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Understanding the audience

Understanding the audience At Harry's SuperMart, the metrics that different people in the organization look at will vary depending on their roles and responsibilities. For Harry, the CEO, the important metrics would be the revenue trends as compared to earlier years, comparisons with the overall market and important competitors, best and worst performing product categories, spend across various functions of the company, and overall customer satisfaction. However, a regional manager reporting to Harry would look at more detailed data such as the year-to-date revenue coming from his region, the contribution of his region to overall revenue, and inventory levels in the region. Similarly, a store manager who reports to a regional manager will look at the average sale per customer coming to the store, the breakdown of new and returning customers, daily footfall, the attendance levels of his employees, and his current inventory levels in the store. Broadly, the dashboard audience can be classified under the following three headings: Strategic users: This includes the board of directors, management, and key executives of an organization. strategic users look at all aspects of the organization from a very high-level perspective without focusing on the day-to-day details. Their aim is to align the business with overall strategic objectives and look at the long-term picture. As such, dashboards for strategic users contain mostly historical data without the need for any real-time data.Tactical users: This includes department managers, business analysts, and other mid-level managers. These users look at the performance of their own department, which is just one of the aspects of a strategic dashboard, and compare it with the organization's performance to look for areas of concern. The metrics for tactical users may need real-time data.Operational users: This includes frontline workers and managers who deal directly with customers or manage production. These users look at real-time transactional-level data to continuously monitor their business processes, and receive an alert on any threshold value being exceeded. Let's see how each of these users will look at the customer support function of an organization. The CEO, a strategic user, will just look at the overall customer satisfaction rating to understand how well his support department is doing. The customer support head, a tactical user, will look at the turnaround time, the number of tickets coming in on a monthly basis, the type of queries coming in, the percentage of queries that remain unresolved, and so on. A customer support executive, an operational user, will look at the number of tickets assigned to him, the number of tickets that he has answered on a given day, his turnaround time, and so on. Typically, in an organization, the strategic dashboard cascades down to tactical and further to the operational dashboard with a good security model in place. In this way, everyone is aligned with the overall organizational goals but has access to no more data than required. However, standalone strategic, tactical, or operational dashboards are not uncommon in organizations and may be developed to focus on special aspects of the organization or important projects. In either case, the key is to understand the audience of the dashboard and identify the metrics that they will need to see. Once that is done, you need to figure out the kind of analysis you need to facilitate the selected metric and after that, it is a simple case of choosing the right visualization for the data. Pop quiz — know your dashboard audience For which of the following types of users will your dashboard show the most high-level view of the organization? a. CEOb. Marketing Managerc. Field Sales Executive

  

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