5 Tips To Use Dashboards For Remote Teams

SaaS Growth and Trends
Apr 2, 2020
5 Tips To Use Dashboards For Remote Teams

After the COVID-19 pandemic, teams have moved into their home offices and have settled into this new way of working. How can dashboards help to build efficient and productive remote teams? Read on for some tips, including examples for inspiration.

Benefits of dashboards for remote teams

The main advantage of using dashboards is to improve both communication and information for remote teams. Not only internally between colleagues, but also externally towards clients, partners, etcetera.

Dashboards can help your remote teams improve on the following things:

  • Align better internally: dashboards are an instrument to help you think and act in the same direction, especially as a remote team.
  • Make data-driven decisions: truly understand your business and how you are progressing on strategic priorities.
  • Keep your clients and partners informed: continue to provide real-time insights while working remotely, or use dashboards to support remote business reviews and status updates.
  • Build trust with customers: when communicating remotely with clients, real-time visual insights will help you build a relationship based on transparency and trust.

Below are 5 tricks to boost the efficiency of your remote team’s dashboards, both for customer-facing and internal communication.

How to improve customer-facing communication with dashboards

Embed dashboards into a client portal or application

If you want to share dashboards and insights with clients on a large scale, your remote teams will gain efficiency by using a dashboard integration.

Instead of having to create a separate, custom dashboard per client, you can use embedded analytics tools to automate your client reporting. It allows you to offer one and the same dashboard to all of your clients. But the dashboard automatically filters to show only the data that applies to the specific client that is viewing the dashboard.

During these times, when you see your customers less frequently, this helps you to share insights efficiently and highly secured. The dashboards will reuse your portal or application’s authentication system, to show only the data of the user that is logged in.

Example of a dashboard integration inside another software application to deliver insights to customers

Visualize useful insights towards clients & partners

You might wonder: which data are actually relevant to share with my clients or partners? This will depend largely on the type of business you are in. Let’s look into 3 examples.

For services companies, it’s highly relevant to share project and budget progress or show the specific results of your services. For example, field marketing agency Field & Concept integrates dashboards into their client portal. They track the time booked and budget spent on different projects, and how their field sales representatives are reaching their sales target. This helps them to increase transparency to their customers, and build long-lasting relationships.

Product or SaaS companies can visualize the usage data of their platform, or private user data that are relevant to the users. In that way, they can help their users to make better, data-driven decisions directly inside their own platform. For example, Beeple, an HR planning tool, offers a dashboard to their clients that shows how many hours a specific employee worked per project, per client, and how long it takes to fill a position. In that way, Beeple helps its clients to optimize employee planning with the right data.

Example of embedded analytics in HRtech

For public information or governments, embedded dashboards are a great way to share open data with the wider public, in a very easy and interactive format. Especially during times of COVID-19, citizens expect visual and accessible statistics that are easy to interpret. For example, governments could embed COVID-19 dashboards and statistics into a public website or portal, to open up this data to the public.

How to improve internal communication with dashboards

Different types of dashboards for different goals

Not all dashboards are the same. Are you trying to understand the reasons why your leads aren’t converting into opportunities? Or are you reporting on the global sales figures towards your manager? You get the point: the goal of your dashboard will largely determine what your dashboard will look like.

Typically there are 3 types of dashboards.

  • Strategic dashboards: give a birds-eye view on your business and progress on strategic goals.
  • Operational dashboards: track activity in a specific area of business.
  • Tactical dashboards: meant for in-depth analysis into a specific business process.

While strategic dashboards are suited for management meetings, you would rather use an operational dashboard in team meetings, and tactical dashboards for your own expertise.

Example of remote dashboards to improve internal communication

Look for the right balance of information, depending on what you’ll use the dashboard for. Strategic dashboards are high-level and straight to the point, while tactical dashboards require much more detailed data and information.

The strategic dashboard (left) provides a high-level overview, while the tactical dashboard (right) provides drill-down insights.

When working remotely, video calls can be tiresome. Attention spans are shorter. Try to get to the essential data immediately when in meetings. A good dashboard will support your reasoning. It helps you to communicate more efficiently.

Create actionable dashboards

A common mistake for remote teams is to create 20+ dashboards, and then rarely use them. The trick is to create actionable dashboards. Build your dashboards in such a way that they inspire you to take action.

When creating a dashboard, try to provide answers. “What do I want people to learn from this dashboard?” Next time, think of which actions you want them to take. “What do I want people to do with the data afterward?”

Targets and gauges in your dashboards will help drive action. Use guidelines to show targets or averages. Targets and guidelines keep your team motivated and focused on their goals, even when working remotely.

Example of an actionable dashboard for support reps

Pro-tip: define clear actions for when a target is not reached or over-achieved. In that way, your team is always aligned on the next steps.

Finally, advanced embedded analytics software allow taking action on your data with one click. Imagine you’re exploring insights about your email marketing database. While visually exploring the demographics or engagement with your emails, you can build segments with one click from the dashboard. A fun example is this Spotify dashboard, which allows you to filter songs by danceability, bpm,… and add them to a Spotify playlist with one click!

Boost usage of your dashboards

You’ve built a number of great dashboards. Now, how do you ensure your team actually uses them? The previous tips should already be a great help. In addition, we have a few more tips to spark engagement on your freshly created dashboards.

You’ll have to experiment a bit to see what works for your team. But to get your creative brains to work, we’ll sum up a couple of ideas below:

  • Let your team members bookmark dashboards as your browser homepage. Whether you're using Chrome, Brave, or Firefox, it can speed up the process. In the meantime, consider doing a Chrome vs Brave comparison to pick the more effective one for your company.
  • Use dashboards when you start a new project, in order to increase people’s involvement. For example, organize a calling competition and track the results, start a bug fixing project and track team progress,…
  • Also use dashboards for fun activities that improve the team spirit remotely. For example, introduce a coffee-tracker dashboard: who is really drinking too much coffee at home and needs an intervention?

This way, you’ll make your dashboards more fun, with a clear incentive to use them. This motivates people to use the dashboards as a tool to do their job better.

Are you ready to give your remote organization an efficiency boost? With these tips for dashboarding, you can start implementing a data-driven culture towards both clients and employees. And if you're looking for a good dashboarding software to make it happen, look no further than Luzmo. Sign up for a free trial today!

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