Designing dashboards in Sage Construction software

by Ruth Stockdale, Director of Professional Services 

Monitoring major functions at a glance

Your accounting software has become more sophisticated in recent years, with an emphasis on providing a wide range of options for reporting and querying. Dashboard is the term that is widely used to describe a collection of these reports and queries to deliver information.

If you ask colleagues in your office what a dashboard should look like or include, you will probably get a variety of answers. One definition of dashboard, from Wikipedia, is that it provides the ability to “monitor the major functions at a glance.” Using that definition helps provide focus so that you can design and deliver individual dashboards that are meaningful to your office staff and decision makers.

Suggestions to help plan the design process:

  1. What 3 key pieces of information — major functions — give users the best instant picture for their jobs? Depending on the person’s role, this could be OT Labor Hours by Job, Labor Costs as a Percentage of the job, Cost to Complete, or Cash Flow Projection (there may be more than 3 data points that are helpful, but start with just a few).
  2. What as-of date or time is relevant for each? Some information won’t be meaningful until after a posting or update. For example, OT information might not be available until the end of a pay period.
  3. Can the information be available on demand or does it need to be confirmed and delivered? That OT information could be provided automatically after the Accounting department has confirmed the completion of the pay period. The user would know they are always seeing only vetted information without having it on demand.
  4. What graphics are useful, if any? Color charts are tempting to use, but make certain they help to clarify the data.

Your Sage 100 CON and 300 CRE software have options built-in to make Dashboard design and delivery easy. During 2018, we will be emphasizing tips, training options and Dashboard samples to help you. In the meantime, if you have questions or want to get started on your Dashboards, give us a call.