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What to Look for in an Online Dashboard for Your Small Business

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What to Look for in an Online Dashboard for Your Small Business

Do you need to find the right online dashboard for your small business? If so, consider factors like ease of use, data sources, and visualization options. The right tool can be a game-changer, so it makes sense to familiarize yourself with some key capabilities to look for.

Before you can get the right one, you need to know what an online dashboard is. It’s essentially a visual display of key performance indicators (KPI) you can use to see how things are going at your company. The benefits of a KPI dashboard are that you can track performance, find out what’s working and what’s not working, and use analytics to make better business decisions. 

So you know what to look for in the right online dashboard, here’s a rundown of some features.

Easy to Use

Even the most feature-packed online dashboard solution won’t be of much use to your business if no one knows how to use it. You also probably won’t want to invest in a solution that creates more problems than it solves. Do you have the time to accept a long learning curve? Will your employees buy into the process if the learning curve is long and arduous? Things don’t have to be that difficult. A good online dashboard will be intuitive and easy to learn.

When assessing different online dashboard tools, you’ll want to consider the impact on the end users. On the one hand, you’ll want to consider the user interface and look at things like navigation, layout, and overall design. On the other hand, you’ll want to consider the user experience and look at things like how the solution feels when putting it through its paces. 

Flexibility

You should also consider flexibility when buying an online dashboard for your small business. For instance, you need to find a solution that offers customization flexibility. Your small business doesn’t need a one-size-fits-all solution. It needs a one-size-fits-one solution. So, find an online dashboard that offers customization options that suit your company’s specific needs.

It’s also vital that you consider integration. The online dashboard you need should integrate with the various software applications your small business uses every day. If it can’t work with what you have already invested time and money into, then it won’t be as useful to you as it could be. Proper integration means the online dashboard will be able to pull the information needed to give you an accurate, real-time view of how your company is doing.

There’s another aspect of flexibility that you can’t overlook: scalability. If you’re like most small business owners, your goal is to grow your company over time. You need an online dashboard that can grow along with your small business. So, scalability needs to be baked into it. If the tool you buy doesn’t age well, you’ll be back to square one. Looking for something else will be costly and time-consuming as you replace the tool and train workers on how to use it.

Visualization

You also need to consider visualization options. There are lots of them. Some will be more useful in conveying the sort of information you need to make good business decisions. Visualization options include, but are not limited to, line charts, bar charts, pie charts, geographical maps, and timelines. Different departments, teams, or workers might prefer different visualization options for the information they need. Getting a solution that offers a range of such options will allow people to obtain data in the best way for them.

Data Sources

Don’t overlook the importance of finding an online dashboard that supports different data sources and connectors. These include, but are not limited to, databases, web applications, APIs, and file formats. You need your online dashboard solution to support the data sources and connectors you use. Otherwise, your online dashboard won’t offer what you need.

These are some of the things to consider if you want an online dashboard for your small business. Getting the right solution is essential, so figure out what you need before you settle on a tool. When you do find the right fit, you’ll see how vital an online dashboard really is.