Published: May 25, 2021

The professional drivers at the helm of our eighteen-wheelers have a wealth of information about their rigs right in front of them. On their dashboards are a voltmeter, tachometer, engine oil pressure gauge, air pressure gauge, and a bunch of temperature gauges for various parts of the truck and trailer. Some also have navigation systems, and as of June 12th, most will have electronic logging devices too.




All of that information gives drivers a good sense of what’s happening at any given time. They are alerted to potential problems, like a battery that might need replacing soon, and to potential hazardous situations like failing air brakes. When things are all good, they know it. And when issues are flagged in advance, they have time to get repairs done before it becomes a bigger issue.

There’s another kind of dashboard that’s getting a lot of attention these days. This is a dashboard for the person at the helm of the business. The purpose of this dashboard is the same as the other kind. It tells you if everything is going according to plan, or are there some issues that need looking into before they become a big problem.

The manager’s dashboard though is not quite as standard as in trucks. Of course, most will want to see the bottom line, things like total revenue and expenses, but the rest of the information depends on the business you’re in.

Most business collect far more information than they use in decision making, and that means they don’t know as much as they could. Many common software applications for accounting and customer relationship management, have a number of built-in features that allow you to chart and graph different types of information over time. If you’re not using these already, you may want to see what you could be seeing!

There are also software programs specifically for building dashboards that create visual depictions of the data you want to see. But the point is that it’s really important to analyze your data on a regular basis; to look at the information you already have in different ways, to get a general overview of your operation. Use the information to answer questions you have or to further analyze a problem. You may also find that there is information that you’d really like to have but haven’t been collecting.

Here’s a simple example of how data analysis can help. Let’s say that on two or three occasions over the past year, you’ve run out of a particular product and weren’t able to fulfill all of your orders. That’s lost revenue, so you want to understand why this happened.

You could create a line graph showing each week’s production or inventory of that product, with another line showing the weekly orders for that product. Perhaps you notice that production slows going into a holiday weekend, but that is also when orders are highest. Or, you might see that orders were higher that your usual production rate in the spring. If you chart a few years of data, you might find that this has occurred the past three or four years.

You can compare revenue from different products over time to see if trends are changing. You can check on the retention length of customers to see if you need to make changes to keep customers longer.

If industry trends are important to you, there is data for sale that you can integrate or compare to your own information.

Data-driven businesses are more successful, and having a dashboard makes it easy to keep an eye on the things that are most important to the success of your business.




Ameri-Can Logistics Ltd. is a trucking company servicing shipping ports, railroad depots, and communities throughout North America. Operating 24/7/365 with continuous dispatch services, businesses have relied on Ameri-Can to distribute their products to buyers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, for three decades.

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Toll Free: 1-888-884-6225
Phone: 1-604-851-5000
Fax: 1-604-851-5300 

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