What comes to mind when you think of the word “dashboard”? Your car? If you’re a pilot, your instrument panel? I remember a class I took in college entitled “Management Information Systems (MIS).” It was all about the responsibility of the now-called “Information Technology (IT)” function in any organization’s responsibility to provide “management” with data needed for decision-making.
I see the term “dashboard” applied more and more to business and leadership. The concept of a dashboard is this: having everything you need to know about your organization’s performance right before you. You can take a “glance” and see all of the vital statistics from which you make decisions and adjustments, one way or another.
I’ve been working with my brother on a cash flow management application. As an executive pastor, I’ve offered him feedback on what the application’s “dashboard” should contain. What information do I want to see when I log in to the application? At a glance, what data must I see that gives me a quick assessment of the cash flow situation?
Expanding it beyond cash flow or even just the financial side of the “business,” what would a good dashboard contain, and from where must the data be retrieved?
As an executive pastor, I’m talking about information like this:
- Attendance (Sunday Morning, Groups, Classes, Other?)
- Baptisms (What’s the “trend?”)
- Giving (Online vs. Other, Trends, Giving Unit Trends, Capital Campaign Giving vs. Pledged, Other?)
- Process Queue Status (I’m not sure what this looks like, but I would like some high-level view of how the staff is performing with people moving through spiritual growth and development processes.)
- Process Duration (How long does it take a person, on average, to get through a particular process like assimilation, discipleship classes, volunteer training, etc.?)
I routinely recommend the Stat Sheet to my coaching clients. It provides “at a glance” information on baptisms, weekend service attendance, and giving. It’s an incomplete picture, though, regarding the church’s performance as a whole. More work needs to be done.