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"The benefits of Management Information Dashboards"
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The benefits of Management Information Dashboards

In management information systems, a dashboard is "an easy to read, often single page, real-time user interface, showing a graphical presentation of the current status (snapshot) and historical trends of an organization’s key performance indicators to enable instantaneous and informed decisions to be made at a glance.

 

For example, a manufacturing dashboard may show key performance indicators related to productivity such as number of parts manufactured, or number of failed quality inspections per hour. Similarly, a human resources dashboard may show KPIs related to staff recruitment, retention and composition, for example number of open positions, or average days or cost per recruitment.

 

Digital dashboards may be laid out to track the flows inherent in the business processes that they monitor. Graphically, users may see the high-level processes and then drill down into low level data. This level of detail is often buried deep within the corporate enterprise and otherwise unavailable to the senior executives.

 

Three main types of digital dashboard dominate the market today: stand alone software applications, web-browser based applications, and desktop applications also known as desktop widgets. The last are driven by a widget engine.

 

Specialized dashboards may track all corporate functions. Examples include human resources, recruiting, sales, operations, security, information technology, project management, customer relationship management and many more departmental dashboards.

 

Digital dashboard projects involve business units as the driver and the information technology department as the enabler. The success of digital dashboard projects often depends on the metrics that were chosen for monitoring. Key performance indicators, balanced scorecards, and sales performance figures are some of the content appropriate on business dashboards.

 

Like a car's dashboard (or control panel), a software dashboard provides decision makers with the input necessary to "drive" the business. Thus, a graphical user interface may be designed to display summaries, graphics (e.g., bar charts, pie charts, bullet graphs, "sparklines," etc.), and gauges (with colors similar to traffic lights) in a portal-like framework to highlight important information.
 
Digital dashboards allow managers to monitor the contribution of the various departments in their organization. To gauge exactly how well an organization is performing overall, digital dashboards allow you to capture and report specific data points from each department within the organization, thus providing a "snapshot" of performance.
 
Benefits of using digital dashboards include:
  • Visual presentation of performance measures
  • Ability to identify and correct negative trends
  • Measure efficiencies/inefficiencies
  • Ability to generate detailed reports showing new trends
  • Ability to make more informed decisions based on collected business intelligence
  • Align strategies and organizational goals
  • Saves time compared to running multiple reports
  • Gain total visibility of all systems instantly
  • Quick identification of data outliers and correlations
 
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