Executive Dashboards: Meaning, Types & Examples

Executive Dashborads

Modern reporting tools enhance productivity and save money by utilizing automation, intelligent solutions, and data-driven environments. To put the importance, functionality, and organizational benefits of data analysis into perspective, we’re going to explore the value of executive dashboards, offering an insight into what they are and more. 

First, let’s walk through a practical definition.

What is an Executive Dashboard?

An Executive Dashboard is a reporting tool for C-level professionals that displays key performance indicators (KPIs) to skillfully manage business operations. Executive dashboards integrate departmental data for deeper insights, thereby enhancing agile decision-making, and driving productivity, revenue growth, and risk reduction.

Modern executive reporting consolidates multiple analytics reports into a cohesive product while outlining problems and solutions using KPI dashboards for enhanced insights and visual representation, thereby providing real-time information for executives.

Providing a comprehensive overview of organizational numbers, this reporting tool offers decision-makers comprehensive information for informed choices. Executive dashboards provide clear, concise information. These reports primarily focus on financial data, but other information can be included for a comprehensive view.

Let us take a look at some information that can be represented on the reporting dashboard.

Executive Reporting Dashboard Data:

Reporting dashboards can include data such as:

  • Metrics for executive performance.
  • Over time, sales performance.
  • Key employee productivity metrics, including sales and revenue per hour worked.
  • Cost analysis of a company’s products and services.
  • Social media analytics on popular channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
  • Financial statements display key metrics like cash flow and revenue growth.

The above contains a list of information that can be represented on the reporting dashboard, and more, depending on the structure and operational performance of the organization. 

In addition, executive dashboards can improve competitive advantage and business growth by offering numerous benefits, Hereunder are some of the advantages.  

Read Also: WHAT IS KPI: Detailed Explanation and Examples

Benefits of Executive Dashboards

Executive Dashboard offers numerous benefits for business executives, including the following:

#1. Visibility:

Visibility is crucial for a company’s success. The executive dashboard provides valuable visibility and insight. You know exactly what’s going on in all aspects of your business. This ensures comprehensive business management.

#2. Ongoing Improvements: 

According to Peter Drucker, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Executive dashboards measure performance and improve organizational efficiency. It enhances continuous improvements.

#3. Time Savings:

Executives spend hours logging into business systems and running reports. The Executive reporting tool has time-saving strategies by displaying current report results.

#4. Enhancing employee performance:

Employees improve work when dashboards evaluate performance. When the employee knows their performance is being judged on a dashboard, this will make them naturally improve their work performance.

#5. Evaluate performance against plan:

Executives create business plans for their organization, which is the first step to success. The second step is to ensure the company meets plan expectations. An executive reporting tool can achieve this. The dashboard displays goals versus real-time business plan results.

#6. Promotes creativity:

A customizable interface allows users to select engaging, understandable formats. Dashboards display information differently for each person; team members may gain distinctive insights.  By enabling data control and viewing options, the executive dashboard empowers perspectives and encourages creative solutions.

#7. Encourages data analysis:

Dashboards enable deeper analysis of metrics and figures. Executive dashboards provide visualizations, charts, and graphics for identifying patterns. The analytics provide evidence for proposals and promote persuasive planning approval.

Features of an effective executive dashboard include:

A good reporting tool possesses the following attributes:

  • User-friendly and intuitive graphical display.
  • A logical structure that simplifies data access and retrieval.
  • Customizable displays tailored to user needs.
  • Collecting data from various sources, departments, or markets.

What are the Types of Executive Dashboards?

There are basically four types of dashboards based on their information display and data usage and they are:

#1. Strategic: A Strategic dashboard analyzes long-term strategies using high-level metrics. A manager’s strategic dashboard displays customer and revenue data.

#2. Analytical: Analytical dashboards analyze large amounts of data for trend identification and prediction. This dashboard displays financial data and customer satisfaction metrics.

#3. Operational: The Operational dashboards display shorter time frames, analyzing project budgets, quarterly expenses, and acquisition costs.

#4. Tactical: The Tactical dashboards monitor employee and project performance. It displays metrics like clicks, impressions, hire cost, and employee output.

In addition to the types of executive dashboards, this write-up includes some examples, especially the basic executive reporting tools that are needed in an organization. 

Read Also: EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT: Meaning, Salary, Duties, Interview Questions & Resume 

Examples of Executive Dashboards:

The following are some examples of executive dashboards:

#1. CEO Executive Dashboard:

For the modern Chief Executive Officers, the executive dashboard is crucial for success, presenting critical performance metrics. With the streamlined presentation of critical performance metrics, CEOs analyze real-time data for business success. Furthermore, CEOs utilize a unified executive dashboard for data analysis or to explore specific data sets from line businesses, uncover hidden data insights, and lead confidently.

#2. COO Executive Dashboard:

The Chief Operation Officers use executive dashboards to visualize data and examine intricate data relationships for efficient revenue management while maximizing profitability and reducing risk. A COO dashboard aids executives in managing processes, and identifying needs for improvement. An example is a sales and operations dashboard (S&OP) that integrates financial data to guide business planning and forecast sales.

