s world of focused data and analytics, they’ve become an asset. The savings in time, energy, and resources by making information instantly available is an easy investment.