Building a Financial Dashboard: Essential Metrics to Track Your Business Health


Financial dashboards are valuable for decision-making as they give the essential and complete picture of microeconomic financial status for a fast and clear understanding and for making quick and effective decisions in strategies, performance analysis, and many other spheres. Freeware and paid products can be used to develop and deploy the Company’s financial dashboards with the help of Excel and other tools and programs. Explore critical metrics for building a finance dashboard to enhance your business’s economic health and decision-making capabilities.

In this blog, we will learn in detail about a financial dashboard’s key components and benefits. We will also discuss how to create your dashboard and what you need to avoid in this process.

Understanding the financial dashboards 

What is a financial dashboard?

A financial dashboard is a management tool that can be used to keep records of all the relevant finance KPIs, to balance the needs of the enterprise’s efficient cash flow, and to provide the insight to track expenses, sales, and profits at the same depth as to meet and exceed the established financial targets of the department or the Company. 

Types of dashboards 

There are four types of dashboards. These types of decision-making are classified into four forms: operating, strategic, analytic, and technical. 

  • Operational types of dashboards reveal what is going on at the present moment. 
  • Strategic types of dashboards contain indicators of essential business parameters. 
  • Data processing in analytical types of dashboards aims to find patterns. 
  • Tactical dashboards provide additional information for managers and report on short-term goals of the Company’s projects and departments. 

Benefits of using the financial dashboard

  • Quick decision-making support 

Financial dashboards help present information to organizations to aid rapid decisions. Thus, if the economic data are conveyed in a format that is easy to grasp in terms of shapes and forms, this would facilitate and enable long-term, more informed, and strategic decision-making regarding trends, patterns, and oddities.

  • Real-time financial monitoring 

A financial dashboard provides flexibility in an organization’s financial position and significant real-time financial data. It has enabled business organizations to observe their economic status continuously. This gives real-time insight into current trends, possible problems, and opportunities, which can help decision-making.

  • Trend analysis and forecasting 

Financial dashboards allow people to acknowledge specific patterns or trends in their financial records. Based on historical financial statements, they may predict future tendencies in the market or underlying issues that affect the business. 

Critical components of a financial dashboard 

Revenue and expense trend 

Plot the total income received from everything against the monthly expenditures. Bury the total expenses and total revenues by kinds of goods and services. This metric is driven to an even more detailed level by comparing actuals with budget or forecast numbers and the reflection of said deviations in a trend chart. 

Profitability metrics 

It tracks your Company’s output relative to time, showing its efficiency in producing goods. It reveals the efficiency with which people and products are utilized within the business’s labor and production supplies sections. Declining profit margins are concerning, especially since they signal that your business is no longer sustainable. In other words, the cost of delivering your goods and services is higher than the value of the former. 

Cash flow analysis 

It quantifies the total revenue collected from other business activities, excluding incidental income from asset sales. Monitoring this measure will also help ensure a business has adequate cash after meeting day-to-day costs and expenses. A positive cash flow analysis is essential because your business fulfills customers’ needs in the market.

Designing your financial dashboard 

Choosing the right platform 

When choosing the platform for your financial dashboard template, you need to consider what extent of customization you require, what kind of data sources you need to integrate, and what type of visualization you want to achieve. Excel can be flexible in its usage and might have only some of the advanced features one can look for in software. Tableau gives spectacular capabilities for data modeling but is rather informative for students. Another strength incorporated with Power BI is how it works with Microsoft products and contains some of the best analytical tools. Compare each platform depending on their costs, your relevant skills, and the features you require to make the right decision. 

Layout and design principles

Simple, clear, and easy-to-analyze structures should be the focus when developing your financial dashboard. Sort it hierarchically, putting metrics with similar characteristics in one section and having descriptive titles. Organization could be done so that relevant information is presented at the top or before additional information is presented. Ensure the information is readable by applying graphic design factors such as using colors to differentiate data. Select easy layouts to cut down on the complexity of the design. Using charts and graphs is acceptable; one must ensure that the type of chart used corresponds to the data set. Monitoring and redesigning must be done often to fit the users’ needs and for its enhanced functionality. 

Implementing and using your financial dashboard 

Data integration and automation 

Real-time updates for data input are another process that can be automated by using APIs or scripting languages to fetch the data. Link it with the bank accounts, investment applications, and spending apps. It can be used with other software or scripts so that data acquisition is easy to present in the financial dashboard. 

Best practices for dashboard maintenance 

With the help of the described finance dashboard, you should update and check the data constantly to provide the information’s accuracy and efficiency. Set periodic meetings to review the effectiveness of the sources and eliminate mishmash or stale data. It is recommended that brief sensitization sessions are conducted for the team members so they can become well acquainted with how to navigate through the dashboard as well as make the most out of the reporting options available shall be conducted. Thus, you maintain and train the finance dashboard to be sound, efficient, and helpful for informed decision-making. 

Analyzing Dashboard Data to Make Informed Decisions

Understand simple financial pattern data concerning some trends, including revenue, expense, and cash flow trends. For example, a gradual rise in income may show expansion, while an increase in expenditure may be due to emergencies. Use the ability to hypothesize to explain how a new data pattern can affect decision-making and future planning.

Common pitfalls to avoid 

Overloading with data 

The key idea of financial information control is to avoid overloading the financial dashboard with too much information; therefore, it is recommended that the prominent figures that reflect the Company’s performance regarding its strategic goals and objectives be identified. 

Ignoring dashboard aesthetics 

Dashboard appeal can be a detriment if not attended to since it interferes with data analysis. To better comprehend the data, harmonize the graphical content and have a logical layout to avoid misinterpreting the financial data. 

Lack of adaptability 

Make sure the sources of your financial data are flexible to fit the requirements of an adaptive business environment. Notably, update them as frequently as possible regarding their layout, measures, and features to be expectation-appropriate and significant enough to reflect the changes in the business. 


Explaining the importance of a well-built financial dashboard template stressed that it is impossible to make efficient decisions without this tool that offers a glimpse into the significant signs that define the business’s success. They engage users, make them capable of acknowledging specific trends, measuring the performance of resources, and even predicting potential difficulties. Therefore, it will be helpful to review general tips for dashboard design before continuing the examination of specific examples tailored to businesses of different types, sizes, and industries and discuss how these examples might evolve, completing the analysis of the critical steps in the business and compiling recommendations for dashboard evolution. 

If built from scratch or just improving upon a current financial tool, it’s evident that there are many advantages to having an effective dashboard. Get on the driver’s seat right now and start strengthening your finance dashboard with Biz Infograph to achieve better control and possible optimization of economic processes and leverage future financial insights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *