Exponential Attributes: Dashboards

Dashboards is the second Internal Attribute in the IDEAS acronym. In Chapter 4 of Exponential Organizations you can read more about this and I suggest taking a look at the open source tool developed by the ExO Ecosystem. Also take a look at Exponential Transformation where you can learn about implementing Exponential Attributes in your current organisation.


Dashboards are an essential tool for ExO’s to measure and manage the organisation. With the vast amount of data that is created on a daily basis, dashboards are a great way to visually represent the important data in order to make real time metrics available to the entire organisation.  Thanks to the internet, sensors, the cloud, etc. it is possible to have very valuable metrics in real time. It is important that dashboards are developed that are easy to understand and meaningful. This gives people the ability to make smart decisions timeously in order to manage organisations better!

When putting together a dashboard it is vitally important to ensure that the metrics that are tracked are real value metrics as opposed to vanity metrics. Real value metrics allow you to make meaningful decisions and improve the organisation. Vanity metrics only make you feel better. An example is tracking total users vs active users. Total users of your product is a vanity metric as thousands of people can sign up but unless they are actively using your service you will not make revenue and grow. It is therefore important to build dashboards that provide the most meaningful information computed into a visual that is easy to understand.

In order to Implement Dashboards you need to:

  1. Identify the value metrics
  2. Identify the audiences that need dashboards
  3. Track, gather and analyse date in real time
  4. Use a framework to display metrics in most efficient and usable way
  5. Make the Metrics accessible and transparent
  6. Improve the dashboards when required

Make sure that you keep the metrics valuable but simple. A complicated dashboard will most likely result in less adoption and therefore reduce its effectiveness.

A good example of a framework to use for team dashboards is the OKR framework. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results and answers two simple questions:

  1. Where do I go? (Objectives)
  2. How will I know I am getting there? (Key Results)

To Learn more about OKRs you can check out OKR Examples.

ExO’s require tight control frameworks in order to ensure that with hyper growth the small team can manage the organisation. For this reason it is vital to have dashboards that provide the team and community with information to make great decisions. Keep it simple at the beginning and get dashboards up and running.


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