The Most Important Metrics That Should Be on Your Executive Department Dashboard

Executive dashboards are vital for any admin team to identify and analyze trends in their companies to help them make better decisions

When you are part of an executive team, you might constantly be finding ways to make your life easier while simultaneously growing the company inexorably. One of the most common tools for doing so is a dashboard. Since dashboards have a high adoption rate of over 85%, save executives an average of 20 days a year, double the number of strategic projects they finish, and increase data availability by 100%, they are often quickly seen as essential once fully understood.


Executive dashboards are vital for any admin team to identify and analyze trends in their companies to help them make better decisions. Accordingly, an executive dashboard must include all necessary metrics. This page will cover all that you need to know!


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First Identify Your Priorities


A dashboard is a way to summarize and visualize data to identify trends and make better decisions. You should always start with identifying your key priorities before looking at exact variables to track using the help of a dashboard. 


Next, Identify Key Metrics That Track Those Priorities


Metrics are important because they measure and quantify how successful your team is in achieving its goals. One of the things you should do is identify the most relevant and helpful metrics towards achieving your key priorities. Then, make sure they are tracked regularly so that you can analyze them regularly.

Please find below the suggested metrics to track:

  • The profit margin with respect to gross revenue
  • The number of days since the last sale
  • The number of sales made in a given period
  • The quantity and quality of customer feedback
  • The website traffic and interaction
  • The number of social media followers and interactions
  • The staff demographic information
  • The percentage of sales that come from first-time and repeat customers
  • The number of customers compared to the number of sales
  • The average time that a customer spends on your website before he/she makes a purchase
  • The number of new customers acquired by month


A dashboard can be anything from an Excel sheet with tabs for different metrics to an application such as Toucan Toco. One thing’s for sure, though: you should always start with identifying key priorities and then identify metrics that help you achieve those goals


The Focus is On Easy-to-Read Data that emphasize your KPIs


You can have all the data in the world, but it doesn’t help you much if it’s just a big blob of information that is hard to read! Focus on the visualizations that will tell your story best, and be sure you’re using relevant data to your KPIs. This is typically done using:

  • Graphs showing company performance over time
  • Line charts that show how certain variables are trending
  • Pie charts indicating where different types of expenses come from


Make the Data Aesthetically-Pleasing & Easy to Digest


If your dashboard is a giant eyesore, you and your team will dread looking over it. This is why some emphasis should be placed on design and aesthetics. Otherwise, you could pay a data analyst to come up with aesthetically pleasing information that doesn’t require any effort on your end.


Some dashboard design tips include using colors to convey meaning and make it easier for readers to understand information, making sure graphs are easy to read and not cluttered with too many numbers, and ensuring there is enough space between each graph so they can be understood individually without having to jump back and forth between them. Finally, use fonts that are clear and easy to read, with no hard edges or serifs, which could cause eye strain when reading text for long periods.


Example Home Page of an Executive Department Dashboard


With all the possibilities in front of you, you might be most concerned with how your dashboard might look when finally finished. A highly effective executive dashboard might include the following information on the home page: sales revenue by product category, profit margins by product category, customer satisfaction index by region, the total number of employees per region, total number of employees per company, staffing needs by product category, and progress of urgent tasks.


Why You Should Take Your Metric Planning Seriously


Your dashboard will become (if it isn’t already) the most important place to monitor your company’s KPIs. If you don’t know how to read it or understand what it means, then you’re in trouble!


By having a clear idea of which metrics are more critical than others and where they should be shown on the board, you will start to make your daily life much easier. Instead of digging through emails, receipts, and so on, you can instead have all the data you need right in front of you instantly!  


Therefore, treat you and your company with a bit of respect. Take the process of planning out your dashboard seriously. Consider metrics like the ones we mentioned above and any that might be most relevant to your business needs.


Finally, Consider Adoption Across Other Departments


Once you start to see how useful the dashboard can be for your executive team, you might also see an immediate need to get other departments on board. These could include sales, HR, IT, finance, and so on!

The executive dashboard should be the factor used to determine what is found on other department dashboards. Therefore, try to make other departments focus their metrics on areas that are directly concerning them. For example, a finance department dashboard might contain tons of information on profit, expenses, ROIs, and so on.


Test Out Your Dashboard for a Month Before Adjusting for New Metrics


The best way to know if your dashboard is successful or even useful is by testing it out for a month. This will give you plenty of time to see how people interact with the board and what they find most valuable. During the trial period, think of ways it is helpful, how it can be improved, etc. Then, you can fix all the issues you have in your dashboard without too much back-and-forth.


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