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10 Mistakes Leaders Make with Data Dashboards

I find that organizations tend to make some or all of these mistakes in their goal and data tracking and reporting:

  1. Metrics are just financial, and lack information on qualitative performance or a more balanced data set (customer experience, employee experience)
  2. Too many metrics—so people do not know which ones are “critical numbers” (I have seen up to 1000 in a spreadsheet!)
  3. Focus on lagging metrics without any leading ones to proactively forecast performance or identify looming issues
  4. Small bits of data are communicated sporadically or informally weekly – so people lack the visibility to the trends of data over time
  5. Company-wide metrics are not “cascaded down” and aligned with department or team targets
  6. No company or department dashboard to visually share all key performance indicators easily in one place
  7. Data is presented numerically, but not visually compared to a target [such as the red-yellow-green stop light visual] to show how performance compared to expected and for quick identification of issues to address
  8. Reviewing metrics and dashboards weeks after a month or quarter is over, and focusing on a post-mortem rather than as a basis for agile decision making
  9. Not connecting department and individual projects with company objectives/ goals – resulting a lack of alignment and lack of completing on high priority items
  10. A mindset that company goals and performance is only for senior leaders—that staff wouldn’t understand or do not care about the annual goals, priorities or progress