Look at your watch: Does it just tell time, or can it also display how many steps you’ve taken? How about help you schedule texts and navigate city streets?
The same smartwatch technology that tracks heartbeat and calendars can also enable real-time display of the KPIs that effectively run your business. Digital device innovation enables “KPIs everywhere” — for example, “Alexa/Siri/Cortana, how does this week’s ARPU compare with last week’s?” Such mobile KPI platforms won’t just transform how we think about dashboards — they’ll transform leadership behavior.
However, as stated in our recent research report, “Leading With Next Generation Key Performance Indicators,” we were startled to find that only 45% of survey respondents can monitor KPIs on their smartphones. That seems unsustainable. Doing KPI “drill-downs” — that is, examining the KPIs’ underlying data components — on smartphones should be as simple and easy as booking a flight. Alexa, for example, should have the “skills” to respond to KPI update requests. The technologies exist, and the conceptual and technical ambitions for dashboards are growing. The most sophisticated KPI-driven organizations in our global executive survey say they constantly look for ways to get greater value and insight from their KPIs.
Expanding how people engage and interact with dashboards will expand how people engage and interact with KPIs. That’s powerful. As one contemporary definition puts it, “A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives, consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance.” But multimedia device innovation simultaneously extends and subverts that design ethos. Dashboard infographics have just begun to reflect and respect interactive potential.
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As surely as innovation in automation and autonomy will reframe airplane and automobile dashboard design, machine learning and AI algorithms will reinvent how KPI dashboards can steer organizations. Dashboards are becoming smarter, more anticipatory, and more personalized. The visual remains vital, but it’s just one part of a KPI platform ecosystem.
The Netflix-ification of KPI Dashboards
The same techniques and technologies that have transformed video viewing will transform KPI engagement. KPI dashboards will be designed to explicitly learn about their users, make data-driven recommendations, and, yes, encourage KPI “binge-watching.” More than 60% of Netflix survey participants, for example, say they binge-watch regularly.