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Do you use a dashboard to pull together your data?

Do you use a dashboard to pull together your data?

  • Do you use some type of dashboard to aggregate your data and metrics into a single, visual source to help determine goals and progress on projects/objectives?

    In an upcoming article, Idealware interviewed three different organizations about how they're using tools like Microsoft Excel, Salesforce CRM, and Drupal to compile their data into a visual format to better convey their work and progress.

    Have you used an executive dashboard at your organization? What tool(s) do you use? How has it helped you convey information that matters to your staff, board, and constituents?

    Becky Wiegand is the Interactive Events Producer at TechSoup.org
    @bajeckabean on Twitter

  • So, I was hoping someone else would reply to this before I did.  Unfortunately, I think the answer to this question is either "What's a data dashboard?" or "I would love to use one, but we have no way of getting it done, how can we?"

    A lot of the work my company does is about solving data problems and questions, usually around just proper access to the data and making sure business processes are properly automated so the right data is there for reports to be accurate.  We offer building the dashboard type of a system, but most of our clients today just want accurate reports and want to start there.  After they are bored with those, maybe they will ask us for a dashboard!  :)

    For our clients that are service-oriented, they typically run more than one funded program.  The problem they have is that they cannot track all activity from every program they run in one piece of software.  They have a major one, then maybe 2 others that record software for a specific funder because that's what that funder requires them to use.  When we are lucky, we can use a data export feature from the main software.

    Biggest question we have: unduplicated client count.

    Chris Shipley
    Nutmeg Consulting

  • Our software vendor has a couple of dash board options.  The problem like Chris says is looking at the correct data and being able to filter and aggregate the data on the way to the dash board so the results are meaningful.  A red light green light is meaning less or gives a false indication if the data isn't triggering the right things.  A dash board indicator that we have 1000 donors doesn't do any good if each donor donated a penny.

    Dave