Management dashboards are a collection of graphs, reports and other metrics displayed in a dashboard format for the purpose of benchmarking business performance across the organization. A management dashboard is a vital tool to give managers as well as individual contributors vital data on company performance and on how their department or group is performing against both group and overall goals. Management dashboards have grown in popularity over the past few years and can be deployed in a number of ways.
Static Management Dashboards
Static management dashboards are the simplest form of management dashboards and are typically designed using either manual means or using spreadsheet software. Static management dashboards are often deployed in small organizations or in departments and organizations where the goals and metrics being tracked don't change often and where the cost and expense of more automated dashboard systems might not be justifiable. This type of management dashboard is often one of the first types of dashboards companies employ. A simple sales pipeline report in a spreadsheet might be an example of a static sales management dashboard.
Interactive Management Dashboards
The next stage of management dashboards development involves publishing the management dashboards in a system that allows the dashboards to be accessed by multiple employees in the organization in a standardized manner. In addition to having standardized metrics and dashboard layouts, interactive management dashboards also provide interactivity with the charts being displayed. An interactive sales management dashboard for instance might provide a graph showing percent of sales quota achieved by region. In an interactive management dashboard that chart should allow the user to click on individual bar graphs to further narrow the results by state or by sales manager. The management dashboard might also provide animation capabilities showing how the chart in question has changed over time.
Real-Time Management Dashboards
Beyond interactive management dashboards is also the goal of real-time management dashboards. In real-time management dashboards the data being displayed should be updated on a frequent basis, as close to "real time" as feasible, showing a true up to the second representation of the performance of the organization. This type of management dashboard is often heavily dependent on the systems where the data lives and on the features of the software that the management dashboards are being built in.
Management Dashboards and Collaboration Portals
The final goal of management dashboards is to provide managers with a means of displaying the management dashboards information alongside other relevant business information used in the course of a business day. This "mashing" of two needs can be often seen in management dashboards that are displayed inside collaboration portals like Sharepoint. In a mashed management dashboard the user will see not only key metrics and benchmarking data on the organization but will also have access to a collaboration portal from which to have impact on the results of the management dashboards.