If there is one phrase that represents both enormous potential and challenges to organizations today, it is big data. We have more and more data available to us every day and many companies are stymied by the sheer volume of managing it. And yet data-driven decision making is more important than ever. The unlikely and overlooked hero is the manager that can turn this avalanche of information into a well-designed dashboard.
Dashboards are incredibly important because they condense and organize massive amounts of data so executives and managers can get the most relevant information in the least amount of time. When done right, dashboards provide valuable insight into the health of an organization and strongly influence executive decision making. If you’re not sure what “done right” looks like, don’t worry—we’re going to show you several executive dashboard examples you can learn from.
10 Executive Dashboard Examples
There’s no one-size-fits-all dashboard. You’ll gather information from various sources to create different types of dashboards for different audiences. Each of these has its own purpose and communicates specific types of data:
This dashboard is a high-level snapshot of a company’s financial health. It will help you make decisions about the resources you have and how to allocate them. A finance dashboard might cover a variety of aspects—profit and loss, cash management, client revenue, etc. But what’s most important is the dashboard should summarize and interpret the numbers, not just report them. Having that financial data easily accessible is critical to keeping a company profitable.
- Datapine’s profit and loss dashboard organizes information using a nice, clean format. You can see financial trend lines over time and high-level groupings of metrics to give profit-loss context. Also, the right margin provides executives with a quick view of how the financials break down in each category.
- Quickbooks, unquestionably a leading brand in the accounting and finance industry, also does an excellent job of grouping common information together. The client dashboard gives you a hyper-focused view of your accounts, as well as a summary of paid versus open invoices. This financial dashboard example, and many other dashboards offered by Quickbooks, gives a high-level view of metrics that make sense to examine in context.
How successful are your company’s marketing efforts at generating new sales or customers? That’s the story a marketing dashboard will tell. Its high-level metrics will likely include website visits, converted contacts, marketing qualified leads, and more. A good marketing dashboard should also expose whether people are getting “stuck” at any stages of your sales pipeline.
- Hubspot’s marketing dashboard makes it easy to view goals and compare leads at different stages. With a sophisticated filter tool, users can look at year-over-year and month-over-month trends, both as percentages and hard numbers. The dashboard is also highly customizable, so it can be tailored to the preferences of different executives.
Operations & Safety Dashboards
An operations and safety dashboard is an internal audit tool that helps organizations proactively manage and prevent risk. A good safety dashboard will offer resolutions rather than just findings, and shift the focus from charts and numbers to the larger goal of promoting safety best practices. The dashboard may include hazard identification, incident management, training and awareness, etc., and would ideally be updated more frequently than a strategic dashboard because it will be critical to catch any safety issues immediately.
- IndustrySafe’s dashboards are designed to provide real-time monitoring of safety performance metrics. The dashboard tabs allow you to drill down to information in relevant categories and tailor the view with customizable charts and graphs. This dashboard presents complex data in an easy-to-navigate format.
HR dashboards can manifest in many different ways. They range from reporting on internal, qualitative metrics such as employee satisfaction to quantitative, external metrics like recruiting success rates. Having an HR dashboard is particularly useful for larger companies to track employee turnover and retention. Those numbers typically give management insight into whether teams have the right capabilities for their roles and highlight potential problem areas.
- PeopleInsight is a good example of a platform that combines data from various sources and allows you to tailor your HR dashboards to your organization’s business goals. Their dashboards provide analytics in different contexts, whether it’s an at-a-glance executive overview, a close look at your candidate pipeline, or a turnover map segmented by department, time at the company, or other factors.
- Another dashboard example comes from the data management and visualization platform iDashboards. This detailed dashboard focuses on employee metrics—not only satisfaction rates, but numbers and percentages that may provide other clues about the overall happiness of employees. From tenure to turnover, you can drill down into each metric to get further details. If you’re looking for a tool capable of highlighting specific areas of responsibility in HR, iDashboard is a good option.
Specialized dashboards have a more focused purpose than the other business dashboard examples we’ve described. They can be tailored to your company’s particular growth stage, industry, and metrics. They are also frequently used for specific, narrow projects.
- Baremetrics, a company offering analytics and insights tools, has some interesting examples of specialized dashboards. Their dashboards are designed with startups in mind, and can integrate with several tools startups use for financial management. If you’re a startup and just beginning to track metrics, or want to be more transparent about your revenue, expenses, and more, Baremetics has: clean, straightforward formats for metrics; a live revenue stream; and nice, company-to-company comparisons.
- Sisense, a business analytics company, has a wide variety of specialized dashboard examples worth noting. From investors and supply chains to healthcare organizations, you can create a dashboard for virtually any industry-specific metrics. This is particularly useful when harnessing large, complex data sets into a dashboard, or comparing your processes and practices to others across the industry.
- A final example of specialized dashboards comes from Asana, a workflow and project management software. Its dashboards are an easy-to-read snapshot of a team’s efforts, including how many tasks are completed, how many are outstanding, and where the tasks fall into different projects and categories. It helps you assess and report on workload, across teams and depts, in a very visual way.
Strategy dashboards give executives insight into an organization’s performance as it relates to the strategic plan. These dashboards reflect progress toward goals and spotlight specific initiatives that are in play to reach those goals. Strategy dashboards are not operational, but instead capture how the company as a whole is progressing toward its long-term goals.
ClearPoint’s dashboards start at a very high, visual level and then allow users to drill down several layers for more information. Strategy dashboards will likely be presented to audiences with different levels of understanding of the strategic plan and planning process in general, so the ability to quickly view an overarching summary or zoom in on details about metrics and projects is incredibly valuable.
- The City of Germantown, Tennessee showcases a municipal strategy dashboard. What’s unique for cities is the primary audience for their dashboards is citizens. Prioritizing transparency, Germantown posts a summary of all Key Performance Areas and their statuses directly on its homepage. Citizens can click on an Area to see the objectives, performance indicators, and action plans that contribute to its performance, and drill down even further to see charts, analysis, and more. It’s easy to access various amounts of information, depending on each citizen’s level of interest.
ClearPoint’s management reporting platform also provides strategy dashboards to help leadership teams track and manage the progress of their goals, KPIs, and projects. It combines data from multiple sources and displays it for internal audiences (leadership teams), making it easy to lead meetings, build reports, and more.
Key pieces of the strategy can be published (like in the Germantown example above), but ClearPoint’s real value comes from its ability to easily create the reports and dashboards your management team needs, allowing them to focus on executing strategy. Whether it’s heat maps, chart dashboards, or qualitative analysis with RAG statuses, you can get it all in one place with ClearPoint.
Remember this about executive dashboards…
The previous executive dashboard examples can guide you and spark ideas on how to structure your own dashboards. However you choose to proceed, keep these points in mind:
- Only report on meaningful data that provides insight (don’t track metrics just because you can).
- Group data in a relevant way that provides context.
- Identify your performance targets.
- Provide the ability to drill down into the information.
- Determine reporting frequency based on the type of dashboard (e.g. daily operational dashboards versus quarterly strategic dashboards).
- Maintain your dashboards; don’t let them become irrelevant or out of date.
There’s much more to learn about the power of dashboards. Explore how ClearPoint makes reporting easy with dashboards and scorecards that update themselves.