The Essential Guide to BI Dashboards: Use Data to Drive Growth

bi dashboard

Small and Medium-sized businesses are often faced with ever-changing business dynamics. Understanding the data is the only way to comprehend these dynamics effectively. Data always exists in a company and can provide crucial insights for optimized business endeavors. But how well your company uses data and information will determine its fortune.

Similarly, data, analytics, and technology are the primary components to achieving tangible success in a small organization. But this raises many concerns, such as what kind of data must be analyzed. What is the best technology to support corporate growth? What are the most effective tools for your company?

As technology has evolved to higher levels of intelligent tools, machines, and automation, bi dashboards or tools are also evolving into Self Service BI solutions. This provides struggling SMBs a significant advantage in gaining complete data insights without the involvement of a third-party specialist.

Let’s dig deep into business intelligence or bi dashboards and know what makes them indispensable for your SMB.

Business Intelligence (BI) Dashboards

The greater emphasis in the industrial domain is almost always on the technical requirements. Thus, businesses – whether small or big – can’t take chances to overlook data insights. Tasks become simple when you have a reliable BI Dashboard at your fingertips.

According to statistics, business intelligence (BI) is being used at a pace of 26% globally. It is anticipated that, at this rate, 52% of software companies and 50% of financial institutions will use BI technologies to gather, organize, analyze, and interpret data.

What is a BI Dashboard, Anyway?

BI Dashboards are intelligent tools to view and analyze data, and monitor key metrics. Key graphs, charts, tables, and other data visualization structures are all integrated within these cutting-edge tools. From complex data conversion into meaningful structures to easy identification of business trends and mitigating risks, SMBs need to use BI dashboards to make data-driven decisions and unlock new opportunities.

Business Intelligence Dashboards are of great use when it comes to developing fully-fledged, data-driven business infrastructure. Perhaps the most important aspect of BI Dashboards is that they contribute to a company’s strength, durability, scalability, and improved data insights for taking actions.

BI Dashboard Benefits: What Makes Them Worthy for SMBs

Amid the competitive business crowd, analyzing data remains the only way to secure a higher-level position. Therefore, BI dashboards make it more convenient and easier for businesses to make data-informed decisions via in-depth data insight. But, alongside that, there is much more to BI Dashboards.

Let’s keep exploring business intelligence dashboards.

Top 5 BI Dashboard Benefits:

Improved Efficiency

With just a couple of clicks, you can accomplish so much. Truly incredible, isn’t it? Indeed, BI dashboards enable your business to gather data from various sources with ease. This consolidated data can be further viewed on the bar, line, and pie charts/plots. As a result, both reporting time and the process shrink.

Valued Decision-making

Even if you have all the gathered data at hand, it isn’t easy to draw out quick solutions. The data is yet to be analyzed for actionable insights. On the other hand, BI dashboards visualize live data in real-time, from which you can extract key insights for potential growth projections. In short, BI leads to quick, better decision-making.

Market Insights

Market trends are changing faster than ever. And keeping up with those ever-changing trends is increasingly crucial for any business. BI dashboards enable businesses to adopt pivotal market changes instantly without bumping into fail. Insights into market trends, customer behavior, and several elementary overviews – BI dashboards are of great use in these directions.

Predictive Analysis

Turning the handle of time back isn’t possible. But today, predicting customers’ needs earlier is achievable. Data from various sources are extracted and analyzed with the help of algorithms. This data is then presented using BI dashboards to assist you identify the issues and forecast growth opportunities. This whole new way of analyzing variant data helps you spot sales patterns, customer demographics and physiographic, and much more.

Decisive KPIs

To all intents and purposes, businesses want to reach their defined KPIs, but unfortunately, many end up failing. Often, the reason they fail is a lack of KPI tracking. Complex data sets in the most luxurious formats can help you track immersed KPIs. Hands down – complete business process evaluation is best accomplished with BI dashboards.

Read More: Business Intelligence: Transforming Data into Actionable Insights

BI Dashboard Types

Several options often present themselves when you start looking for various BI dashboard types. But in this section, we’ll talk about the ones that SMBs use most frequently.

Sales Dashboard

A sales dashboard helps you analyze business revenue growth efficiently. On a single screen, you can monitor the company’s overall sales pattern, where interpretation of year-wise sales becomes easy. From deal size to individual performance and revenue growth, you get a compressed yet inclusive view of your SMB’s performance.

