What Makes a Good Financial Dashboard Template?

 The driving force behind a dashboard template is usefulness. It should give a quick snapshot at the most important financial data / key metric data of the business in question. That may be different depending on the type of business the dashboard is for. 

One of my favorite dashboards is the KPI Dashboard for General Contracts / Construction Companies. It focuses on historical total job quotes and margins and comparing that to actual job stats and margins. This puts one of the most important metrics right at the forefront, are your jobs making money and what type of revenue / cost is being assigned to each job? Also, are the quotes close to the actuals or way off? and are the quotes hitting proper targets?

  • Clear and concise: The dashboard should present the most important financial data in a clear and concise way. It should provide a high-level overview of the financial performance of the business or organization.
  • Relevant metrics: The dashboard should include key financial metrics that are relevant to the business or organization. This may include revenue, expenses, profit margins, cash flow, and other financial indicators that are important for the organization.
  • Real-time data: The dashboard should provide real-time data so that the business or organization can make informed decisions based on the most up-to-date information available.
  • Customizable: The dashboard should be customizable so that the user can choose the specific metrics and data that are most relevant to their needs.
  • Interactive: The dashboard should be interactive, allowing the user to drill down into the data and explore it in more detail. This can help identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement.
  • Visual: The dashboard should be visually appealing and use charts, graphs, and other visual aids to present the data in a clear and easy-to-understand way.
  • Mobile-friendly: The dashboard should be accessible from mobile devices, allowing users to access the data on-the-go and make informed decisions from anywhere. This is hard with Excel, but more doable with Google Sheets. The nice thing about most Excel templates is that they can easily be uploaded and function in Google Sheets with the click of a few buttons (as long as the sheet doesn't use macros).
Remember, in order to have a great dashboard spreadsheet, you need to identify great columns headers for the database that is going to feed all the calculations. This is very important and should be well thought out. If you are not tracking the right data, then the right calculations can't be built.

More Dashboards:

Article found in Accounting and Finance.