What’s gets measured, gets done! 

“What’s gets measured, gets done”.  This is one of the best quotes of Management guru Peter Drucker. Most organisations use dashboards to measure key business performance such as prospect, projects and revenue. But only 22% of all companies have metrics to measure their innovation performance. By having a Innovation dashboard, you can measure the innovation progress. This will maximize your innovation success. It is a smart thing to start building your Innovation Dashboard. This article will give you multiple reasons why!

Dashboards create a single source of truth

The base of every dashboard is combining the right data sources and showing the most relevant performance indicators. With these indicators you can build reports. For example, one KPI is to measure ‘the amount of created value for implemented innovation projects’. Then you need to register the ‘number of projects’ and their status (implemented or not). But you also need to register the realized value of innovation projects.
Some businesses use an Innovation platform to measure this all. But many organisations still use several applications as a source for all the information. If so, then a good dashboard helps in creating one overview of all key performance indicators. Dashboard is a story that you want to share

A good dashboard tells a story with relevant information. It should not overwhelm the user with all kinds of unnecessary data. A dashboard should have a clear focus on the most important KPI’s and optional less important KPI’s. Also, a good dashboard should help the user to filter on specific information related to departments, products or pipelines.

Important for an Innovation dashboard is that it is always ready to share the latest information to the right audience. It shouldn’t only be for the innovation manager or the innovation team. It should be accessible to all relevant stakeholders including the innovation board, management team or board of directors. In the most optimal situation, all audiences can open the same dashboard. They will see live data without interference of the innovation manager or director.

Characteristics of a good innovation dashboard

The simplest version of a dashboard will provide you with actual insights for the most important KPI’s. For example: the ‘innovation success score’, ‘total amount of innovation projects’ and ‘total amount of captured ideas’ and its progress, etc. Only presenting the actual numbers isn’t enough. It is a snapshot of the current situation. You need some graphs that will also show you the trend of this KPI in time. Showing time comparison based on months/quarters/years gives you relevant information about the increase/decline of performance compared to now

Leading and lagging KPI’s

Most of the time dashboards tell a story about what happened. You never know exactly what is going to happen in the future, you can only make prognoses. There are two kinds of KPI’s: lagging and leading.

  • A lagging indicator looks back at whether the intended result was achieved. For example: how many ideas generated, how many projects started and how many values are created.
  • A leading indicator looks forward at future prognosed outcomes and events. For example: estimated revenue, forecast of new projects started next Quarter.

The best way to monitor overall business performance is to merge the insights from backward-looking indicators with forward-looking insights and predictions. The ‘lagging indicators’ with the ‘leading indicators’.

Leading KPI exampleIn Sales the leading indicators are used to calculate the amount of revenue score. This is based on the close date and the stage that the deal is in. It calculates the weighted value of the deal as forecasted revenue in pipeline.  
For innovation projects you can use similar forecast formula. For instance  if you want to calculate the total weighted prognosed ‘innovation value’ in the pipeline, you need to look at the total prognosed value (at implementation date or project deadline) and multiply this with the success rate probability per stage  If you want to know more about the algorithm, then you can contact us.

Important innovation KPI’s :

  • Number of projects started
  • Amount of value with implemented projects
  • Innovation success score (how many projects are implemented successfully?)
  • How many ideas do we need for 1 project?
  • How many innovation projects did we stop?
  • Average lead time of an innovation project
  • Average lead time of a submitted ideas to start a project
  • Return on investment of new products, services, or business models
  • Amount of active users
  • Amount of active customers
  • How many challenges where successful?
  • Best performing teams
  • Best performing users
  • Ideas per category
  • Best performing categories
  • Innovation funnel (conversions from ideas to projects to implemented projects)

Dashboarding tools

There are many different tools in the available to build dashboards. Think of: GeckoboardTableau, Power BI. To see a list of tools, look at this site: dashboard tools. Last year’s trend showed that most organisations used one single tool to build all dashboards with. Microsoft Power BI is the most commonly used dashboard application for Microsoft oriented companies.

Collecting the data

Most organisations that are new to innovation aren’t using a dashboard, yet. More  ‘mature’ organisations use tools like Excel. They measure what they are doing and present updates in a freer format. To increase innovation output (success rate), a good dashboard will help to perform better and will communicate to the success. Start by collecting the right data. Then improve the presented data to the goals you want to reach. Within a short period of time you have a system to work with. That system will deliver the dashboard results the way you want.

To collect data into dashboard tools, there are many different sources. For example, Excel, Database, etc. Innovation software platforms have built-in dashboards. The more advanced systems provide a data connector. This makes it possible to connect for example Power BI with the Innovation platform. This will show live and actual data directly in the company’s dashboard architecture. If you want to set up an innovation dashboard then this will be our go to advice.

Start small and improve continuous

Don’t wait for the right time to start building a dashboard. Start small and improve continuously. Start with measuring your 3 most important KPI’s. Show the actual numbers and show the trend. Make sure to look backward (lagging) and forward (leading). Build a rhythm to update the numbers and to communicate about the results. Be open in the victories and the pitfalls. It is all about improving, it isn’t about blaming. An Innovation dashboard is an important and powerful tool monitor innovation success and absolute must have for organisations that want to increase their innovation success rate.

Innovation Dashboard of Accept Mission

Within the innovation software platform Accept Mission, we provide a build-in dashboard that shows the important KPI’s of innovation (lagging and leading). We also provide a live data connector for dashboards tools such as Power BI. We built a connector that is based on ‘OData’. This method can be used in Excel, Power BI, tableau and all-important dashboard tools. It will connect the data source Accept Mission to your dashboard software. We also have an Innovation Dashboard Template for Accept Mission ready to download and install

In this Accept mission Innovation Dashboard template (see the demo above) you can see:

  • Innovation funnel: showing the result of the total funnel of innovation within your organisation.
  • Top performing projects based on their performance
  • Geographical map of where the ideas come from
  • Top inboxes with the most captured ideas
  • Best performing challenges (missions) based on captured ideas
  • Top performing users

In the menu of the dashboard you can navigate to specific areas of the dashboard. You can see the results there.

Note: A cool things is that you can set live filters and change the data range. The data will show your specific filter.

Let us know, how we can help. We can show you what Accept Mission can do for you and your organisation in an online demo.

Demo