Dashboards are a critical part of analytics that are sometimes overlooked in the reporting program of claims organizations. Business success requires thinking about not just what data you should collect but also how you deliver that data. Metrics are easier for professionals at all levels to act on when they are readily available and easily consumable by the right audience. Even good data when presented in an inconvenient or inaccessible way simply isn’t useful. It’s important, then, to understand how to present your important metrics in well-designed dashboards.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
A dashboard is a “quick glance” visualization of key performance indicators and business metrics, which normally allows the reader to drill-down for more granular analysis. While they vary depending on the audience they are intended for, dashboards should always be simple with an emphasis on aggregated data and high-level insights.
Typically, claims organizations leverage dashboards to convey:
- Spend information, segmented by lines of business, law firms, etc.
- Matter information, similarly segmented, about case counts, matter age, cycle time, etc.
- Operational information about tasks, events, and overdue items
When building a dashboard, keep in mind that it doesn’t need to include every detail. You will undoubtedly have detailed reports on your key areas of focus, but dashboards are not meant to provide in-depth answers. Rather, they should prompt readers to ask questions. Dashboards highlight exceptions, outliers, and opportunities for improvement, bringing attention to areas that require actions and decisions.
A Dashboard for Each Audience
It is not necessary for every member of a claims team to see the same dashboard data. Each one should be tailored to the specific readers who can take meaningful action based on the data they provide. Don’t try to cover too many bases with a single dashboard, as this is likely to make the dashboard overly complex and overwhelm readers with unnecessary information.
Think about the people who will need to access the dashboards you are planning. Are they executives, front-line users, panel managers, or other members of your organization? The audience will vary from company to company, but whoever will access dashboards in your organization, they will need to see only data that is relevant to their role so that they can take appropriate actions based on the information.
Good Dashboards Support Good Decisions
In order to support your needs when making decisions, dashboards must be part of established case assignment or management workflows (e.g., monitoring claims representative caseloads and claim status). They should be so accessible that it would be more difficult to avoid them. This makes it easier to take action on the data they provide and helps with process efficiency. In addition, dashboards should roll up into existing reports so that it’s always possible to do a deeper dive into the information they contain.
Updating your dashboards from time to time is also key to a successful program in the long term. The information that is most useful to your audience can vary over time based on evolving organizational goals or a changing business environment. When evaluating their continued relevance, don’t think just about whether the information is interesting. The data needs to be actionable and relevant to improving performance.
These dashboard basics represent the tip of the iceberg. For more information on using dashboards to control costs, decrease risk, and manage vendor relationships, watch our joint webinar with the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Operationalizing Analytics Using Dashboards.