A rapidly growing trend is for business managers to utilize "dashboards" to monitor business information on a real time basis. These packages present corporate information on personal computers. The information is constantly updated to reflect the latest developments, much like a car's dashboard reflects current speed, water temperature, oil pressure, and so forth. On the next page is a screenshot of a sample dashboard. This particular illustration is from a business using NetSuite, a leading provider of Web-based accounting and customer relationship management software which helped pioneer the use of dashboard technology.
Dashboards are easily customized by each manager. You will note that the sample dashboard is contemplated for an executive. But, personalized dashboards can easily be set up that are specifically tailored to the information needs of a sales manager, CFO, or other decision maker. Typically, specific line items on a dashboard can be "clicked" to open windows of additional data in support of the key metrics displayed. An important feature of a business dashboard is secure internet access so that an on-the-go executive always has critical information readily available.