how to build a KPI dashboard

Stop wasting time trying to make reports that take forever to compile.

A KPI dashboard will let you see your business goals at a glance and in real time. This way, you can save time on repeatedly making reports and focus on achieving targets.

Having a KPI dashboard is the key to setting and achieving your business goals. You’ll be able to see how you’re performing in real time so that you can course correct as needed. Creating a KPI dashboard is the first step in making sure your business succeeds.

In this blog post, we will show you how to build a KPI dashboard in 5 easy steps – let’s get into it!

What is KPI Dashboard Building?

A KPI dashboard tracks and displays Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your business. Displaying data in a dashboard helps you visualize trends and make key decisions based on the data.

There are many KPI dashboard tools out there, but to use them, you will have to set up the dashboard and effectively build it for your unique metrics. After all, data visualization is only as effective as it is relevant to your business.

KPI dashboard building involves choosing the right metrics, managing the data around these metrics, and inputting the data into your dashboard tool so it can be analyzed and visualized.

Reasons You Need to Know How to Build a KPI dashboard

Data analysis is one of the keys to sound decision-making. Whether you’re running your own business or working on a team in a large company, seeing and analyzing data is important.

KPI dashboards are a great way to communicate around a common goal. Getting everyone on the same page can sometimes be frustrating when you’re in a meeting or working on a project.

With a dashboard, you can avoid confusion and bring up the exact KPI you want, and set the stage for the ensuing discussion.

Tracking and measuring progress is an important step in achieving strategic goals. Data visualizations and automated reporting functions on KPI dashboards can allow the executive team in your organization to identify trends and make long-term, data-driven decisions.

Step-by-step Instructions to Build a KPI Dashboard

Step-by-step Instructions to Build a KPI Dashboard

Here are the 5 steps you should follow to build a killer KPI dashboard:

1. Pick Which KPIs to Include

The whole point of building a KPI dashboard is to display useful and relevant information. So don’t neglect this step and carefully choose which KPIs will be in your dashboard.

Maybe you outlined some important KPIs to track at an earlier meeting. Or maybe you need to pitch your teammembers on a new initiative and need the stats to tell a story.

Whatever the reason, choosing KPIs that give you valuable insight into your business is key to building a KPI dashboard.

2. Choose Your Data Sources

Many KPI dashboard tools have the ability to pull information from multiple sources. This makes it important to choose where and how you will pull data together.

For example, if you are working in marketing on an SEO project, you would pull data from sources such as Google Search Console or Google Analytics.

Conversely, if you were working in accounting, you might pull data from Quickbooks or another accounting software.

Once you’ve chosen the right data sources for your KPI dashboard, it will become much easier to display the most meaningful metrics.

3. Pull Out Meaningful Insights

Use your KPI dashboard tool to pull out meaningful insights from the data.

Depending on the depth of information that you need to see, you may need a more advanced or less advanced KPI dashboard tool. Some tools provide advanced business intelligence calculations. While other apps simply aggregate information into one central hub.

This is one of the reasons it’s so important to get the right tool for your business.

Check out this article about the best KPI dashboards for tracking business performance.

Whatever need you have for your business, it’s important to leverage the power of your KPI dashboard tool to efficiently pull out the insights you need.

4. Display KPIs using Data Visualization

Once you have some key insights of focus, combine them into an easy-to-view and understand format. This could be in the form of charts, graphs, or diagrams.

Many KPI tools feature dynamic data visualization that can be changed in real-time as you manipulate the parameters.

5. Share the Dashboard with Teammembers

This is the step that makes dashboards effective and actionable. Sharing your KPI dashboard with your teammembers ensures that everyone has access to the same information and is on the same page.

Many KPI dashboard tools have a collaboration feature built in. This allows you to create a central hub that e everyone can log into, see the relevant information, and stay updated as new information is added to the system.

Another way you can share your key performance indicators is to present them in a meeting. This is a good option if you are sharing information cross-departmentally or even sharing information externally with clients.

Getting your KPI dashboard in front of the right eyeballs is crucial to make decisions about the data presented.

