The Complete Resource to Understand and Create Informative KPI Dashboards

Karola Karlson |  May 16, 2016 |  Last updated: October 24, 2016

guide to kpi dashboard


If your company doesn’t already use a KPI dashboard, it likely will do so in the nearest future. Business dashboards that display real-time data and indicate a company’s overall performance are becoming increasingly popular.


The main benefit of a KPI dashboard tool is that it collects all the data from separate tools used by various teams and combines it on a single dashboard. Instead of visiting tens of different websites and online tools to gather information about the company’s performance, team leaders can access all the relevant data in a matter of seconds.


If you haven’t heard much about business dashboards, don’t worry. We’ve got it covered for you.


Read the beginner’s guide here:
What Is a KPI Tracking Dashboard? The Complete Guide


For more information, check out these helpful resources:
What Is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)? via Geckoboard

Comprehensive Guide to KPI Dashboards via smartsheet

In Scoro, we use multiple dashboards to track our sales, finances, and marketing achievements. These KPI dashboards have become an invaluable resource for understanding our business goals and following the progress towards these.


But how can you create your first KPI dashboard and what do you need to know?


How to create a KPI dashboard:

First of all, creating a perfect business KPI dashboard isn’t an easy job.


You need to be aware of your business goals and think about the best methods to measure the progress and achievements. Next, you have to find the means to collect relevant data (you probably already collect a huge amount of data but lack the right tools for tracking and measuring it). A business dashboard helps to bring together all the missing pieces while displaying data in a structured and organized way.


Here are the five essential questions everyone should answer before creating a KPI dashboard.


1. What are the desired business results?
2. How can the KPI results be influenced and improved?
3. Does the team have all the relevant data needed to track goals?
4. Who is going to use the KPI report and what do they need to know (ie. which KPIs and metrics should be included)?
5. How to visualize specific KPIs (graphs, metrics, diagrams, etc.)?

Read an in-depth guide exploring the answers to each of these questions:
5 Questions That Lead to Informative KPI Reports

guide to kpi dashboard


Which KPIs to measure?


There are endless opportunities and metrics that one can measure. The same data can be visualized in tens of different ways and tell multiple stories about the company.


To give some examples, let’s take a look at four categories of commonly tracked KPIs.


Sales KPIs


Sales KPIs indicate the performance of the sales team, including the number of new leads, lead-to-customer conversion rate, average deal size, monthly growth in sales results, etc. The best practice is to create a separate sales dashboard that displays all the relevant KPIs and gives an invaluable overview during the sales meetings.


Here are some examples of widely used sales metrics:


  • Monthly sales/new customers
  • Monthly new leads/prospects
  • Lead-to-sale conversion rate
  • Customer lifetime value/customer profitability
  • Customer turnover rate


These metrics were only the beginning. There and numerous sales KPIs that one can measure. See more here:
16 Measurable Sales KPIs for a Highly Informative Executive Dashboard via Scoro

7 Key Performance Indicators That Every Sales Manager Should Use via Salesforce

Sales KPIs: How to Define the Right Metrics for Your B2B Sales Team via Geckoboard


Marketing KPIs

If you’ve ever wondered how to measure your marketing results more accurately, a KPI dashboard might be the answer. You can pull in data from your favourite analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Ads Manager to see all the relevant data displayed on one real-time dashboard.


Here are a few examples of marketing KPIs:


  • Cost per lead generated
  • New leads per marketing channel
  • Monthly website traffic
  • Returning vs. new visitors
  • Website conversion rate
  • Inbound links to website


For a complete overview of all the opportunities for tracking marketing performance, see these helpful guides:
Definite Guide to Tracking & Improving Over 30 Digital Marketing KPIs via Scoro

Marketing KPI Definitions and Benchmarking Data via opsdog

What are the typical KPIs for the marketing department? via Quora
Top 10 Marketing KPIs for Small Businesses via Scoro

Project management KPIs

Teams often manage their work in projects to get a better overview of the overall progress. Tracking project metrics helps to meet deadlines and keep budgets in balance. A project dashboard is an exellent option for tracking important project metrics.


Widely tracked project KPIs include:


  • Planned Value (PV)
  • Actual Cost (AC)
  • Earned Value (EV)
  • Cost Variance (CV) (Planned Budget vs Actual Budget)
  • Cost Performance Index (CPI)
  • Planned hours of work vs actual situation


To bring more structure to your projects, learn more from these thought leadeship articles:
KPIs for Agile Project Managers and Business Analysts (slideshow) via Enfocus Solutions

16 Essential Project KPIs That Benefit the Entire Team via Scoro

PMO KPI examples for measuring success via PMO Guru


Financial KPIs


A financial dashboard gives a trustworthy overview of a company’s overall performance. It indicates whether the revenue is increasing or declining and helps to keep track of profits or losses.


To give an example, here are some popular financial KPIs:


  • Operating Cash Flow (OCF)
  • Current Ratio
  • Quick Ratio / Acid Test
  • Net Profit Margin
  • Working Capital


There are many more financial KPIs that help to improve results when correctly measured. See more thorough lists here:
Financial Metrics and KPI Examples via Klipfolio

Top 20 Financial KPIs Every CFO Dashboard Should Have via CompuData

29 Popular Financial KPIs That Every Business Can Measure via Scoro


Now that you’re familiar with the concept of business dashboards, you can move on to creating a dashboard yourself.


If you’d like to see how the entire process of setting up a KPI dashboard works, see the set-up guide for Scoro’s business dashboard.
How to Create a Perfect Business Dashboard With Scoro

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