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Jul 13, 2016

Keith Upkes has a financial CFO background and is a business growth coach for The Upkes Group as well as for Gazelles International Coaches. In this episode, Keith and I talk about creating an effective dashboard, as this is something many clients and companies struggle with.

Keith believes dashboards are important for three specific reasons. Number one, it helps get raw data into the right hands. Clients often do not know their numbers and this is because they do not have the right data in front of them.

Number two, it quickly summaries data that clients need. When clients have data in front of them, many of them don't know how to make sense of it, but dashboards help simplify this process significantly.

Number three, it helps get the most relevant metrics into the clients' hands quickly after each accounting period. The client is able to quickly see what is relevant in their industry based on data collected by dashboards and give the relevant data to their leadership team.

How can teams make dashboards effective? You are able to track metrics that are not only specific to your industry, but your company in real-time. For instance, when your company has goals and objectives they're looking to achieve, dashboards help make sure your company is on the right track with those goals. Also, when you may have different priories to target based on your industry, dashboards are able to effectively separate those goals for you and your team.

With this in mind, it's important to note that your dashboards have to change over time. A mistake clients often make is that they set their dashboards to their goals, rely on it, but forget to update their goals after each quarter. This means that the dashboards and the data they produce could get thrown off course and that's how data and information discrepancies happen in your company.

What are Keith's thoughts on keeping score on a handwritten white board vs. using technology such as a dashboard, to do the same thing? Keith doesn't particularly care how you measure your results, as long as you're making an active effort to measure them and you are using it to make a difference in your company.

Some companies prefer using the old-fashioned whiteboard because it fits in with their company culture and business. Tech companies, for example, would prefer using dashboards’ services because the culture is much more tech inclined.


Interview Links:

The Upkes Group's Website

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Scaling Up is the best-selling book, by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher and I'm a certified Gazelles business coach. 

We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).