Why Use a Dashboard?

Having to collect, review, or analyze massive amounts of data can be overwhelming for anyone. That’s why industry leaders such as Microsoft and IBM devote so many resources to developing dashboard technology and dashboard software.

A dashboard is a computer software program that handles and processes bulk data so that data values are represented in a concise numerical language. The values on a dashboard can be manipulated in a way that affects real-time processes, such as manufacturing. Business management initiatives such as the time-tested Six Sigma strategy also make use of modern data processing software as a means of eliminating product defects or creating a practical cost/benefit analysis.

But why use a modern dashboard, as opposed to more conventional data collection and processing methods such as manual recording or non real-time manual input software? Well, there are any number of reasons as to why dashboard software is more efficient, but perhaps the most obvious is that dashboards can be and often are configured or calibrated to meet the specifications of a very specific and detail oriented process outputs. As an example, a dashboard that monitors and processes data collected at the input stage of production might be programmed to oversee the cost of raw materials individually, and to gauge exactly how many finished products can be manufactured from said materials.  In doing this, a corporate entity can graph results and make predictions about how the quality or quantity of production might be affected by additions or subtractions in labor and/or finance.

Also, dashboards are designed by programmers to be exceptionally user friendly. A complicated program could, in the end, be more of a hindrance on the evaluation of a process. That is why dashboard programs are written so that they are extremely customizable and relatively simple to use, while at the same time being very powerful and all encompassing. This is the appeal of the dashboard to users of the Six Sigma methodology. Six Sigma, a comprehensive business management initiative, implicitly requires the use of a trusty dashboard due to their high-efficiency and the precise nature of the data that they collect.

Dashboards encompass some of the most well-engineered and powerful information processing components available. With many traditional data collection and data entry methods becoming obsolete as more and more elaborate technology becomes available, it seems archaic to use anything other than well-designed Six Sigma dashboard for any kind of data processing application.


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