Dashboards provide a manageable snap shot of several key performance indicators and business metrics. They are used to provide actionable information based on past data, which predicts future performance, allowing for effective decision-making. Dashboards also communicate strategic objectives and enable businesses to measure, monitor and manage key activities and processes. Dashboards can also include alerts to identify when pre-defined conditions, such as total sales, fall within a given range.

Common dashboards are:

Executive Dashboards – Provide the quick overview that decision makers need to monitor the health and opportunities of the business. They typically focus at a higher level.

Operational Dashboards – Are used to immediately draw attention to any operations that fall outside the acceptable threshold of performance. The information is also presented at a deeper level of detail.

Analytical Dashboards – Support data analysis and tell the analyst what to investigate. They support interactions with data such as drilling down into underlying details for further data examination.