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Business intelligence – five reasons you need more dashboards

Business intelligence – five reasons you need more dashboards

As Francis Bacon famously said, “Knowledge is power”. This is as true in business management as it is anywhere else. The more you know, the greater your understanding, the better your business will be. That philosophy underpins ERP software. Systematic knowledge in the shortest time, empowering better decisions. For the best version of that, you need good dashboards.

OrderWise now includes licence models that make more dashboards more accessible on more devices. This naturally creates the question “why are dashboards important?”

1. Single insight source

Without an ERP system, and without the dedicated dashboards to collect the range of readings your business generates, you’ll have to consult a wide range of different data types. Collected invoices, customer feedback forms, accounts folders, email receipts, and much more besides.

All of these come in at different times, in different ways, carrying different information. Without a single source to collate and coordinate all of these, you and your staff will likely only see partial fragments of the whole picture. This can make it difficult to grasp your business’s true situation.

Dashboards clarify all this by providing one source to go to for your business intelligence. A dashboard that’s aptly integrated into your wider operation becomes a rosetta-stone-esque source of insight. It overrides all the partial and indistinct visions of your operational condition that you might otherwise have to deal with. Dashboards offer a singular business intelligence vision in an arena where clarity is of the utmost value.

2. Real-time reporting

In past times businesses and entire communities operated with information about their wider world that could be hours, days, or even weeks out of date. Understandably, the present-day has no patience for this. You and your business cannot be waiting for employees to expend valuable time re-formatting and rekeying complicated arrays of information into a comprehensible map of your business’s current performance. Not when all that information is digitally available and could be processed automatically, at the exact moment that it happens.

Your business must know its situation now. Not in a few days. Not when the reports/invoices/spreadsheets have been filed. Now.

The processes that gather this information need not be manual any more. You should be able to get the information in real-time, not at some later date when your team has ticked it off their sheets. If you are directing staff to make mechanical understandings happen faster, you are wasting valuable resources. Automate the data-gathering process, and get situational reportage in real-time. That is what a proper dashboard provides, and what OrderWise can offer.

3. Dismiss the irrelevant

Your business generates a deluge of data. All of it will tell you something, but not all of it will be important. For example, while every business will be able to know how much stationary they burn through each month, only those actually selling pens and paper, or those using it to produce their primary products will actually want that information to be readily accessible.

A well-designed dashboard dismisses the irrelevant. Cutting through the noise clarifies and codifies the clearest possible picture of your overall operations. What is irrelevant to you will matter to others, which means a dashboard works as a key filter. It keeps all the data, but you only need a deep understanding of what truly matters.

In much the same way that a modern car might be able to tell you the power-to-weight ratio of your engine’s output in a given moment, alongside your overall drag coefficient and optimal engine temperature efficiency. However, mostly you just want the speed. That’s why that is what the main dashboard screen shows you, allowing you to dismiss all the others as irrelevant.

4. Investigate the important

When the irrelevant is removed, the important is what remains. That is what OrderWise offers with our dashboard service. A chance to clearly see the most important information at a glance, on a single screen, in a simple and clear-to-understand fashion.

This simplicity of showing you the most important information allows for more depth and more detail about the critical components of your ongoing operations. In the first instance, this improves your understanding, but it also enhances your responsiveness. Once you have only the most important information available to hand, you can then automate when, where, and how you are informed as things change. When specific indicators rise/fall/change in particular ways, different automated responses can be put in place. Actions can be planned. Meetings can be arranged. Customers, clients, and other important stake/shareholders can be informed accordingly.

With a strong sense of only the most important information in real-time, you will be able to coordinate quickly, effectively, and keeping the right people informed at all times.

5. Wider pool of understanding

OrderWise has recently created the ability to offer dashboard-only licences. This makes it much easier for many more people to be informed when it comes to the wider picture of the overall business situation. This creates a massive advantage in terms of an overall knowledge base.

Without an integrated dashboard system, taking in data from every corner of your business’s operations, the only people who might have a full picture of things would be the elite of the elite in management. The uppermost tier, meaning that they would not be able to consult or widen perspectives to gain a broader understanding of what others think of the situation.

Some analysts often think that this could lead to a “too many cooks” situation. However, this only becomes a problem when too many people have the authority to actually make decisions. What you need is a lot of people who know about making soup, but only one or two with the responsibility to decide what ingredients get added.

When you have a large body of people with meaningful context to consult, but only a small collective of final decision-makers, the balance is much closer to the ideal. This allows your business to move forward swiftly and successfully, with a well-grounded knowledge pool providing real and meaningful business power.

Discover dashboards

To discover more about how business intelligence can supercharge your business, check out our dedicated business intelligence hub. Learn more about the wide range of KPIs we can monitor, the extensive array of tailoring and customisation our software can provide, and the powerful and responsive support team that will make sure your system is completely on track at every stage, keeping you up to date and informed in real-time.