How to build a dashboard for your business – Sam Harrop

samHaving your own dashboard  for your business will make sure that you have the right information at the right time to be able to make great decision, you see you can only manage as well as you can measure.  If you are not able to measure what you are doing and achieving it is almost impossible to manage!

In almost every business I have worked with or do work with I have found that setting up a dashboard which measures and tracks key information on a weekly basis works best.  You see the challenge with looking at our P & L and Balance Sheet on a monthly basis means we are only keeping track of the score once per month and generally that is a couple of weeks after the end of the month which means we are dealing with old, outdated data.  We need to be on top of what is happening within the business so we can make changes quickly when necessary.

In developing reporting systems it is easy to get carried away and want to measure everything, the challenge with that is it can become overwhelming and becomes too difficult and then it doesn’t get done at all.

If you aren’t in the habit of collecting data and reporting, start slowly, focus on the vital few and then you can build up from there.

Example Questions to Ask Yourself to Set up A Weekly Dashboard

Imagine you are going away on a three month cruise and you can only phone the office once a week and speak to someone for a couple of minutes, what questions would you ask them?

What would give you a good indication on how the business is running in your absence?

A good dashboard will give you meaningful data which enables you to ask more specific questions if needed.

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