This video shows the importance of using executive dashboards, infographics, and other data visualization tools.
- In the old days how did managers receive performance measurement data? Often, managers would get a weekly or monthly report on paper, in a booklet or binder. The numbers were all there, but it took a ton of work to look through them. From there we moved to spreadsheets. If you were really lucky, you'd get access to a database. Finding important numbers, required to make important decisions, was difficult and time consuming.
Now a days, though, organizations utilize executive dashboards. As the name would imply, these are supposed to be the equivalent of a car dashboard for your company. They're intended to provide important, bare bones information about the parts of the organization for which you are responsible. Unlike the paper reports, information has been curated for us. It's right there in front of us on our computer screens. And unlike the paper reports, the data available to us is often in real time.
Also, unlike the spreadsheets and databases, you don't have to manipulate the data to find answers. The dashboard is generating numbers we need. Effectively this is a picture of our KPIs in real time. What's great about these executive dashboards is that they are visually appealing, even for those that don't love numbers. They can be instructive. They might not just provide you numbers, they can even deliver words of advice.
Another really interesting thing about the dashboards, since they are visually appealing, they are artistic works, communicating a unique perspective on the company for each individual manager. That's not to say that they're without their problems. Once executive dashboards became popular, companies, as they often do with metrics, went a little bit overboard. Some dashboards are now many, many pages, with dozens of metrics. In many cases, the manager can drill down into the page for more and more detail.
Just like with our world of metrics, some dashboards are now just overwhelming. They can actually complicate the decision making process. Another big issue is that the company can control the development of the metric. The dashboard might over emphasize the importance of certain metrics and, through some simple manipulations, the dashboard can be used to deceive. Executive dashboards, in one form or another, are here to stay, so understanding the fundamentals of performance measurement will become even more important.
Whether you're asked to just monitor performance, via an executive dashboard, or if you're lucky enough to be tasked with designing a dashboard for your company.
- Metrics and human behavior
- Common corporate errors in measuring
- Developing a good metric
- Using the performance measurement tune-up
- Avoiding redundancy
- Using dashboards, infographics, and other data visualization tools