A performance dashboard is a data presentation that shows the key performance indicators and measurements that are essential to the accomplishment of a plan. The dashboard is usually configured to the needs of the user, so that the dashboard viewed by the chief executive officer (CEO) will differ from the one viewed by the marketing manager or production manager. For example, the performance dashboard viewed by a production manager might include the number of failed quality inspections per hour, while the marketing manager might see the conversion rate for the company’s latest promotional mailing.
The most comprehensive dashboards allow a user to drill down through the data, to access real-time information from around the company regarding what is causing high-level performance information to change.
Performance dashboards are quite useful for the rapid identification of problem areas, so that managers can take action to remedy them as soon as possible. This approach is especially useful when managing by exception, where the system draws the manager’s attention to outlying conditions that are well outside the norm. Dashboards are quite useful for the CEO, who normally relies on highly summarized data, but who can now drill down deep into the data to obtain more precise information about specific problem areas.