By Mico Yuk and Anita Gibbings
A successful dashboard should tell a four-part story for each of KPI:
1) Current State: Where you are today
2) Trend: How you got there
3) Forecast: Where you’ll end up over time at your current run rate
4) What-if: What you need to do to hit your targets
Sales Dashboard that “Tells a Story” – Credit: AnalysisFactory.com
Note the storyline at the top right: Scorecard, Performance, Trend, What If that allow you to first recognize that you have a problem, diagnose the issues and decide on the appropriate action.
Click images for larger view
Another thing to consider is that most KPIs are useless without the use of alerts or statistical functions such as probability. Successful dashboards contain KPIs that provide direct answers to questions like “Will I hit my target?” Instead of showing this in the form of a bar chart that displays actual vs. target, consider using a simple probability formula that displays a single percentage to target on a real-time basis throughout the month.
For instance, if it’s the middle of the month and the probability of you hitting your target isn’t at or above 50 percent, then a yellow alert should display on the dashboard for that KPI, indicating that unless you implement some changes to your business now, you’ll miss your targets at month end. This is way more efficient for running a business and measuring the appropriate targets as opposed to simply displaying data.
So before you bring in IT, business leaders need to spend significant time getting to the core business goals or challenges. This allows for a clear understanding of the purpose of each metric and how it will drive behavior in your organization once it’s published broadly.
Mico Yuk- Founder of the Xcelsius Gurus and popular weblog EverythingXcelsuis.com , SAP Mentor, and BI Influencer, will be teaching the above strategies and many more in her new online coaching series titled “The BI Dashboard Formula,” which will kick-off in September 2012. Here’s a complimentary download of one of the 10 templates that she will offer in her training. Don’t miss her early bird specials (including a free Blackberry PlayBook for the first 50 that sign up).
Register now and watch for the next blog post in August, covering the second step of Mico’s seven-step formula.Comments