Key Considerations for Successfully Building a KPI Dashboard

When you’re building your KPI dashboards, make sure to keep these tips and tricks in mind:

Focus on the Stats that Matter

It may seem obvious, but going down the wrong rabbit hole with your stats will provide you with unuseful or downright wrong information. A really common trap in tracking your KPIs is to focus on vanity metrics.

Vanity metrics are statistics that look good but don’t indicate progress toward tangible business goals.

For example, many social media stats can be considered vanity metrics – likes, follows, shares and engagements have marginal benefits if they don’t lead to increased conversion rate, sales, or profits.

Make sure your KPI dashboard has a clear focus and you won’t have to worry about clutter. Clear and organized dashboard will allow you to make high-level informed decisions about the progress of your business.

Make it Easy to Understand

Good dashboard design ensures that KPIs can be easily discerned and users can easily identify trends. Use color coding or graphical elements to indicate various data points.

Additionally, use plain language for labeling rather than technical jargon to help make the meaning of each KPI more immediately understandable.

Taking the time to make sure your KPI visualization is as user-friendly as possible will pay dividends over time – allowing decision-makers to easily assess how well strategies are working and maximizing outcomes from data-driven insights.

Make your Dashboard Dynamic

The business world is a complex place that is always moving and shifting this is why it is so important to make your KPI dashboard dynamic instead of static. This ensures that when new stats come in, the dashboard automatically updates to show the fresh data.

When you automatically update your dashboard, it becomes a living breathing tool that shifts and changes with the landscape. This allows you to make real-time business decisions based on the same trackable KPIs – a much better approach than making a static report that you look at once and stuff in an old file folder on your computer.

Taking it to the Next Level: How to Measure KPIs like a Pro

Here are a few things to consider when using your dashboard to measure KPIs:

Choose the right KPIs for your business

When choosing the right key performance indicator for any business, it’s important to focus on the metrics that will give the most accurate and useful insights into how well the company is performing.

Generally speaking, the metrics that matter in a business are the ones that indicate an increase in revenue, or a decrease in costs or both.

Additionally, it can be helpful to break down KPIs into leading indicators and lagging indicators.

Leading indicators are predictive in nature but aren’t necessarily tied to tangible business outcomes.

Lagging indicators are a result of the prerequisite leading indicators aligning together. They are more directly tied to your desired business objectives.

Segment KPIs into different groups

Generally, business KPIs will fall into 5 different categories:

  1. financial,
  2. marketing,
  3. sales,
  4. operational, and
  5. people

If you try to stuff all of your metrics into one dashboard, it can become a mess in a hurry and become more confusing than useful.

Instead, it can be helpful to segment these different types of KPIs into separate dashboards so that the metrics can be more easily interpreted and understood.

Ensure Data Integrity

To make sure your KPI stats are sound, it’s important to take notice of anything that might skew your results.

The first thing you should do is screen your data before uploading it to the dashboard, as even a small mistake or error can have a big impact on the KPIs and overall insights.

For example, if you’re tracking sales KPIs, look for seasonality – are there certain months when sales tend to be higher or lower? Make sure your KPI dashboard controls for this data so that it doesn’t tell the wrong story.

Similarly, if you’re monitoring ad campaigns for a return on investment, make sure that impressions and actions are properly segmented by ad type – not every click and impression is worth the same, and irrelevant views could skew your data.

By carefully screening the data that makes it into your KPI dashboards, you can be far more confident that you’re getting an accurate picture of your results.

Wrapping Up

Just like a car dashboard, your business KPI dashboard is designed to give you an overview of how everything is running at a glance. By measuring and tracking various KPIs, you can quickly identify areas that need improvement and make necessary changes to achieve your strategic objectives.

While there are many different ways to build a KPI dashboard, the most important thing is to make sure it includes all the vital KPIs for your specific business. With so many different options available, finding the right KPI dashboard tool for your needs can be overwhelming.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the Best KPI Dashboards for Tracking Business Performance. Check them out and see which one works best for you.

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