Financial Dashboards Explained
Financial dashboards are business intelligence tools that allows for tracking a reporting on financial Key Performance Indicators, KPIs. They are forms of business intelligence reports that illustrate data in a graphical format, focusing on the business fiscal health.
Financial dashboards are extremely important in helping businesses visualize complex data to tell a story of a company’s financial history over time or a snapshot of its current state.
Financial Dashboards are important tools for guiding an organization's financial decisions and are built off of valuable KPIs that we will outline throughout this piece.
Financial dashboards aren’t just for accountants. They are an important tool that leadership should be well invested in if they want to make educated business decisions.
Form an organization’s financial health and growth to ultimately manage cash effectively by tracking expenses, sales, and profits. Financial Dashboards enable analysts to display key metrics visually to present to leadership.
Financial Dashboards: What Should Be in These?
Your Financial Dashboard will be made up of financial KPIs that your organization will measure to assess financial stability and hygiene on a regular, consistent basis. Your Dashboard KPIs can be as diversified as you like but will ultimately allow analysts and financial decision-makers to be properly informed on the company's fiscal status.
What are Financial KPIs?
Financial Dashboards are guided by a set of KPIs outlined by an organization in reflection of business goals.
A KPI in finance measures how well a business is performing by comparing capital to cost. Important financial KPIs to measure include, but are not limited to, the following:
Current & Quick Ratio
Your financial dashboard will inherently describe your current and quick ratio. The current ratio indicates the liquidity of a company and its ability to pay off debts with current cash, the short term. It is the ratio between current liabilities and current assets, as described by your balance sheet.
The quick ratio also offers insight into liquidity, but in a more conservative way that does not take into account your current inventory. Dashboards put these ratios into digestible graphics, so it is easy to understand and present.
This metric describes the relationship between your current assets and your current liabilities. If your working capital is high, this could indicate room to invest and grow. If it is low, this would indicate the business ought to be more conservative. This gives an immediate look at the financial stability and health of the company.
This metric is fairly self-explanatory as it explains where your organization stands concerning a yearly budgeting goal. It measures whether spending is on track for the year, under budget or over budget.
Sales Pipeline / Growth
By monitoring your sales pipeline, you can identify if there is sufficient revenue and potential revenue behind financial goals. If the goal is growth, this metric will identify whether or not there’s an increase in customers for the next month or not.
If sales are met for the month, this KPI will be green, if not, it will indicate ill financial health at that time. You can take this a step further and measure the percentage of growth in sales month over month.
Cash flow / Operating Cash Flow
This metric measures how much money the business is bringing in daily. It will take into account all incoming revenue minus daily costs and liability and will show a snapshot of whether a company can sustainably grow or if financing is necessary.
Industry Performance Metrics
By measuring how your company ranks up to the industry average, you can get a sense of whether or not the business is an industry leader, or if there is more work to do. Measurements of customer churn, acquisition costs, and customer lifetime value of one business compared to the industry are important informative values to measure. Lastly, it is more valuable to focus on the metrics that match your stage of growth rather than allowing industry performance metrics to take over the dashboard.
Net Margin Growth
This metric will indicate if a company is smart about its revenue and profit and its efficiency in the cost of operations and measures how much of each dollar earned turns into profit.
Gross Profit Margin
Gross Profit Margin is the leftover money from subtracting costs from revenue. This directly measures the ability to grow by how much profit is being made.
Ultimately, the KPIs depicted on your dashboard should relate to your business goals and intentions and should be displayed in a manner that will educate decision-makers and leadership on how to best grow and scale a business. Your dashboard potential is endless and can tell a different story based on the KPIs you conceptualize, so be sure to create a dashboard that answers the questions needed to achieve your business goals.
Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable
Your financial dashboard should look at these two metrics to ensure the business can pay off debt and ensure debt owed is paid off. They assess liabilities and how well the business can track down lost income. Accounts Payable are the accounts that a business owes money to; they may be banks, creditors, and suppliers.
Accounts Receivable are the opposite; they are the accounts that are in debt to a business. The metric will estimate upcoming income and how long it will take to receive. A high Accounts Receivable metric does not indicate success by way of a large amount of income on the way, it indicates poor management of debtors who owe money.
