Another benefit of business intelligence dashboard software is that it helps to prevent tunnel vision — a company doesn’t have to be locked in on just the here and now, but can view the big picture as well. By tracking its financial, operational and workforce data continuously, a BSC is not only better equipped to shore up its daily operations, but it’s also positioned to plan for the future.

“Dashboards have the ability to get into the predictive and prescriptive analytics space,” says Stephan. “That means, not only will it show you what happened and why, it can predict, based on past performance, what might happen next and tell you what to do about it.”

Dashboards also tend to spot business metrics that demonstrate negative trends that can be stopped.

“Watching these trends over time can help assess and even predict areas of the business that need improvement,” says Stephan.

Improving business performance through the use of data mined by dashboard software does well to help satisfy customers. The dashboard also helps to keep customers whose contracts are coming to an end by developing data BSCs can use to justify why they deserve a renewal.

“If your employees are consistent, it gives you actionable data to show how many hours they’ve been there, what they’ve accomplished, number of times there has been a complaint and the number of times you fielded a special call and solved an issue, like cleaning up spilled coffee in X amount of time,” says Jill Kegler, director of business development for DoubleA Solutions, Toledo, Ohio.

Should demonstrating the work performed by a BSC’s staff drive the retention of just one or a few customers, that alone proves the significant value of dashboard software. Successfully courting new customers using data the dashboard uncovered makes the situation that much sweeter — and profits that much grander.

CleanTelligent’s executive vice president, Caden Hutchens, says one of his clients told him it got five new cleaning accounts recently and a big reason for the gain was the data the BSC was able to offer. The customer, he says, especially appreciates the transparency of the data.

“It helps (new) customers to feel like they’re coming from a heavily reactive business to a heavily proactive business,” says Droubay.

Act Now

To put themselves in the best position possible, managers should start using dashboard-derived data — even aim to bring it to weekly meetings — so that they’re better monitoring how the company is doing. By failing to do so, managers might be wasting a lot of time and effort.

“If you don’t track your performance, you’re just pretending to work because you don’t know where you’re at,” says Hopkins.

Imagine how lost a company would be if its owner or high ranking official were to leave or die unexpectedly, says Hopkins. If these employees are just keeping their knowledge in their heads and not dispersing that information consistently through reports, how is the company going to move forward? If a manager decides to quit with little notice, where does that leave his or her team?

Gathering and keeping all the data possible also enhances the value of a business. With a record kept, a company looking to sell can show, in detail, its profitability, how well its human resources perform, and even the type of employees a buyer could expect to inherit. With all this data in place, the new owner can come in and feel comfortable running the show from day one.

BSCs today are being asked to accomplish more with less, says Kegler, so it makes sense that they’re now looking for new and improved ways to manage their operations. And as these operations change, business intelligence dashboard software changes with them. Some are cloud-based, so the software can constantly be improved based upon feedback and suggestions provided by the people who use it every day.

“Companies that are using dashboard software in five years are going to be light years ahead of those that are using pen and paper,” says Kegler. “It’s fair to say in the next five years it will be widely adopted and the industry has needed that for a long time.”

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