Should My Business Be Using A Financial Dashboard?
Whether you’re running a Fortune 500 company or have just launched your very first startup, one very important metric will constantly be haunting your business - profit.
Finances are a vital part of any business, because without a positive cash flow, it’s difficult to stay afloat. In fact, finances are actually consistently voted the biggest concern for new businesses. Yet, companies that actively track their finances with modern tools report vastly less stress when it comes to money monitoring. Only around 22% of businesses disclose this issue, suggesting that there’s a link between confidence around finances and the active understanding of how they’re fairing.
Financial dashboards are catch-all tech tools that allow for monitoring, analysis, and integration of financial data into one singular platform. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the main reasons that your business should use a financial dashboard, as well as exploring exactly what they are. Let’s get right into it.
What Is A Financial Dashboard?
To put it simply, a financial dashboard is a business intelligence tool that pulls together all of the current statistics about finances within your business into one location. From managing cash flow to following sales figures and more, these dashboards hold all the information you need to get a comprehensive understanding of the financial part of your business with just a glance. Often balancing data visualisation, these aim to make understanding the financials as convenient as possible. They typically link directly to data warehouses, providing live data as new information is received.
Why Should Your Business Invest In Financial Dashboards?
As a central location where all financial data that your business generates can be placed, interacted with, analysed, and understood, financial dashboards are a vital part of creating a successful financial strategy. With 24/7 monitoring and interchangeable metrics, it acts as the architecture for complete financial understanding. Going beyond just analysing the data, there are three central reasons that you should rely on financial dashboards:
- Encourage Interaction and Investigation
- Boosts Accessibility
- Organise Priorities
Let’s break these down further.
Encourage Interaction And Investigation
Financial reporting is a common practice within any business, with statements typically being divided up into financial quarters. While this provides a location to find important information, the low frequency of these reports means that once one is released, many of the most important metrics are already researched, presented neatly, or explained away.
A 24/7 financial dashboard works to give people access at any time. Due to this, a team member can log into the system, notice something slightly off, and research that metric instantly. Instead of having to wait for quarterly financial summaries, a financial dashboard actively inspires interaction and investigation.
Equally, the fact that these dashboards can typically integrate into a range of cloud data warehouses, you can get continual data in a live format. Without any data lag or barriers, the connection between a data warehouse and a financial system ensures that data is more accessible than ever, inspiring people to dig into the data to a greater extent.
If you’re looking to connect your cloud data warehouse to your financial dashboard, be sure to look at comparisons between leading platforms like Clickhouse vs Druid, as these will give more information on compatibility and integration.
With this system link, users can find anomalies or inconsistencies, fix problems, and find the root causes long before a financial statement is released. This holistic approach to finances through a central dashboard, therefore, boosts longevity, allowing for micro corrections throughout the business year, rather than after each quarterly summary.
Especially when running a larger business, which may have many voices on a singular board that need to come to a decision, it’s difficult to get all the required information out there. However, once a dashboard is incorporated into the business structure, you provide everyone at a C-suite level with a direct way of accessing all the information they need.
From revenue numbers to specific metrics related to certain departments, a financial dashboard allows leaders to rapidly make decisions based on data. Anyone can open your dashboard and move through the measures of success that they’d like to understand further, building up an accurate idea of what is going on behind the curtain.
Centralising this dashboard boosts accessibility, allowing people to log onto the system and trace the information they need at any time. This removes the need for continual financial update meetings, liberating the information by providing around-the-clock access.
No matter how vast or all-encompassing your centralised financial dashboard is, someone that’s interacting with these tools can only look at so many things at once. Having one location where all of your company’s financial data arrives ensures that you have a whole lot to look at. But, more than just collecting the data, it forces businesses to take stock of the metrics that are most important to them.
This act of prioritisation when it comes to setting up a financial dashboard can trigger a holistic exercise of looking inwards. By working out what you would like to see on the dashboard, you’re able to work out what is important to your business financially. Understanding these metrics can then help you actively work towards certain goals that you may not have previously considered.
For example, if a central metric that you want to track on your financial dashboard is the amount of total revenue from subscriptions, then you can trace this toward needing to build up your total active subscriber count. Following the money, so to speak, will allow you to organise your priorities, identify goals, and then build toward actually achieving them.
While financial dashboards were once considered difficult to construct, the smooth integration into cloud data warehouses has ensured that these platforms are now more popular than ever. By boosting accessibility, a centralised dashboard can help your business make faster decisions, distribute data, and provide a window for inquiry into finances.
Not only does this boost the speed with which financial decisions can be made, but they also act as a central location where investigation can be undertaken. Taking a more hands-on approach to finance through these platforms ensures that if anything is moving in the wrong direction, a solution can be encountered as quickly as possible.
For businesses that want to stay on top of their finance-related metrics, there are few strategies more effective than integrating a financial dashboard.