As a small business owner you already understand the importance of being able to collate and monitor data, to help you align your business in the future. However, this is often a time consuming process which could be made easier with the help of a business dashboard.
Through a convenient ‘easy-to-read’ visual display, dashboards pull complex data relevant to your company from multiple areas and present it on one screen. This includes information such as key performance indicators and metrics. This data can then be used to channel behaviour to deliver better results and grow your business.
Now you have a basic understanding of what a business dashboard is, let’s delve deeper and take a closer look at 4 compelling reasons why business dashboards are important to SMB’s.
Highlights key areas quickly
Business dashboards ultimately take their name from auto-mobile dashboards, in the sense that under the hood of your vehicle there are hundreds of processes that occur when your vehicle is in motion. Your vehicle dashboard summarizes these processes in an easy-to-read way and displays them right where you can see it. Therefore at any time you can glance at your dashboard and see exactly what’s going on.
In the same way, a business dashboard uses visual data to quickly identify key areas of your business, where something is or isn’t working. It could for instance be a particular advertising campaign that’s resonating well with your target audience, or an underperforming department that isn’t achieving the results they should. This is vital information for any small business because it means that you can channel your efforts and money into what needs to be improved, or alternatively what’s going well, rather than blindly throwing time and money at areas of your business that doesn’t need it.
Saves time and money
In any form of business time is money, and one of the key factors of a business dashboard is that it saves you time. It may for instance take a staff member a week or so to collate relevant data, refine it, then put it into a report and send it to you. Whereas with a business dashboard, you can log in at any given moment and get an immediate and overall picture of just how your business is fairing. Having this information to hand means that you can identify and tackle key problems early, keeping your business sailing in the right direction, while staying one step ahead of your competition.
Great business driver
We’ve already stated that analyzing vast areas of data connected to your business can be complex and confusing. One of the main advantages is that it simplifies this data. Whether this is in the form of visual graphs or traffic lights, dashboards make it easy for anyone to quickly identify where their targets lay, and whether they’re reaching or exceeding them. By providing on-demand access to core metrics such as KPI’s, it promotes an environment whereby everyone on the team can use the dashboard system to up their game and deliver significantly better results. In other words, a simplified dashboard can become a great business driver.
Levels the playing field
Business dashboards have the ability to level the playing field when competing with larger businesses. A small business owner can have immediate access to a whole host of data which allows them to re-focus their efforts, or to change tack towards new opportunities, as they see fit. Generally smaller companies are geared up to be more agile, and therefore they can do this at a much quicker pace than slow-moving, larger organizations. This often puts them ahead of the game, allowing them to reap the rewards while the big boys play catch-up.
To sum up
Business dashboards offer clear and concise benefits for SMB’s including:
- The ability to merge and track vast quantities of ‘big data’ which is easily identified in real time, giving you a consolidated view of your entire business
- Quickly highlighting key areas that are underperforming or over-performing, which can then be targeted to achieve better results
- Internal transparency allowing any user to access relative data to improve performance
- Promoting competition and team empowerment allowing members to make data-driven decisions
- Handing over the advantage of agility and surprise to smaller companies over their larger competitors.
There’s no doubt that a potent dashboard can significantly help SMB’s in a number of ways. If you want to radically improve your business performance over the next 12 months, then you’d be crazy not to use one.