Reporting Tools and Dashboard for Operations Management

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As an operations manager, you play the role of an overseer. You are monitoring the day-to-day operations of your store or business, keeping track of factory efficiency, optimizing logistics and safety. You are practically keeping watch of everything that happens in the business and you find yourself just everywhere.

Being a highly functional entity in your business requires that you have a continuous feed of important information about your business. You need data to tell you everything is running smoothly, or tell you something is not going well. This is where a dashboard can help.

What can a dashboard give you?

With the use of reporting tools, such as dashboards, you can create a data reporting system that can help you have an overall view of your operations whenever you need it.

With a dashboard, you can drill down into important details and identify issues before they spin out of control. Once issues have been identified, you can quickly alert stakeholders about them and help them determine necessary measures to take.

Most dashboards systems are customizable and can be operated through a self-service platform. You can design yours in such a way that you can combine multiple data from different sources and look for correlations among data to help you come up with better decisions for your business.

Operational Dashboards

There are three types of dashboards: strategic, operational and analytic dashboards. The kind of dashboard for people running business’s daily operations is the operational type.

Whereas strategic dashboards are used to monitor key performance indicators and analytic dashboards are used for analyzing huge volumes of data to identify trends and predict outcomes, operational dashboards are used to monitor day-to-day processes.

These processes obviously change minute by minute and the dashboard is designed to capture KPIs and metrics associated with these processes. You expect this type of dashboard to be able to give you very frequent updates. Used to monitor short-time progress towards identified goals, dashboards like this are engineered in such a way that they can be viewed several times during the day giving users different data for each view.

Benefits of an Operations Management Dashboard

Operations management dashboards come with these benefits:

  • It will result to improved data transparency for the organization. Everybody needs to know the real score in about just anything. The dashboard will always be ready to show them what they want to know at the time they need to know it.
  • With the use of a dashboard, the organization can foster a culture of continuous development and progress among members and stakeholders
  • Because of the insightful data that will be provided to you by the dashboards, you can have better control of business decisions. As long as you have the right data, you will always feel confident about your decisions. You can also use the data as your evidence when you need to defend your decisions to your bosses.
  • A business dashboard’s cost is too little compared to the money you will save on reporting. You will also discover how you can manage your time better and save huge amount of time by focusing yourself on areas that need your attention the most.
  • Finally, this reporting tool is a good strategy to align goals and activities of everyone in the organization. If they know areas of concern that need to be attended to immediately, you will see an organization that work together towards the accomplishment of certain goals – be it a short-term goal or a long-term goal.

Key Performance Indicators for Operations Managers

Different departments in the organization have different needs and therefore have different KPIs. You, as an operations manager, have a different set of KPIs to monitor. Here are some of them.

  • Labor utilization – You deal with available work-hours from your manpower. You need to know whether this resource is managed efficiently by knowing how much time is spent on finishing a project.
  • Project schedule – You want to know the difference between expected work and actual work. You can track this using a dashboard.
  • Delivery of products and services – Customers have expectations and you have to meet them. How good is your team in delivering the right products on time?
  • Rework – Cases of rework can be inputted into the dashboard, so you can identify your loses related to them and find ways to reducing them.
  • Complaints – Knowing reasons for customer complaints is one of the best strategies for improving your business. What are the weaknesses of your teams in terms of satisfying your customers?

In operations, numbers matter, and they are the ones you need to make life easier at work – not only for you, but for everyone. A dashboard is a great tool to help everybody in the organization to be able to contribute meaningfully to the operation’s success.


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This is the best dashboard software for its price. One good thing we did was to hire their consulting services to build few dashboard prototypes and provide some quick dashboard training.
- Terry Seal, IL
We evaluated Xcelsius and Qlikview and the cost for organization to implement dashboards was quoted over 10,000 USD. For fraction of the above quoted price, we were able to buy the licenses for the web based dashboard software and get some free training. This is truly a dashboard software for small businesses like us.
IT Manager of a Trucking company, OH