Marketing Dashboard

While analyzing marketing metrics through an excel sheet is laborious, the BI marketing dashboard brings every chuck of data under one roof. It allows you to compare, analyze, and draw out applicable acumens for your next marketing move. Whether it’s social media, paid advertising, content, or service/product marketing, marketing dashboards can help you set attainable KPIs for your conversion rates, leads, organic traffic, and more – all in one screen.

Operational Dashboard

When it comes to managing day to day productivity and increasing efficiency, operational dashboards can play a key role. Enabling end-user to track and monitor ranging in-house processes, operational dashboards lead to transparency and help drive business results. In addition, these business intelligence tools assist in making quick judgments to maintain uninterrupted real-time performances.

Choosing the Right BI Dashboard for Your SMB

Of course, for many budgetary and in-house competency reasons, choosing the right BI software is incredibly crucial. However, considering the multitude of dashboard types, selecting the most fitting one can be daunting. This is where you need to redefine business goals and look for the one that caters to your business requirements.

For example, if you want to track business processes, improve decision-making, and fuel sales revenue, select a BI dashboard embedded with the core functionalities listed below.

  • Customizable Dashboard – Integrated Customizability Feature.
  • Assorted Data Sources – Multiple Data Accumulation Links.
  • Data ImaginingSeamless Data Visualization Options.
  • Continuous Collaboration – Transparency and Shareability Across Teammates.

Additionally, the ever-changing trends within marketplaces call for having a problem-solving approach to deal with prevailing problems. Therefore, upon each rollout, your SMB needs to be prepared beforehand. That is to say: when you opt for the right BI dashboard, make sure to stay up to date with market trends in order to keep up.

Implementing BI Dashboards in Your Organization

Through suitable techniques and practices, nothing becomes hard to achieve. The same analogy goes for the use of BI dashboards in your organization. When you employ a data-enabled strategy to achieve feasible goals, things start to shape to your desired ends.

However, to keep a binding technique vested in your organizational processes, never underestimate quality data. There is no denying the fact that knowledge is power. But in this case, quality data is power in its entirety. Countless organizations rely on data to put everything in the process to achieve beyond. Similarly, the practices also need to be data-driven for both organizational workflows and BI dashboards. Other than that, follow the key BI practices below.

BI Dashboard Best Practices

  1. Find Key Reporting Needs – List down stakeholders, end-users, and decision-makers. Why reporting and to whom?
  2. Classify Your Dashboard – Know what types are available and short-list an ideal dashboard for your needs to make high ROIs.
  3. Outline Required Data Sources – Gather beneficial data from reliable sources. Analyze data authenticity before you act on them.
  4. Avoid Data Clutter – For a seamless, graceful, and effective data design order, focus on its proximity, similarity, closing, inclusion, continuity, and connection.
  5. Select the Most Fitting Data Visualizations – Design data in visual graphs that resonate with your audience pleasingly.
  6. Harness Interactive Filters – Focus on creating interactive designs while using various filters to make them effortlessly intractable for an in-depth and superficial simultaneous data view.
  7. Study Target Audience – While creating data visualizations graphs, be concerned about your target audience and know beforehand their abilities of graphical judgment.
  8. For Real-time Update | Access Web-based – When you need real-time data updates in your dashboard, gain access to a web-based BI framework.
  9. Connect Market Metrics – Boost your KPI-driven storytelling efforts through the dashboard to capture increased audience attention.
  10. Repeat Until You Reach Your Goals – Don’t give up until you meet your goals. Sharpen each step and repeat.

Harnessing these BI dashboard best practices would enable SMBs to scale and grow their businesses more effectively.

At length, using a BI dashboard makes it easier to deal with multilayered organizational data. In addition, this tool’s excellent data visualization helps both novice and expert analysts to quickly and collectively make judgments that ensure superior results.

Blog Author

Husnain Kazmi

Husnain Kazmi

Husnain is the Chief Operating Officer at SMB Services, and he has an impressive career in Financial Accounting and Reporting that spans over 20 years. He has gained valuable experience working with well-known accounting firms like EY. With his strong technical skills and professional expertise, Husnain's advice is essential for small and medium-sized businesses looking to succeed in their operations.