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Introduction

Cisco System Inc. always works with the aim of meeting the market demands of its clients. It does not like the probability that there will be further changes in the market since the current business is booming. All the investments were made and prioritization gets its foundation from the direction of the market. If the technology company fails to work with this agility, it will be left behind.

An information dashboard will work just like a car dashboard, which enables the driver to monitor the speed of the car and fuel levels (Cisco Systems, 2013). Hence, the information dashboard will help keep track of the key metrics in business and assist in effective decision making using the operational dashboard. Similarly, the information dashboard will assist the users in understanding the trends. Consequently, under the analytical dashboard, they can manage to find reasons behind a certain cause. Additionally, the dashboards can provide the executives with the information or data that are crucial in identifying the potential opportunities for a business to grow (Cisco Systems, 2013). Hence, the health status of a business is evaluated, which is achieved with the strategic dashboard.

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Dashboard mockups provide an integration of business data by ensuring a continuous monitoring and provision of data feedbacks of performance metrics (Cisco Systems, 2013). These dashboards enable the decision makers to visualize the complex data together with their relationships, which enhance the process of decision-making (Cisco Systems, 2013). This software allows one to create and export informative dashboards. It comprises charts, graphs, and buttons bound to data sources. Some of the dashboards provide the ability to link external data sources while others have embedded interfaces, like a spreadsheet, which allows entry of data. The data displayed on these dashboards are compact and presented in a visual manner, which enables the dashboard user to make informed decisions with less effort (Cisco Systems, 2013).

This research paper provides a list of dashboard mockups of users on Cisco System Inc. Furthermore, considering that Cisco Systems Inc. is a business company that deals in networking, the paper gives some of the objectives of the company with the aim of improving the customer satisfaction. In addition, this research paper deals with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) together with their values. The paper shows the relation between the KPIs and the objectives in terms of the KPIs values. Data visualization and data refreshment are also discussed in the following sections.

Dashboard Users

According to Few (2006), the main reason to use a dashboard is to create a track line, which depends on the department that is using it. As a result, it leads to the different development of dashboard mockup, according to growing organization needs. The increase in data handling in modern business, extracting, and managing this data are the main challenges in these modern businesses. Therefore, seeking a better way to make data distribution and analysis is to opt for a well-designed dashboard, which will be a remarkable data management tool in a business. Certain businesses look up in expanding to full business intelligence solutions. Hence, such businesses should evaluate solutions based on the ability of a dashboard to meet a broader range of functionality.

Furthermore, according to Few (2006), while considering the application of dashboards in an organization, the latter should check out for a dashboard mockup that has a broader problem solving capability to meet the business growth and performance. All the dashboards can be classified into analytical, operational, informational, or strategic (Few, 2006). Managers obtain support from these dashboards at any level in the business and provide a quick overview to monitor the potential opportunities of an organization. Furthermore, dashboards are designed in a manner that can support the diverse functionality of various departments in a company. For instance, the dashboards that support strategic decision-making are designed differently in comparison with the data analyzing dashboards. All the users in an organization will be provided with on-demand access of business metrics only with a well-designed dashboard. It is possible since the dashboard mockups are able to gather data from multiple data sources and are easy to operate due to their interface (Few, 2006).

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The following is the list of dashboard users in consideration to Cisco System Inc.

  • Executives;
  • Sale dashboards;
  • Marketing dashboards;
  • Business dashboards;
  • Supply chain dashboards;
  • Call center dashboards;
  • Product management department (Cisco Systems, 2013).

Objectives and Goals of Cisco System Inc.

All the objectives of any company display how to create a collaborative environment in terms of technology with the aim of meeting the efficient operation of an organization. The following is a list of objectives and goals of Cisco System (Cisco Systems, 2013).

  • Customer satisfaction;
  • Productivity;
  • Cost control;
  • Employee engagement;
  • Growth and innovation (Cisco Systems, 2013).

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

According to Parmenter (2010), KPIs are a way to measure a performance. They comprise a set of quantifiable measures that most organizations and businesses use to evaluate their performance as a process of meeting their target goals. Once a business has identified its operational goals, it should select valid key performance indicators, which should reflect these goals (Parmenter, 2010). All these can be obtained from a dashboard at a glance. For a dashboard to be considered effective, it must be simple to communicate easily, have minimum distractions, and apply to the human visual perception. It evaluates the achievement of an organization or success of a particular activity in which the company is engaged. When an organization is choosing KPIs it considers what is of great importance to it. Moreover, to understand what is important, independent departments are involved in the measuring process. Several performance measures can be used to evaluate the business growth and achievement. All these performance measures can be categorized into two groups:

  • Result indicators
  • Key performance indicators (Paramenter, 2010).

The KPIs present a set of measures that focus on the aspect of performance in a given organization and influence the present and future success of the organization (Parmenter, 2010). The following is a list of some of the examples of key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be applied to Cisco System Inc.:

  • Marketing and sales;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Supply chain management;
  • The project execution and operations;
  • Human resource management;
  • The government (Parmenter, 2010).

Furthermore, all the above-mentioned KPIs have related targets and threshold values. The following list provides these values to each KPI respectively as outlined above (Fitz-Gibbon, 2009).

  • Acquisition of new customers and their increased profitability;
  • Meeting high quality and avoiding rejection of products;
  • Sales forecasts and inventory;
  • Earned value and unplanned availability;
  • Employee turnover and performance together with cross-functional team analysis;
  • Performance measuring of the employment rate and satisfaction level of the employer (Fitz-Gibbon, 2009).

Values of Threshold for the KPIs Encodings

The following figure is a representation of a dashboard. It is an excel dashboard that uses Excel 2007’s formatting on conditional for KPI encodings (Chandoo, 2013).

In this case, the intensity of the color shows the degree of how bad a state of performance is. The data used in this case are obtained from marketing and sales files. Data in a dashboard can be refreshed regularly after a short period to avoid stale data. Drilldown data visualization will be effective in this case of a project (Chandoo, 2013). When a dashboard is being designed, it is important to select a right visualization in terms of graphical representation of the data as it can make it easy to transfer complex information.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, dashboards are the backbone of data infrastructure of an organization. It is the data warehouse used to hold data from the separate information. Hence, a well-designed dashboard will enable data integration. Similarly, data can be streamed directly into a reporting solution. The data that exist in a dashboard mockup present information in an actionable way that helps during the decision-making process regarding the success of an organization, together with overall performance. In addition, they help managers to monitor and evaluate the performance and contribution of every department in an organization. The key dashboard mockup users are the executives, marketers, supply chain and product management departments, the call centers, business, and sales dashboards.

Most of the dashboards comprise broad offerings that include solutions that have the ability to be customized. These solutions are targeted towards a specific business function of a given department. The organizations should plan and select a good dashboard since it is crucial. A well-designed communication system always provides the user with clear information, which is easily accessible.

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