You asked : What is a dashboard?
When the software industry runs out of jargon they invent one!
According to this wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashboards),
“A dashboard or dash board in an automobile is a panel located under the windscreen and containing indicators and dials such as the tachometer/speedometer and odometer.”
But you and me both know that we are not talking about cars, we are talking
about the Business specific Dashboards.
The concept of dashboards in automobiles and business is the same i.e. to give
you a snapshot of critical information at a glance. If you are running out
of gas the dashboard will automatically start the indicator to bring your
attention, you can easily track at what speed you are going and is it time
to look in the rear view for any flashing sirens!
Similarly Business Dashboards provide all the critical information that is
needed to run your daily operations.
Business dashboards can tell you if you are spending your gas..oops I meant spending company cash, what is the cash flow, what is the growth in revenue,
what is the headcount growth etc.
In a Business, every employee has a steering wheel and a gas pedal but it is not necessary that every body gets a dashboard. Since their role is different they do not need the same level and kind of information. Typically only the higher executives get the dashboard priviliges. Since your boss has the dashboard access he or she can tell their sub-ordinates if they are running out of gas 😉
My company’s product InfoCaptor, will help you create dashboards in minutes so that you can quickly monitor your Business mileage, cash or no-cash etc. Typically a non-executive (BI developer) develops a dashboard for the executive but now with the help of InfoCaptor, you can also create Non-executive dashboards for yourself.