Thursday, 28 January 2016

Make a Dash for it!

In this Information-driven world of business, the question often arises as to what information and how much of it is really relevant. When the CEO of a Manufacturing group needs to know which stock are fast-moving and which are blocking funds, a long list of inventory positions spanning a couple hundred sheets would prove useless. Similarly, the CFO of a suffering Retail-Chain would require segment-wise analysis of position. Handing that gentleman the bare Financial Statements and leaving it to his best judgment to fish out reasons for the loss would be counterproductive!

What these People really need is a bird’s eye view of what’s going on with their Enterprise. They require basic statistics, key ratios and financial metrics which facilitate quick as-is-where-is outline of where they stand.

The era of our user-friendly internet has seen the arrival of abundant templates, software’s and various other un-pronounceable sorts of gizmos and widgets. All of these are for the so-called purpose of managing accounts, financial statements, and managerial reporting. Yet, how do you decide which one of these is right for your organization? 

Is it possible to customize the program in such a manner to suit only your unique business requirements? How can you ensure that you make the right business moves? How can you tap your entity’s intrinsic growth potential?

The magic word is “Dashboard”. Truth be told, there isn’t much of magic involved, yet the idea of fantasy always stirs up a bit of interest. This mechanism commonly referred to as an Information Management Tool, will give an Executive / Director / Owner etc. (by whatever name called) prompt data. 

Granted that it is also what any odd accounting software does. Yet, this data is analyzed, highlighted, illustrated and can be used to chart out comparisons with any period of the user’s choice. This is not another routine MIS, which pumps out numbers and more numbers. Specific to said venture in question, a Dashboard will depict Sales / Service targets achieved, major Costs (if relevant), Profits / Losses, Liquidity / Solvency ratios, Turnover ratios, Industry / Company specific metrics, and the list goes on.

As Aladdin’s genie said “Your wish is my command”, so is the wish of a business owner the command for the Dashboard. It matches his pace or style of working. It is a constant companion in the face of strategic or operational decision-making. It keeps him in the loop of what is really going on, even at the grass-root levels. With the use of dynamic gauges, speedometers, bar graphs, pie charts and all else that the ever-updated Microsoft Excel has to offer, the Dashboard becomes his new best friend.

The foundation being our trustworthy Financial Statements, (Balance Sheet, Statement of Profit & Loss and Cash Flow Statement), a Dashboard is molded out of those reported figures, further evolving to permit modification by the maker and user in line with market conditions, revised budgets, etc. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the weight of this sentence can be appreciated with just a glance at the harmonious integration of statistics with design, conferring meaning on often overlooked basic financial ideas.

At the end of the day, the Dashboard can be whatever you want it to be. At home, at work or on the move, it will travel with you and inspire you, jolting you out of the conventional ways of running a business.

Interested in developing customized dashboards for your business...we have a knack for that.

(This blog post is authored by Netra Prakash, Business Analyst at SansPareil -

No comments:

Post a Comment