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Business Intelligence*This is the final post of our four-part series. You can read parts one, two, and three by clicking on the links, if you missed them.

Generic Dashboards can give you a general idea of what someone else considers important – but this is all about you. What is important to you? Lean experts stress having a one “page” Dashboard. Too many gaugesand you lose focus. Too few and you do not get a good handle on your business. Moreover, you probably have realized by now that each person or department in your company may need a different dashboard. A Dashboard must be specific to the person’s task. The Dashboard should tell its user what is the most critical or important task that may otherwise be overlooked.

The Real Kicker is that all this information may be available in your current system. You just have to run a dozen reports, retype it into Excel, develop your pivot tables and graphs and analyze the data. Oh, and then redo it every day. Not fun, not quick, not practical. However, that points out what is necessary. You and your management team know what is important for your business. (You can recognize it by your CFO saying, “I can get that put together, I’ll have it for you next week.”) Spend the time to categorize, distill, discard. Then, keep what’s left and use that as your starting point. Many times, you will find that what you thought was the source of the problem really is not (download our article on Lessons Learned from the Toyota Way ). Finding the source(s) of the problem is critical if you want to solve the problem.

There is an old saying that, as I translate it, says, “The urgent will always make itself known, the important lies quietly waiting to be done until it either is no longer important, or it becomes urgent. The wise man or woman deals with the important before it becomes urgent.” Ask yourself, “If the building were on fire (and I didn’t have an offsite backup) and I could grab only one report, which would I grab, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, or the Inventory Valuation Report?” Not a good choice—but we all make similar choices every day. Payables clamor for attention. Receivables lie quietly waiting for you to follow up.

Free Analysis – Dashboards bring the important into view so that you can deal with it on a timely basis. If you would like to have a conversation regarding your own Dashboard, we have a free analysis we can provide you, so give us a call at 877-571-8580 or 763-571-8580, or contact us via the web. We look forward to talking to you soon.

To learn more: Business Intelligence, Reporting, & Dashboards Are NOT the Same Thing