Dashboards vs. Goals: Which One to Use and When
You have a lot of data at your fingertips, but data doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know the best way to view, sort, and categorize it. And when it comes to choosing between a dashboard or goals, you’ll notice that many times they may feature the same information.
In the past, we've looked at dashboards vs. reports, and how to choose between the two, which led to some questions about deciding between a dashboard or goals. Each BrightGauge feature provides unique insights into the trends within your business, but let’s take a look at the features and best uses for each one:
The Best Time to Pick a Dashboard
We always say that dashboards are the cornerstone for providing a complete picture of the health of your company. Because dashboards are extremely customizable, you also have control over what data points you show, and they’re flexible when it comes to your decision on whether you provide daily, weekly, or monthly insights.
BrightGauge dashboards are the perfect choice in certain situations for 7 reasons:
1. Real-Time and Right Now
At the core of a dashboard’s purpose is the ability to provide a real-time look at your most important metrics. The gauges displayed on your dashboard should be customized with the KPIs that are most relevant to your operations, because you’ll be able to address them at the moment you see any metric start to slip.
2. Sync Your Teams
Dashboards are perfect for ensuring that your teams stay on the same page. BrightGauge allows you to create a separate dashboard for each team, showing the most important metrics for their position. You can even create custom dashboards for multiple teams, or smaller subteams as well. Instead of relying on a single person to disseminate vital data, giving your teams access to your dashboards ensures that they always have the important information on hand.
3. Show Off Successes
Dashboards are a great way to showcase your success. When your teams make magic happen, don’t be afraid to show off your accomplishment! Assign a threshold value so that your success is easily seen, and take a page out of the BrightGauge playbook... when we hit a target, we’ve been known to crank up some music and even dance around for a bit. It’s a great way to keep your team engaged by celebrating together!
4. Sales Tool for Prospects
Dashboards are a great way to win over new prospects and keep long-term clients happy. When a potential client takes a tour of your office, they'll be impressed with your data-centric approach. This also conveys that you will use the same systems to monitor their IT operations, which facilitates trust and conveys professionalism.
5. Increase Transparency
Your employees want to understand the reasons behind your business decisions. BrightGauge dashboards are helpful in this endeavor, as it gives your teams an in-depth look into their own metrics and sheds light on the decisions that affect their jobs. If you want to increase transparency within your business, creating dashboards for each team can be a great place to start!
6. Drive Efficiency
Dashboards lay the truth out front and center for all of your team members to see. When a team is running behind - the entire team knows it. Dashboards can be a great way to highlight inefficiencies and push your teams to improve on that front.
7. Save Time
Pulling 5-10 specific metrics from your data and arranging it in an easily-digestible way would take hours to put together. BrightGauge dashboards make creating quick data overviews much faster and easier, which means that your team will always have access to their KPIs and you can spend time working on other projects.
The Best Time to Use Goals
BrightGauge Goals are a great way to drive internal competition. We're not shy about creating a little healthy competition to improve efficiency and foster camaraderie. Here are 5 ways that our Goals feature can help your daily operations:
1. Drive Accountability
Goals are the perfect choice for companies that want to drive accountability and competition. By setting a goal with each team member and regularly checking in on their progress, light is shed on how individual contributions play a role in big picture team goals.
2. Historical Snapshots of Key Data Points
Goals offer an in-depth look at historical metrics and key data points. By diving into historical goal cards, you can begin to decipher the individual actions that helped to drive larger business trends.
3. Tracking Goal Progress
Where goals truly begin to shine is in their motivational benefits. They are the perfect choice for goal-tracking because they provide regular updates on progress. Setting goals and using them during check-in sessions can be a great way to spot inefficiencies and help to motivate employees toward reaching their target.
4. Drive Efficiency
Everyone wants to keep up with their peers. A public goals list that details how well an individual has performed compared to their peers can often be a persuasive way to convince them to put in more effort. Additionally, the metrics included on the goals list plainly show where their performance is lacking, giving them a roadmap to improvement.
5. Save Time
Putting together regular performance reviews for every employee is a time-consuming process. With BrightGauge, all of the heavy lifting is done for you. Managers can use goals data directly in their reviews, highlighting areas where employees have done well as well as areas where they can improve.
Choosing a Dashboard versus Goals
In your BrightGauge, dashboards and goals both have their place in analyzing business data. While dashboards are great at providing a bird’s eye view of KPIs, goals are excellent at measuring individual performance. Knowing how to decide between a dashboard or a scorecard will help you to use BrightGauge to its maximum potential.
Note: This post was originally published in 2017. It has been updated for accuracy.