When you think of the word “dashboard,” what comes to mind? 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 in front of 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.?)
So far, here at CCV, we use our Stat Sheet as our dashboard. 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.