KPI dashboards display your most important business metrics in a way that’s instantly understandable. As a result, they help individuals and teams make better, faster business decisions.
In any business, it's important to have a clear understanding of your goals and how you will achieve them. That’s why developing strong Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is a crucial part of the goal-setting process. KPIs provide a clear, quantifiable way of showing how much progress you’ve made, and whether or not you’re on track.
However, it’s not enough to just set KPIs and then forget about them. You also need to communicate them to others in a way they can understand. You need to make them part of everyday decision-making. KPI dashboards surface the metrics that matter, and are designed so that it’s easy to understand how your metrics have changed, at a glance.
What are the benefits of tracking KPIs on a dashboard?
There are many benefits to tracking KPIs on a live dashboard, including:
- Seeing all your KPIs in one place: Dashboards give you a quick and easy way to see how your business is performing across multiple measures.
- Tracking your progress over time: By tracking your KPIs over time, you can see if you’re making progress towards your goals. This is especially useful for long-term projects or goals.
- Identifying areas of improvement: By tracking your KPIs, you can quickly identify areas where your business could be performing better. This information can then be used to make changes and improve your business.
- Spotting trends and patterns: Dashboards enable you to see how your KPIs are trending over time. This information can be used to make predictions about the future and make decisions accordingly.
What should be on a KPI dashboard?
Effective KPI dashboards provide an 'at-a-glance' understanding of your progress and performance. That means you should only include your most important metrics. Dashboards that are too detailed or overcrowded make it harder to see the metrics that matter, and can be less useful for day-to-day use.
What you include on your dashboard entirely depends on who is going to be using it. Check out these examples with very different priorities for tracking company performance:
Sales dashboards track KPIs related to your business’ sales performance, such as Sales Volume, Average Order Value, and Conversion Rate. For more, check out our full gallery of sales dashboard examples.
Marketing dashboards track KPIs related to your business’ marketing efforts, such as Website Traffic, Social Media Engagement, and Lead Conversion Rate. For more, check out our full gallery of marketing dashboard examples.
Finance dashboards track KPIs related to your business’ financial health and performance, such as Revenue, Profit, Expenses, and Cash Flow. For more, check out our full gallery of finance dashboard examples.
Ensure your team is aware of the bigger picture by sharing KPIs related to your company’s overall health, such as financial results, customer satisfaction, employee productivity, and shareholder value. For more, check out our full gallery of executive dashboard examples.
HR dashboards track KPIs related to your business’ people and company culture, such as Employee Turnover, Absenteeism, and Training Costs. For more, check out our full gallery of HR dashboard examples.
Operations dashboards track KPIs related to your business’ internal processes, such as Production Output, Customer Satisfaction, and Employee Productivity. For more, check out our full gallery of operations dashboard examples.
Help your customer support team react faster, work more efficiently by sharing KPIs, such as CSAT, Response Time, and Resolution Time. For more, check out our full gallery of support dashboard examples.
Understand how customers are using your product, including how engaged they are by sharing KPIs, such as Revenue, Number of Downloads, and Customer Behaviour. For more, check out our full gallery of product dashboard examples.
How do you create a KPI dashboard?
The most effective dashboards are those that strike a balance between providing too much and too little information. They should also be easy to understand and use, so that people can quickly find the information they need. With careful planning and design, KPI dashboards are a great tool for communicating and monitoring key business objectives. Here are five key steps:
- Define your goals
- Identify your KPIs
- Select your KPI dashboard software
- Monitor your KPIs
- Make changes and improvements
Define your goals
Before you start designing a KPI dashboard, you’ll need to set some clear objectives. What do you want to achieve with your dashboard? What KPIs will help you track progress towards these goals? By defining your goals upfront, you can ensure that your dashboard is focused and relevant.
Identify your KPIs
Once you’ve defined your goals, the next step is to identify which KPIs will help you track progress towards these goals. There are many different KPIs that you can choose from, so it's important to select the ones that are most relevant to your business or team. With your KPIs selected, you need to decide how you’re going to measure them. This may involve collecting data from multiple sources, such as financial reports, business tools, customer surveys, or operational data.
Build your KPI dashboard
Once you’ve collected all the necessary data, you can set up your dashboard. When it comes to live KPI dashboards, there are a few key factors to consider in order to choose the best software for your business. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Easy to use and set up. Otherwise, you’ll likely never use it or get the full benefit from it.
- Flexible enough to accommodate your specific business needs. It should also be able to grow with you as your business changes and evolves over time.
- Integrate with your everyday business software, with minimal coding required. Take note also of the ability to connect to raw data living in spreadsheets, in-house systems and databases.
- Visualizations that anybody on your team can easily understand. With filters that give you control over the finer details.
- Support for when you have questions or run into problems.
Monitor your KPIs
Once your dashboard is set up, you need to start monitoring your KPIs. This involves regularly checking your dashboard to see how your KPIs are performing. If you notice any changes or trends, you can then investigate further to determine the cause.
Make changes and improvements
Monitoring your KPIs will not only help you track your progress, but it will also allow you to identify areas where your business could be performing better. When you identify an area of improvement, you can then make the necessary changes to improve your business.
The key to using KPI dashboards effectively is to ensure that they are kept up-to-date and accurately reflect your current situation. This way, you can be sure that you're always making progress and never falling behind.
Read our full guide to dashboard design.
What are the common KPI dashboard mistakes to avoid?
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when designing a KPI dashboard.
- Tracking too many metrics at the same time. This can lead to information overload and make it difficult to identify which KPIs are the most important.
- Setting up KPIs that aren't relevant to the company’s goals. This can lead to confusion and can ultimately result in the KPIs being ignored altogether.
- Failing to review and update their KPIs on a regular basis. This can mean that the information on the dashboard is outdated and no longer accurately reflects the company's current performance.