Performance Dashboard (Definition, Types, and Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies use performance dashboards to obtain information about company metrics. Professionals can subsequently obtain information about employee performance and customer satisfaction. By knowing more about these dashboards, teams and professionals can adjust company strategies and operations to improve productivity. In this article, we explain what performance dashboards are, review their primary elements, identify the types of dashboards, discuss dashboards' benefits, and explore how to create a performance dashboard.

What is a performance dashboard?

A performance dashboard refers to a visual reporting and management tool that both entrepreneurs and managers use to establish the effectiveness of particular business metrics, like employee performance, customer satisfaction, and marketing campaigns. Tracking performance allows companies to monitor essential operations and activities. For example, you can review an inbound advertising campaign and compare it to an outbound campaign that you want to implement to determine which strategy is most effective. You can typically customize dashboards, which is why they're useful for many industries, including finance, health care, and customer service.

Key elements of performance dashboards

Here's a list of important elements to include in performance dashboards:

Measurable key performance indexes (KPIs)

The primary purpose of these dashboards is to display data that employees can use to implement strategies for accomplishing workplace goals. When working on a dashboard, you may include KPIs that you and your team consider beneficial for the company. An effective KPI is measurable, relevant to corresponding company goals, and timely. Here are some examples of KPIs that you can choose for your dashboard:

  • Average attendance

  • Revenue per client (RPC)

  • Profit margin (PM)

  • Client retention rate

  • Cost per hire

  • Cost per lead

  • Overtime hours

  • Customer turnover rate

  • Acceptance rate

  • Monthly sales achievement per employee

  • Number of qualified leads per month

  • Number of tasks completed per employee

  • Project resource use

  • Current accounts payable

Trends

An effective dashboard typically highlights various operational trends, for which you can include information at weekly or monthly intervals. This section is an essential element that allows team leaders and members of senior management to predict and observe emerging obstacles. To highlight trends, you can display the history of a few KPIs that are important for the organization, like operational costs or task acceptance rate.

Customization

When you design effective dashboards, you may consider how you can customize the dashboard to help ensure it's easy to use and accessible for team members. Having customized data allows different teams or departments to view different data or change its format depending on their overall objectives. For example, a project manager can choose to view how many tasks employees complete daily.

Imagery

You can use images, widgets, or pie charts in dashboards to allow users to visualize large data sets easily. You can develop dashboards that are simpler to understand by including images that detail the data. This allows you to highlight the information you want to present and personalize the dashboard for individual team members. For example, if you want to measure the performance of sales, you can place a team member's picture next to their monthly sales to increase personalization.

Real-time analytics

When displaying your analytics and previous data, you may consider how to display data in real-time. This helps you obtain an understanding of the company's current data and allows you to oversee the resources the team uses. You can also identify obstacles within the company by reviewing the analytics in real-time. For example, you can use these dashboards to highlight overdue payments that you may want to prioritize.

Types of performance dashboards

Here's a list of the types of performance dashboards you may consider:

Sales performance dashboards

A sales dashboard for performance is a tool that helps salespeople, sales managers, and clients monitor and track sales. It typically allows them to track KPIs and better understand which promotional campaigns and efforts are effective and which ones they can invest in to increase company revenue. Essential KPIs for sales performance dashboards include cost per click (CPC) and conversion rate into leads.

Related: How to Get into Sales in 5 Steps (With Tips and FAQs)

Marketing performance dashboards

Businesses use marketing dashboards to track and measure how well a campaign or product performs. A well-designed dashboard allows professionals to better understand how the conversion funnel performs and if the marketing team's efforts can generate enough traffic or sales. Dashboards that include both trends and real-time data help marketers determine how well their current campaigns perform in relation to past strategies.

PR and communications performance dashboards

PR and communication dashboards are effective tools that help companies plan, implement, track, measure, and analyze promotional campaigns and monitor continuously changing news cycles. Measuring applicable data and statistics helps public relations (PR) teams track their goals, ensure the success of their projects, and select which media outlets to approach for each client campaign they deliver. Typically, PR agencies choose these dashboards to use industry-specific metrics, like media coverage, potential viewership, and social media engagement and reactions.

Financial performance dashboards

Financial performance dashboards provide insight into financial KPIs and allow for effective budget management. Some KPIs you may include when designing a financial dashboard are an expense tracker, sales pipeline, or long-term value drivers. Typically, dashboards of this type are essential for employees who work in accounting, compensation management, risk analysis, or a new business.

Employee performance dashboards

An employee dashboard is an internal management tool that employers use to track and oversee the work of their employees. This type of dashboard typically includes critical information about each employee's daily and weekly performance, like how many tasks they've completed and how effective their work is. Managers use this information to measure an employee's success across multiple KPIs.

Benefits of performance dashboards

Here's a list of benefits associated with these dashboards:

Saves time

Many dashboards that track performance require you to adjust the settings and choose metrics a single time. Upon successful creation of a dashboard for performance, there's no requirement to review important business management data frequently. Including trend metrics in your dashboard can help with the prevention of obstacles and the development of reports because they provide you with the required information immediately.

Helps focus on KPIs

Key performance indicators are a primary component of every dashboard because they show measurable data used to assess performance. With an effective dashboard, you can present the same data in a visually appealing way that makes the KPIs easier to understand. Professionals from multiple departments can collaborate to learn about the impact of information provided by KPIs on the company.

Related: How to Define and Measure a Key Performance Indicator

Improves decision-making

Dashboards that companies use help managers and leaders track the effectiveness of their operations and understand the company's current situation. By using a well-designed dashboard, professionals can compare historical figures related to sales or marketing efforts with real-time analytics. This tool helps professionals make better organizational decisions because it considers data from many sources and systems and combines it into a single interface. Professionals can experience increased accessibility by having the ability to access data from a single interface.

How to make a performance dashboard for a business

Here's a step-by-step guide to developing performance dashboards for a company:

1. Choose the essential metrics

When developing an effective dashboard, it's beneficial to consider which metrics you want to use and how they can indicate company performance. For example, if you manage and oversee the performance and productivity of marketing or accounting departments, you can focus on their financial performance and KPIs. This can include a strong profit margin, financial leverage, and seasonality.

Related: Important KPI Sales Metrics (With Definitions and Examples)

2. Design your dashboard

You can improve your dashboard's accessibility by creating a spacious, simplistic design. If you want to increase the effectiveness of the dashboard, you may use charts, widgets, and various visualization tools to make your KPI presentation more attractive. You can also introduce different views in the dashboard which customize the way users view their data.

3. Improve interactivity

It's important to give dashboard users the option to customize their dashboard and view different sets of data that are relevant to their roles or projects. Making the dashboard interactive can require the ability to switch from a weekly to a monthly view or export data to a PDF for reporting. To improve the appeal of dashboards, companies may want to consider including colour palettes that users can customize.

4. Analyze effectiveness and implement changes

When you develop a dashboard, it's beneficial to consider the potential adjustments that you require. You may communicate with regular dashboard users to identify the best ways to improve the dashboards. This can help you decide the potential metrics you can adjust. You can also review the performance of tools over time and make adjustments that reflect the company's new goals.

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