Strategic, operational, tactical… What’s your dashboard type?
Posted On 21/02/2018
Performance dashboards are a useful asset for everyone in business. But building new dashboards can be a bit overwhelming at the beginning. You need to take into account a number of things:
Do you need a high-level overview, or an in-depth analysis?
Do you need an update on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, or is it a one-time analysis?
Are you tracking company-wide performance, or just a specific area of business?
All these questions will influence what your dashboard will look like. And which metrics you’ll track. Make sure you start off right: read on, and follow the flowchart to help you choose the right type of dashboard!
Strategic, operational or tactical dashboard: which one’s for you?
In general, there are 3 categories: the strategic, operational and tactical dashboard. Each type has a different goal, and thus, you’ll measure different KPIs. So, with every new dashboard, you’ll need to determine carefully what you want to achieve, and which report you’ll need for that goal. To make that job a little easier, just follow the flowchart:
Great, you found your matching dashboard! So what’s next? Let’s have a closer look on each type of dashboard, and what they can mean to your business.
Strategic dashboards are a must-have for any business owner or C-level executive. They offer a birds-eye view of your business, so you can understand the overall health of your organization at a glance.
Typically, strategic dashboards track how you’re making progress towards attaining your company’s big, strategic goals. For example, imagine your goal is to triple revenue in 2018. Your reporting will include KPIs such as actual & target revenue per month, target achievement, and comparison to the previous year.
Just like strategic ones, operational dashboards provide a more high-level overview. However, they are specifically used to track activity in a given business area.
Let’s say you’re a project manager at company X. You want a clear overview of how your project is running: from time tracking to budget management, revenue, invoicing, and so on. With an operational dashboard, you can follow up on more closely on the input and outcome.
Most operational dashboards are in real-time. So, when there are unexpected results or negative changes, business managers can take action right when it happens. It allows companies to stay proactive and deal with abnormalities before they become a problem.
Whereas the 2 types above serve as a ‘monitoring’ instrument, a tactical dashboard is meant for more in-depth analysis. They are perfect if you want to analyze business processes in more detail.
Typically, a tactical dashboard analyzes a much larger volume of data, collected over time. This allows you to explore the data through filtering, using segments,… In that way, you can easily detect patterns & opportunities to move your business forward. Use these insights to improve decision-making.
The focus lies much more on ‘analyzing’ rather than ‘monitoring’. Therefore, a tactical dashboard is most useful to subject matter experts or analysts in a particular area of business.