Business is a complex business. At the core, the goal is to bring in more than you spend. But as a business grows to meet that objective, it gets saddled with the costs of that growth, which come in the form of new departments, processes and free soda. The point of a dashboard is to keep track of as much of that as possible. Continuing my investigation into the awesome "Information Dashboard Design," I will sketch out a quick overview of What Gets Tracked across the typical business (or dare I say, what should be tracked). These are a mixture of fundamental, high level (and typically aggregate) stats plus slightly less common but equally important measures.
Sales Bookings, Billings, Pipeline, Number of Orders, Order Amounts, Prices, Product Mix, Cost of Acquisition (CAC), Time to Recover CAC, Sales Force Effectiveness, ARPU Marketing Market share, Campaign Metrics, Demographics, Leads, Conversions, SEO and SEM Stats and Total Spend. Finance Revenues, Expenses, Profits, Runway, Monthly Burn, Churn and all the ratios that accompany these figures Support (or ops, for web businesses) Number of Support Calls, Resolved Cases, Customer Satisfaction and Call Duration Fulfillment Number of Days to Ship, Backlog, Inventory Levels Manufacturing Number of Units Manufactured, Manufacturing Times, Number of Defects Human Resources Employee Satisfaction, Employee Turnover, Open Positions, Performance Review Stats Information Technology Network Downtime, System Usage, Fixed Application Bugs Website Number of Visitors, Page Views, Durations, Goals, Source, Repeat Visits, Bounces
The great news is that a lot of this data is kept in databases and a good deal of it is available in real time. Any businesses' ultimate goal should be to have these available in an intuitive view, at a glance and dynamic. Even better is to couch these data in alerts that keep you and your team honest.