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Bringing Dashboards to Life:

Add Planning and Collaboration to Improve Business Outcomes

Moving beyond Historical Data

Dashboards combine and display information from various parts of an organization to create views of its overall status or of a particular function. For example, a dashboard of sales performance might include information about sales closed, leads generated, the pipeline of opportunities and sales performance by territory or individual. A well-designed dashboard, one that uses all relevant data and presents it in a useful, easily consumable way, is a powerful management tool. It pulls together the variety of information that today’s organizations require for a complete view of the business.

However, many dashboards today are deficient in that they display data only about past events and performance. While historical data and analyses of the past provide some guidance in decision-making, using only such data is rather like looking in the rear-view mirror to drive a car: You don’t get much information about what’s ahead. Historical data in a dashboard also is often out-of-date. Our benchmark research on information optimization, for example, shows that three out of 10 (30%) organiza-tions do not deliver information daily, and some (15%) deliver information less often than weekly.


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