Business Dashboards

Business dashboards – creating a business that can run without you

John PhillipsCompany Updates, Product Updates

Business dashboards can help you to take control of the two core principles of running a successful business: a) processes and b) the ability to test and measure.

At Strategy 365, we use Microsoft Cloud-based technology to enable SMEs to achieve both of these things. In this article, we’re going to cover how business reporting dashboards can help you gain clarity, make informed data-driven decisions, and ultimately create a business which can run without you!

What are business dashboards?

Business intelligence dashboards provide a visual overview of various datapoints, linked to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as leads, revenue, cost, number of sales, profit margin, customer support hours, staff workload, staff performance, and profit.

Data sources could include information from a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, accounting software, company website or marketing channels – to provide just a few examples!

Why is developing a dashboard important?

If you know your numbers, you know your business. But with so much data (often spread across multiple applications) how do you really know your numbers?

With the right data insights in place, you can make informed decisions by identifying potential opportunities, areas of excessive costs and potential process bottlenecks. It’s getting all those insights into a centralised view that is the challenge!

Why do people use Microsoft Cloud products for creating dashboards?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get an overview of what’s going on in your business just by opening an app on your phone, while relaxing at the beach? Microsoft’s Cloud ecosystem allows you to view your reports across all major operating systems on multiple devices, from wherever you are.

You’re probably already using Microsoft Office products such as Word, Outlook and Excel in your business. You might even be drowning in multiple Excel spreadsheets to track various things like sales data, customer support cases or turnover.

Wouldn’t it make life a lot easier if you could combine all that information, customer data and all your processes into one consistent, secure place which can be accessed by your team from anywhere? Not only that, but what if you could then get a simple snapshot of all your key KPIs from one business intelligence dashboard and share it with other users. You can even drag and drop different elements to create custom reports showing key KPIs.

For those more accustomed to Excel spreadsheets, detailed templates can be created that use Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the primary data source and can simply be refreshed on demand or automatically.

What business dashboards are available with Microsoft Cloud products?

It all depends on who you are creating the dashboard for and how much data you want to dive into.

If your users need rapidly-deployed basic views and charts, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has an array of straightforward components used to create clear and meaningful live business dashboards. Do managers need to quickly see how their department’s day is going? Or how many new support cases have been submitted this week? Real-time Dynamics 365 views and dashboards provide an instant snapshot!

Sometimes you need something deeper than that, in which case Microsoft Power BI dashboards have you covered. Microsoft Power BI is part of the Microsoft Power Platform and integrates with other Microsoft technologies and numerous other data sources to provide actionable insights from your customer data.

Get the complete picture by bringing data from a range of systems, standardising their format, and producing comprehensive reports and dashboards.

Are there any examples of business dashboards?

What we’ve described so far probably sounds all well and good, but being able to see a business dashboard example will give you more of an idea of how much of a game changer a collection of decent business dashboards can be.

You can read how we helped PNE Controls to access simple reporting and dashboards within Microsoft Power Apps, to give management an overview of the business. For example, a dashboard can show open job invoices and performance of the business in the last 12 months.

You can also find out how Auto Extract Systems got access to simple reporting and dashboards within Dynamics 365 Sales to provide an overview of their prospects. For example, a dashboard can show the current open enquiries and which prospects have been sitting in the pipeline the longest!

For more complex business dashboard examples, you can see how we built a full suite of Power BI reports for PH Property, which allows them to run the entire business from start to finish using key management information surfaced from Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Customer Service.

Were you looking for a more visual business dashboard example? You can watch some demo examples of Microsoft Power BI dashboards here. You can also explore Power BI dashboards further by watching this official Microsoft Dynamics 365 YouTube video.

If Power BI seems a bit too advanced for what you’re looking for, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales not only lets you take control of your sales pipeline, but it allows sales managers to get an overview of how the team are performing and whether they are on track to meet KPIs. See that in action here.

Creating dashboards with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service allows your team to stay on top of support cases by getting an overview of case volume, priority, contact source, busiest times, support query topics, agent time and more. There’s a great use case example here.


Having the right business dashboards in place can help you effectively test, measure, and refine your processes, your marketing strategy, your sales teams and much more! This will lead to a much more efficient business, meaning you can finally take a step back and let it run without you.

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