Dashboards: Driving Your Business Like a Sports Car, Not a School Bus

Having the right dashboard can revolutionize your business in terms of success and your own enjoyment. A dashboard is meant to give you vital information and data at a glance, with users able to access everything from sales and marketing data to finance, inventory reports and website analytics.

Essentially, a dashboard puts all your critical info into one spot in a neat and visual display so you don’t have to log into different systems to get all of the information you need. It can also give you the ability to customize your experience so the info you want is accessible and easy to analyze right off of your mobile device or desktop.

Before you delve into the world of dashboards, read on to discover what they can do for your business—and what you’ve been missing out on.

Real-time visibility is a huge advantage

Using a dashboard, you’ll know what is happening with your business at all times, including what’s working and what is not.

For example, a dashboard could tell you how your last round of emails to your clients went. How many customers opened those emails? How much money in sales did that email blast bring in?

These are the kinds of answers you can see automatically on a proper dashboard. Compare this to your typical business owner, who has to log in to his or her email first or ask someone else to get the same info.

A business dashboard should be easy to read and access, allowing for on-demand insight and visibility.

With the right one, you don’t have to wait for monthly reports to check on progress or make a move in response to changing conditions. This lets you see what’s going on in real time, and in some cases, that could be a game-changing ability.


Get your entire business on one page

A dashboard can enable you to measure performances using numbers. Your customer service supervisor, for example, could view metrics such as the average call answering speed and the return rate. More importantly, when employees can see their performance measured numerically, they’ll naturally start to work harder to boost their results and their performance. It’s one thing to tell employees certain issues need to be improved and another thing entirely to show them visually.

Think of all the time spent by you or your staff creating vital reports in spreadsheet programs and waiting for the results of those reports. Any report that you need to use more than once should become part of your dashboard, where it can be programmed to update as often as you need it to.


A team that knows the score plays to win

If you measure and watch something, improvement normally follows. When you’re able to see key metrics on your dashboard, you’ll instinctively begin to work toward boosting those results. Dashboards with success indicators, such as red for downwards movement and green for upwards progress, help increase this effect. It’s only natural to want to do better when you see red areas as they are a visual indicator of what needs to be fixed so your business can soar.

Your dashboard will show you what areas of your business are under-performing. When you know what those weak segments are, you’ll also know right where to spend your time to improve your results. Conversely, your competition may not know this and could be spending their time focused on the wrong spot. When you know exactly what’s succeeding in your company and what is failing, it’s easier to boost your sales and profits.


It takes a team to please a village

Customers are the lifeblood of your business, and if you want them to be happy and likely to return, it all comes down to how well they’re served by your company. No matter what role in customer service you have, having a customer service dashboard will help you become better at your job and improve your company’s customer-inspired culture. Keeping tabs on customer service performance via a dashboard will help your business find weak areas and improve overall operations.

The right customer service dashboard for your business will depend on what metrics you need. If your company takes in support calls or messages, for example, a dashboard for support tickets that shows how many you’ve received and average response times could help you identify support lags that upset current customers and turn away prospective ones.

The only way to realize the positive impact of dashboards is with the proper tools in place. Your dashboards must measure meaningful areas, so this means choosing the right metrics—specific qualifiers that influence your broader categories. Noted investor Jason Lemkin remarked that one important metric is Net Promoter Score, which is a measurement of loyalty between your business and its customers.

According to Lemkin, this metric is one you can share with everyone from Sales and Product to Marketing and Engineering, as it’s the sole metric all your departments impact and are equally responsible for.

Dashboards that are customizable, such as the ones featured on Klipfolio, will allow you to access critical information and act quickly on it.

Personal, reliable, automatic and easy to use are the key features to look for in your business dashboards, so you can start looking at the past, present and future of business in just minutes today.


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NPS is a registered trademark, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.