I believe everyone would think that a dashboard is essential in a car. And the funny thing about that is more than likely no one really gave it a thought. Why? Because every vehicle has one. But think of the value it brings. It monitors the vital signs of the car such as oil, water temperature, electrical, gas level, and with newer cars, tire pressure. Plus you have a speedometer to ensure you don’t get a speeding ticket.
If you think your dashboard brings little value then I would suggest that you cover the entire dashboard and drive your car around for a couple of months. You’ll guess when it’s time to refuel. When will you know it’s time to change the oil. When will you know you have low tire pressure. The list goes on. A person takes the importance of the dashboard for granted.
Let’s take another example. What does your doctor monitor every time you have an office visit? Your blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate, and oxygen level to name a few. Don’t forget the bloodwork and every test they do with it. And all that information resides in your medical record for future reference. If it changes too much from the previous visit, there might be a concern. Consider your medical record a dashboard.
Then if you go to the emergency room, they might hook you up to a piece of equipment that monitors your heart, oxygen, pulse rate, and blood pressure. In essence, you are hooked up to a dashboard to monitor your vitals.
Dashboards in Business
Dashboards are essential for any business. As with the car, a business dashboard should monitor important aspects of the business. Dashboards don’t have to be elaborate. Additionally, they shouldn’t monitor too many things. They need to keep an eye on the things that show how your business is doing. Yet, they need to be simple enough that everyone in the business understands them. Everyone needs to be working off the same dashboard.
Dashboards need to accentuate the positive. Do you want 0% rejects or 100% acceptance? One might say that they both mean the same thing because zero rejects equate to 100% acceptance. Yes, but why re-enforce the negative aspect? Enforce positive results to administer a positive attitude and behavior.
Types of Dashboards
How should you display the information for others? The dashboard needs to show the information in percentages and in a line graph. The line graph shows the trend. This is important because there will be both good and bad days. However, with a line graph, you can see if the overall trend is the worse, the same, or better. The staff might get depressed if you only post the numbers when there was a bad day. However, if the overall trend is positive then that bad day all of a sudden doesn’t look that bad.
Percentages are crucial because it takes the overall count out of the equation. 9 out of 10 is 90%. 91 out a 100 is 91%. It shows consistency. How can you see a trend if the team one day only coded 34 bills today with 3 re-codings compared to another day when they coded 83 bills with 7 re-codings required. In both cases, the acceptance rate of coding going through the first time correctly is 91. 6%.
A dashboard is necessary to monitor a system or process. It provides the heartbeat of the organization. The team knows what is being monitored. It accentuates the positive. Trends are being displayed. So, what’s the negative. You have to determine what you need to monitor and it takes a little time to record the information. But if you make it simple, it shouldn’t take too much time. Most importantly, the results of using a dashboard will boost your business.