Dashboard design – Part 2: Strategic dashboards

In part one of the series, we discussed the three types of dashboards:​ – Strategic, Analytical and Operational. In this post, let us see in detail how to construct strategic dashboards.​


What are strategic dashboards?
Strategic dashboards are used by upper ​management professionals like business owners, CEOs, vice presidents, and departmental heads. Strategic dashboards tend to be simple looking and provide a quick overview of the organization’s or department’s overall health.

They highlight the key metrics (KPIs) to track and provide the required information to compare the trends over time. These dashboards are looked at once a week, monthly or quarterly, but not daily.

Strategic dashboards – Examples
Here’s what a typical strategic dashboard would look like.

This is a very high-level dashboard meant for a CEO. It has some important metrics that lets the CEO know how well the business is performing.

There is a school of ​thought of how strategic dashboards should include explanatory text that explains key trends and recommendations for actions to be taken. Here’s one such example.

Another example is a marketing dashboard that can help marketing managers track important marketing metrics such as:

  • Total marketing expenses
  • Number of leads ​acquired by the marketing team
  • The ​average cost per lead
  • Revenue per customer
  • Conversion rate – The ratio of actual buyers to visitors
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC) – The average cost of acquiring a customer
  • Customer lifetime value (LTV) – The total amount paid by a customer
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) – How many of your customers will recommend your product/service vs. how many who won’t
  • Social metrics like the number of brand mentions on social media, how many people liked your brand’s page, etc.

There are other website metrics that some marketing managers may be interested in tracking,

  • Total visits per channel (organic, referral, direct, social)
  • New users or sessions
  • Bounce rate
  • Signups or downloads

Best Practices
Here are some of the best practices when constructing a strategic dashboard.

  1. Identify the target audience (who is the dashboard meant for?)
  2. Group your metrics logically. For example, financial or sales metrics may not be of interest to the CMO
  3. Make sure the metrics are linked to business objectives
  4. Don’t clutter the dashboard with unnecessary metrics or text. Present only the most important metrics.
  5. Make the dashboard easy on the eye by leaving enough white space.
  6. Ensure data quality by double checking all the data in the dashboard is correct.
  7. Include insights and actions to be taken. This will help the executive audience immensely.

Strategic dashboards can play an important role in visualizing how an organization or department is achieving its long-term goals. They can help the management track various important metrics.

Try constructing strategic dashboards with Zoho Analytics, or register for a personalized live demo. In the next post we’ll discuss Analytical Dashboards in detail.

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