Taking Advantage of Dashboards

Taking Advantage of Dashboards

Written By: Dave Packard

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I recently wrote a blog about creating dashboards and how they can be your one-stop shop for your work day. Today I want to expound on the advantages of how this feature can be used. When I demo dashboards it usually gets the “wow” factor but I often find that tying the wow factor to the typical workday isn’t always an obvious link.


The main advantages of dashboards include:

1)      One-stop shopping—see everything you need in one location.

2)      Customizations—create new system dashboards and users can create personal dashboards.

3)      Drill down—charts quickly show what is happening but drilling into the data provides the details.

4)      Using iFrames to bring in external sites.

5)      Increased user adoption—users who can customize their own system are more likely to use it.

6)      Follow your business processes.

Getting Started

If you aren’t sure where to start, CRM 2011 has several out-of-the-box dashboards to help. Test-drive these dashboards. Chances are they won’t be specific enough for your CRM system but they do provide a basic template of how to organize your dashboards. Notice the list is broken into sections:

At the highest level are System Dashboards (those seen by everyone) and My Dashboards (those created by you). If you look at the System Dashboards you see the three modules in CRM: Service, Marketing, and Sales.

A good rule of thumb is to use this same template when creating system dashboards for your company. Design dashboards specific to each role.

For Example

Customer Service could have two dashboards—one for the CSRs and one for the CSR managers.

The CSR dashboard can follow your business process for handling cases. In this example I am showing a company that organizes and works cases by priority (this dashboard also shows the CSR’s goal):

This way the CSRs can organize their day based on the priority of the case. Some other options would be to organize the cases by type, by product, and if you segment your Accounts into a “best customer list” you can also separate out Cases based on that flag. Whatever your business process is for handling/prioritizing cases can be built into a dashboard so it shows the data relevant to that employee.

The CSR managers could have a dashboard showing a higher-level view of what is happening:

The managers can see the number of cases by priority, how many cases each CSR has, the active cases broken down by type, and the status of all Knowledge Base Articles.


These examples are specific to Customer Service but as you can see, dashboards should be created specifically for each role in your company. And if you follow your business process for that role it can help each user stay focused, which is great for the seasoned employee and will help with training for the new employee.

Dashboards can be powerful tools for users in the company. To find other ways CRM can be customized to your company contact Cargas Systems, Cargas Systems, a certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner offering software, services, and support that help improve your business processes.