What is a Dashboard?

Any area of administrative control for operating applications, especially social media settings, blogging software, and user profiles for websites that offer multiple customization options.

A dashboard is a tool used for information management and business intelligence. Much like the dashboard of an auto, data dashboards organize, store, and display important information from multiple data sources into one, easy-to-access place. Using data visualization, they uniquely communicate metrics visually to help users understand complex relationships in their data. In a data dashboard, it’s easier to draw parallels between different but related metrics, identify trends, and head off potential challenges hidden in an organization’s data. With the help of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile technology, they are also used to deliver relevant information to audiences at any time and in any place. The best are customized, secured, and shared with their intended end-users.

Business Board

In a way, virtually any dashboard used by a business falls into this category. The term specifically refers to reporting tools that fulfill these purposes:

  • Tracking important business metrics
  • Monitoring business intelligence initiatives
  • Reporting data to stakeholders

An effective business board should focus on top-level data related to the overall success of the business. In most cases, every metric in the board should support the business’ most important metric: the bottom line. The goal of a business dashboard is to not only communicate data about the business’ success, though; it facilitates understanding ad alignment between departments, holds each team accountable for their goals and progress, and helps users identify areas that need immediate action.

Executive Board

An executive board gathers and holds information that top-level stakeholders need to run a company, business, or organization. Executive dashboards function much like business dashboards, except the information in them should cater specifically to the needs and expectations of executives. Executives only have so much bandwidth to gather and understand information, which means they need access to the information they need when they need it.


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