The operational dashboard is one of the 3 main types of dashboards: operational, analytical and strategic. There are many variations, but all of them can generally be classified in one of these three groups.
The operational dashboard is the most commonly used type of dashboard. This is the traditional dashboard, presenting real-time updated data on the day's operations. It is often found on the walls of plant production lines.
This dashboard is designed to provide a clear and instant view of the day's performance. It should provide an overview, without going into detail so as not to lose readability. The operational dashboard should not present too much information, at the risk of becoming unreadable. When designing the dashboard, it is important to choose the data to be displayed according to the audience for which it is intended.
Data can be compared on different variables. By comparing the data over time, it is possible to check whether differences in performance are due to actions taken by the company or to external factors such as seasonality. In this way, it is possible to replicate successful efforts.
An analytical dashboard requires more expertise than an operational dashboard. The data is more complex, and the interactions require some knowledge. Therefore, they are intended more for data analysts and not for all employees in the organization.
Finally, the strategic dashboard enables performance to be monitored using pre-defined Key Performance Indicators. Generally, this type of dashboard is used to measure the performance of the different departments of the company.
Most often, strategic dashboards compare past performance data with that of the current period. They thus make it possible to check whether performance has increased, remained stable, or deteriorated.
These dashboards are composed of data from multiple sources, since performance is impacted by many factors. The information highlighted is generally relevant to the entire company.