Developing an executive dashboard for the iPad


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iPads are popping up everywhere. Now the focus is shifting to HOW do I get useful information onto the device. This presentation covers one process - developing key dashboard reporting for the iPad. A sample dashboard report is highlighted, using Panera Bread as an example. BI is a BIG opportunity!

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Developing an executive dashboard for the iPad

  1. 1. iPad - Executive Dashboard Development iPad Consulting
  2. 2. Why Dashboards?Typical Business Challenges Disparate processes Poor visibility into information and key metrics Lack of consistent reporting among executives monitoring business Technology challenge – multiple systems/platforms that generate reporting information iPad Consulting
  3. 3. Why Dashboards? Well designed executive dashboards can help you monitor business performance and key metrics Eliminates the “clutter” from financial reports, enabling an executive or management team to quickly keep a pulse on the business Enables easy report view and standardization of management information, simplifying report digestion Easy to distribute across multiple platforms – iPad is ideal due to interface iPad Consulting
  4. 4. iPad Considerations Planning is important! Dashboard reporting should be customized for screen size Navigation considerations – should be tap driven Bigger fonts and larger objects are preferred Less is More – key metrics and data. Resist the urge to include everything! iPad Consulting
  5. 5. MS Office For Executive Dashboards? Numerous applications exist to simplify creation of dashboards – determining which is best for your purpose is cumbersome Microsoft Office provides great tools for developing and reporting beautifully presented dashboard information – AND already available Techniques needed to create quality dashboard are straight forward and relatively easy to use. However, they may not be obvious iPad Consulting
  6. 6. MS Office For Executive Dashboards? If you are reasonable proficient in using Excel and Powerpoint, you can develop a sophisticated model fairly quickly The opportunities to leverage this capability will expand as you work through the process – very flexible iPad Consulting
  7. 7. Getting Started – Steps to Success Identify project Define goals and key metrics  Operational reporting, as well as summary reporting Build model, review, and refine Distribution and user adoption Model maintenance and keeping content current iPad Consulting
  8. 8. Identify Project Determine data to include in dashboard reporting?  Start simple; create executive “buy-in” Identify audience and key users of dashboard? Identify parties responsible for maintaining and refining dashboards going forward iPad Consulting
  9. 9. Define Goals and Key Metrics Visualize the project  A brain storming session is great for this Determine what you want to measure  Short-term metrics to monitor business?  Longer term metrics for strategic business analysis? What processes need to be put in place?  Information flow to streamline effort  This can be a time consuming effort iPad Consulting
  10. 10. Build Model, Review, and Refine Dashboards DO require upfront time to setup, but, if properly built, require little time to maintain and use long term Leverage Excel’s advanced capabilities to streamline the data and chart updating  Data input in Table format  PivotTables to simplify chart data development  Macros to streamline worksheet updating and navigation  Automate dashboard “printing” – directly to PDF, etc. iPad Consulting
  11. 11. Build Model, Review, and Refine Powerpoint is useful to provide flexibility in sizing objects and properly arranging and formatting on a page. Objects should be linked from Excel and navigation hyperlinks included for easy iPad use “Publish” to PDF. Make sure that links “stick” in final documents Review and test process – mistakes can happen! iPad Consulting
  12. 12. Dashboard Distribution and User Adoption Set up a seamless distribution process – cloud file synchronization services are perfect for this On mobile platform, user should access files directly from the device  GoodReader app works well and we highly recommend! Educate users – accessing reports, navigation and annotation capabilities User adoption will be greater if it is SIMPLE! Ease of use is very important iPad Consulting
  13. 13. Case Study – Panera Bread Co. Public company – data is largely pulled directly from the internet (Yahoo, Google Finance, MSN Money). Web queries can be used to simplify. Key company financial data is accumulated and entered into an Excel spreadsheet - pivot tables, charts, macros, etc. help simplify ongoing maintenance effort iPad Consulting
  14. 14. Case Study – Panera Bread Co. Formatting is next - develop objects for Dashboard report  Take the time to do this right – it will save you hours each month on maintaining the effort! Sample report images are on following pages. Report is comprehensive and updating is easy iPad Consulting
  15. 15. Case Study – PNRA (Report Pages) Touch navigation buttons Report date updates automatically based on when report is generated iPad Consulting
  16. 16. Case Study – PNRA (Report Pages) Button format changes based on current screen – easy to identify! Website links open up directly in browser – tap to access iPad Consulting
  17. 17. Case Study – PNRA (Report Pages) Highlights key SEC filings for quick access – list ALWAYS current Links open up document directly – easy to navigate, etc. – see slide 15. iPad Consulting
  18. 18. Case Study – PNRA (Report Pages) Hyperlinked Table of Contents – just tap to navigate to desired section iPad Consulting
  19. 19. Case Study – PNRA (Report Pages) Flexible navigation menu – in this case, when “Financials” are selected, the top navigation menu changes. Charts easily accommodated – updating is automatic as underlying data changes Additional navigation buttons provide more flexibility iPad Consulting
  20. 20. Case Study – PNRA (Report Pages) Rolling data (Table and Chart) updates automatically as underlying Excel spreadsheet changes. iPad Consulting
  21. 21. Case Study – PNRA (Report Pages) iPad Consulting
  22. 22. Case Study – PNRA (Report Pages) In this case, direct links to website data is connected to Objects. Tapping object opens up report from Panera Investor Relations website. iPad Consulting
  23. 23. Dashboards – Key Considerations Design and proper development is key! Spend the time up front to do it right. Distribution to users (Board, executives, management) can be seamless if received on the iPad Update and Review is essential – mapping errors, etc. may occur. iPad Consulting
  24. 24. Dashboards – Key Considerations Start with a small project to develop and understand process. Executive buy-in will lead to bigger wins and fuller understanding of potential. Payoff for report users is huge – easy to use, always available, always current! iPad Consulting
  25. 25. Dashboards – Last Thoughts...The example reviewed in this presentation was a publiccompany, but there are numerous instances where thisprocess is relevant – Private company monthly reporting – high level report containing summary information, key metrics, charts, etc. Peer analysis review – easily compare and analyze other companies that operate in your industry. Identify key performance metrics and compare to your company. Professional services firms – easily monitor your public company clients and have updated information always at your fingertips! Asset Management firms – easily monitor performance of key metrics of companies invested in The potential is significant…. iPad Consulting
  26. 26. If additional information is desired or you would like to better understand ourfirm’s capabilities, please contact me: Don Tomoff, CPA, MBA Principal, Business Advisory Thornhill Website ( LinkedIn Profile ( Follow us at… iPad Consulting