#3. CMO Executive Dashboard:

Optimizing the stages of customer lifecycles is crucial for the Chief Marketing Officers. The executive dashboard enables CMOs and revenue operations to measure marketing ROI effectively, drive proactive changes, and adapt to market conditions. Using this reporting tool, real-time KPIs are visible across marketing funnels, focusing on strategic marketing initiatives to identify opportunities and issues, while making informed decisions to share insights with stakeholders.

#4. CFO Executive Dashboard:

Chief Financial Officers require efficient data analysis tools for diverse systems. The CFO executive reporting tool offers comprehensive finance and accounting insights. Financial analytics analyzes expense, cost center, and procurement data to identify real costs, compare divisions, and improve profitability.

#5. CIO and CTO Executive Dashboard

Executive dashboards aid Chief Information Officers and Chief Technical Officers in budget optimization and improve IT asset lifecycle cost management through forecasting. This makes it easier to visualize departmental performance efficiently, explore development cost data through specific analysis, improve efficiency, employee utilization, and more. 

With an executive dashboard, the CIO and CTO will identify underutilized systems, enhance scalability, and identify technology requirements for emerging business opportunities.

7 Steps to Create an Executive Dashboard.

Create an executive dashboard using these seven steps:

#1. Define your goals:

The main objective for creating an executive dashboard is to meet business goals. It is important to determine the needs your executive dashboard is to meet before building it. You can also engage in discussions with employees and stakeholders to clarify the business vision. An effective executive dashboard outlines the company’s long-term goals, needs, and concerns. You might want to reflect on these decisions before proceeding.

#2. Choose your KPIs:

Make sure the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) you choose aligns with organizational goals. Select KPIs directly related to job functions or monitor KPIs with other executives for alignment. You might consider monitoring and improving key performance indicators (KPIs) to meet expectations and achieve growth.

#3. Choose software:

Many software platforms offer executive dashboards. Analyze software options and select the right one for your organization. When evaluating software, the following factors are to be considered:

  • Visual style
  • Functionality
  • Compatibility
  • Adaptability
  • Capabilities
  • Price

#4. Locate the data you need:

Executive dashboards require data access for insights. Identify data needed for dashboard calculations, locate the organization’s data storage, and connect it. For example, to link your dashboard to an accounting platform for financial metrics, store data in a spreadsheet or database, ensure data is compatible, load compatible data into the dashboard, and integrate.

#5. Consider different dashboard types:

Software providers offer dashboard types that are department-specific. These various executive dashboards include finance, marketing, operational, helpdesk, and sales. Dashboard interfaces display business metrics for specific areas and selecting individualized dashboard types provides executives with better departmental oversight. For instance, a CFO prefers a finance dashboard for profit margin, and cash flow, while an IT officer (CIO)  prefers a helpdesk dashboard for tech ticket oversight.

#6. Customize the presentation:

A primary feature of executive reporting tools is that they offer customizable interfaces. Test various presentation styles to optimize tool usage and select a suitable option based on your preferences. For example, you can choose visual aids like pie charts, line graphs, and bar charts or request the dashboard to display metrics in text format, depending on the format you prefer. These adaptable presentation modes enable control over data consumption.

#7. Test collaboration features:

Dashboards enable easy data analysis collaboration, you can explore data-sharing options. For instance, you are able to export reports, grant access, and perform collaborative analysis with executive reporting tools. You can practice collaborative report editing to learn your dashboard updates. For example, some dashboards may automatically update upon user changes, while some require refresh or export for updated data. Secure dashboard access and ensure security by setting permissions.


What should be on an Executive Dashboard?

These dashboards display crucial metrics for evaluating business success. Key metrics like revenue, sales, and stock prices are displayed on the Dashboards. This reporting tool often manages other executives.

What is a CEO Dashboard?

The CEO dashboard is a reporting tool that provides an overview of a business’s health by tracking business goals and achieving them. They are visually-driven dashboards that enable early problem identification and resolution. Again, the CEO dashboard utilizes business intelligence for data-driven decision-making and validation.

What is the Difference Between an Executive and an Operational Dashboard?

Operational dashboards offer detailed insights into individual tasks, whereas executive dashboards provide a holistic view of the KPIs.

Why Use an Executive Dashboard?

An executive dashboard provides your executive team with strategic decision-making insights backed by data. This reporting tool provides upper management with a current metrics overview for easy and quick decisions on business priorities. Other businesses gather and report extensive data for evaluation from various areas of business. Centralizing and effectively communicating crucial data can simplify business operations.

Final Words

It is evident that we are living in a time of valuable digital information and data. By acquiring and organizing crucial organizational metrics for analysis, you can enhance your domain intelligence using strategic planning, executive reporting, and business dashboards to aid in achieving these goals.

Using executive reporting tools, business leaders can leverage all data, thereby enhancing decision-making and their competitive edge.

Thank you for reading.


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