With fingers in many pies, executives need to be smart with their time. In tough economic times, the more you can address interdependent issues holistically, the more likely you can take advantage of any competitive position you have. A consolidated view of the many facets of your business can help achieve ongoing success. A sense of the immediate state of your business can be achieved with business intelligence dashboards.

Executives want to find ways to get the information they need efficiently, and effectively. A great place to start is by using a business intelligence solution to help make more informed, data-driven decisions.

Companies that invest in business intelligence (BI) are able to identify and eliminate ineffective procedures, make faster and sound decisions, and achieve a competitive advantage over companies without BI. Companies that continue to base business decisions on gut feel are not going to survive ongoing disruption. 

For busy executives, one of the most simple and effective ways to visualize the performance of your business is with business intelligence dashboards.

A good dashboard lets you see at a glance how the business is performing. It should be intuitive so you also have the option to dive into the data if you want to see what’s happening behind the surface, so you’re always in control of how much – or how little – information you have to analyze.

Nontechnical people should be able to quickly build an interactive dashboard, apply permissions to select users, collaborate, and customize without the need for help from IT.

In this blog, we look at how a business Intelligence dashboard can help the busy executive get the most out of their data.

Sales results

Executives need to know what’s happening with sales, and why. Waiting for IT to run a customized report, however, just isn’t good enough. A  business intelligence dashboard lets executives see at a glance where the business is excelling, and where it can do better.

A business intelligence dashboard will also give you the option of drilling down into the data behind the graphs, giving you a more detailed insight into trends and activity.

Executives can quickly see where sales opportunities lie such as cross-selling or upselling opportunities, and where potential threats can be eliminated. By drilling down into the data, you can also see things like how the sales team is performing. Which sales reps are exceeding KPIs, and which are falling behind? By drilling down, you can quickly see if a sales rep is selling a lot of a given product, but generating far less profit.

Are they selling at a very low margin? Is the sales manager aware of what’s happening? By having this information on hand, you can make decisions quickly that will help your business alleviate any issues efficiently and effectively.

Operations

You may already have a good inventory manager on hand to take care of stock levels in each of your regions, but a good executive still wants an overview of how it’s being managed. Delegating in-depth data analysis doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to access a comprehensive overview for your own knowledge.

On the surface, dashboards allow you to see what’s happening in your business at a glance. A business intelligence dashboard, however, will allow you to drill down deep into your data to continue discovering what’s happening behind the data to see why things are occurring.

A business intelligence dashboard allows you to quickly view how much stock you have for a particular product, and sort from highest to lowest at the click of a button. For more in-depth analysis, you can drill down on a particular selection to find even information, too.

Analysing stock levels on your BI dashboard will allow you to quickly view historical sales trends and comparing them to current stock on hand. Executives can use this information to gain a comprehensive overview of potential overstock, understock, or even dead stock and gain valuable insights into the data-driven decision making being applied by the inventory manager in their stock-on-hand forecasting.

Customer satisfaction

There could be a number of reasons why an existing customer is buying less from your business over time or stopped buying from you entirely.

Customer satisfaction is crucial to the success of any business. Monitoring and analyzing your customer retention rate will help you identify the contributing factors to any fluctuation.

Is it the price point? Is there an associated trend with customers and a particular salesperson? Tracking data that reveals these insights can go a long way in helping your business retain newer, and especially longstanding customers.

It’s also a great way of getting a better picture of how well customers are being looked after. With a BI dashboard, you can see the number of currently unresolved customer support cases, and the average time it takes for support staff to typically resolve them. Customer service can be the make or break for many businesses, and using dashboards make more informed decisions that will ultimately keep the customer happy is a great way of driving the company forward.

Finances

One of the most important areas an executive needs to be across is financial performance. This is the cornerstone of a company’s health and vitality. Where is the company in terms of current revenue and budget against previous years? How will these numbers affect forecasting? What’s driving upward, or downward trends?

Numerical grids or basic graphs are often used within dashboards to get a great snapshot of this information.

Executives may also want to be across debtor days. Customers may try, from time to time, to extend periods to pay up. The average number of days which customers take to settle their bills can be a critical factor to the financial wellbeing of a supplier’s business. For this reason, this kind of debtor day’s analysis is extremely useful for a Chief Executive.

BI dashboards are more than just pretty pictures

Time-strapped executives need to have a good overview of every facet of the business, and often just need a visual fact driven overview. That’s where dashboards excel. They let you see at a glance how the business performing.

The different with Phocas is that you have the option to dive right down into the data to see as much, or as little as you need to get the exact answers you need, to the questions you have.

Phocas is intuitive, so you decide where the data takes you. Drill down as far as you like into any data to get to the guts of what’s happening in your business, and why.

Phocas dashboards also let you share your results with other users. Any Phocas user can easily and quickly build an interactive dashboard, customize, collaborate and revise it on the spot without help from the IT department.

It’s the dashboard to gain that critical competitive edge.

Would you like to learn more about business intelligence dashboards?  Click here to download the eGuide.

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Tags: Job Role - Executive

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