Every business should have a dashboard that delivers visibility and insight.

Imagine you’re driving a car and you look to check what your speed is but there’s no dashboard. Without this vital part of the car you can’t monitor your oil, your petrol or be warned if something goes wrong. You wouldn’t think of driving a car without a dashboard, so why is your business any different?

Every business should have a dashboard that delivers visibility and insight. ‘If you can measure it, you can improve it’, as the saying goes, and that’s exactly what business dashboards help you to do, but the key is to track the relevant information, financial and non-financial. Think about what is really important to your business and focus on that. Also remember that, whilst the latest position is essential, a forecast of how this will change in the near future can be even more powerful.

In the large corporate world, business dashboards mean big budgets with IT departments building automatic links between disparate systems so that CEO’s can see in real-time how their global empire is progressing. In our world as SME business owners, we are far more connected with what’s happening day-to-day in our businesses, but that doesn’t remove the need for the dashboard, it just changes how it’s constructed and possibly how often it gets refreshed.

Latest improvements in technology are again helping SME’s to access the same tools as their larger competitors. Cloud based accounting systems like Xero come with a basic financial dashboard, and add-ons such as Fathom provide a cost effective platform to bring together both financial and non-financial information into a common dashboard. Of course, there is always our old friend Excel that, when used properly, can provide a really flexible tool for effective dashboard reporting. Next month we’ll take more of a look at how to build your business dashboard, and what sort of information should go on it.

Our finance teams are experts in identifying the financial and management information that’s important to a business. We can help you implement the systems needed to capture the right data and help you interpret the data to identify what needs changing. If you’re looking to build your business dashboard to help improve your performance, then email hello@yourrighthand.co.uk or call 01252 820002 and speak to our regional team. We’re always happy to help and offer a free two-hour initial review to help you understand how to make valuable changes to support your business.