Tell a Story with Data Through Financial Dashboards
By designing a dashboard with the KPIs outlined above, a business can begin to tell a story about their financial health and growth possibilities as told by data. The data can tell where a business or organization has grown from, over time, and where it can grow, through growth and investment.
Data is highly informational, and your dashboard will graphically present the data so you can create the next chapter in your company’s story, whether that’s an everyday purchasing decision or a long-term growth investment. Use data to paint your story while managing cash, profit, and revenue effectively.
Different Types of Financial Dashboards and Which to Use
Not all dashboards are built the same, and not all dashboards are effective. Generally, more KPIs and metrics tracked does not always mean better results. Financial Dashboards should be strategic and specific. A few popular specialized financial dashboards are Sales & Marketing Dashboards, Financial Performance Dashboards, and Executive Financial Dashboards.
- A Sales & Marketing Dashboard may already be integrated into a team’s CRM, like Salesforce or Hubspot. However, it typically needs to go deeper into the data than a CRM is capable of. With a Sales & Marketing focused Dashboard, decision-makers in those departments can assess the financial impact of their campaigns and sales funnels. Metrics tracked in this type of dashboard include total opportunities, selling price, annual contract values, pipeline, and revenue retention.
- The Financial Performance Dashboards look at cash, profit margins, income, and accounts receivable & accounts payable, amongst other things. These dashboards highlight the numbers and the action items to improve.
- The Executive Financial Dashboards give CFOs and other executive leaders a snapshot into the business’s financial state while presenting a more advisory set of data. These dashboards look at more complex data that allows leadership to make a strategic decision about the products they sell, currently and in the future.
Financial Dashboards Best Practices
There are better ways than others to design the most practical and effective dashboard. Make sure your metrics are relevant and empowering towards your business’s financial goals and targets. Choosing relevant KPIs in line with future aspirations will ensure those are met. It’s also important to select the right type of dashboard, whether that is strategic, tactical, operational, or analytical.
The right dashboard will reflect your goal, your timeline, and the amount of data you have.
Financial Dashboards are a critical tool to evaluate the fiscal health of a business and whether or not there is room to grow, invest, or maintain. Financial Dashboards take an organization's past and current data to create a detailed screenshot that can enable leaders to understand whether the business stands and enables financial analysts to present that to them.
While there is much that can be built into a financial dashboard, understanding the correct KPIs for the nature of the business and the business’s goals is paramount. Above all, organizing live data into a graphic dashboard can uncover data that may have been misinterpreted more and can indicate an opportunity for financial success and growth.
DashboardFox as Your Ultimate Financial Dashboards Tool
As we've journeyed through the intricacies of financial dashboards, one might ponder about the best tool to implement these valuable strategies. Look no further, as DashboardFox is the perfect platform to help you navigate the world of financial dashboards.
DashboardFox's robust data visualization functionality enables users to create clear, interactive, and comprehensive financial dashboards. Whether you're focusing on cash flow, net margin growth, current capital, or any other critical financial KPIs, DashboardFox's toolset allows you to visualize your data in a way that simplifies understanding and drives decision-making.
Heck, the name says something about how it can help-- DashboardFox.
This platform provides an array of features, including real-time dashboards that offer the freshest insights, the ability to connect to multiple data sources, and the option to create custom reports. The result is a comprehensive view of your financial status that informs strategic decision-making and ensures the economic health of your organization.
But don't just take our word for it. The real value of DashboardFox lies in its hands-on experience. It’s time to immerse yourself in the world of effective financial dashboards, and what better way to do so than with a live demo session?
Ready to elevate your financial decision-making process? Book a meeting or schedule a free live demo session with one of our DashboardFox experts today. Discover firsthand how you can harness the power of financial dashboards to direct your company's financial future strategically. It's time to tell your financial story through the lens of data, and DashboardFox is here to guide you every step of the way.
Learn more about financial metrics and metrics of all types in our KPI Directory and if you’re not looking for a self-hosted dashboard software like DashboardFox, check out our cloud dashboard solution, InsightWorthy.