1. Why do We Need a KPI Dashboard?

Have you ever driven a car without looking at its dashboard, without checking its fuel level, temperature, speedometer or any of its indicators? For some, they even check their tyres, side mirrors, and hazard lights. Simply driving a car without checking the dashboard means you are exposing yourself to a higher risk level. The same is true if you do not use a KPI dashboard for your business.

Just like driving a car, managing a business also requires business owners to know his/her critical data to make better business decisions. Without knowing the data, decisions are just made based on emotions or his/her intuitions alone.

Today let’s start with simple KPI dashboards to know your business better. I’m sure you are able to see the benefits of knowing the critical data in your business key result areas.

2. Types of KPI Dashboard

There are many types of KPI dashboards. Almost all positions in a company have KPI requirements. However, the KPI rules of different positions are different and cannot be managed uniformly. At this time, the KPI dashboard can easily solve the management dilemma and check the KPI completion status of different positions.

Here are some simple examples:


Number of leads from the specific lead source

Number of channel partners

Number of marketing activities

Marketing dashboard made with FineReport


Rate of conversion

Value of business transactions

Value of sales booked

Sales dashboard made with FineReport


Number of products delivered

Value of products delivered

Number of product returned/rejected

Number of complaints received

KPI dashboard made with Tableau


Number of invoices issued per month

Average value of invoices issued per month

Value of payments received per month

Value of payments made per month

Finance dashboard made with FineReport


Number of training days

Number of annual leave taken

Number of MC taken

HR dashboard made with FineReport

So start with a simple KPI dashboard before you expand into a more detailed and bigger scope of business. It will help you better understand the operations of your critical business.

3. Tips for Making KPI Dashboard

For making a KPI dashboard, you need to choose an easy-to-use data visualization tool. Each tool has its advantages and disadvantages. You can read this article 9 Data Visualization Tools That You Cannot Miss in 2019 to learn what tools are right for you.

Here I use the visualization tool FineReport as an example to show you the basic steps of making a KPI dashboard. FineReport is friendly to people without technical foundation. You can create various charts with simple drag & drop operation.

  • First, we prepare the data of KPI and import it into FineReport Designer. FineReport can connect with various databases.
  • Design layout. The purpose of the layout is to reasonably present key performance indicators and data. There are primary and secondary indicators. The primary indicators reflect the core business, and the secondary indicators are used for further elaboration, so they are given different weights when designing the layout. The following is an example of common layouts.
Made with FineReport
  • Use conditional formatting & formulas to display icons. FineReport supports custom formulas to determine if the data meets the criteria. For example, we can calculate the KPI value of each employee by the KPI formula. If it is greater than the specified value, it is excellent, otherwise, it is unqualified.
  • Select chart types. After the key indicators are determined, we need to determine the analytical dimensions of the indicators. Our common analytical methods are analogy, trend, distribution, composition, etc. There are different chart types for different analytical methods.
  • Add dynamic effects. Dynamic effects make the KPI dashboard more attractive. But we need to pay attention to the proportion of dynamic design to avoid excessive dynamism. Common dynamic effects for the KPI dashboard are as follows.
Made with FineReport
Made with FineReport

For a more detailed tutorial of making KPI dashboards, you can refer to this article A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Sales Dashboards.


KPI dashboard can help business people make better decisions through the visual display of various indicators. Whether it is process management or indicator query, KPI dashboard will greatly improve efficiency and reduce unnecessary communication time.

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