Building a Tableau Finance Dashboard: 10 Critical Metrics

on BI Tool, Data Analytics, Data Driven, Data Visualization • February 8th, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Tableau Finance Dashboard | Hevo Data

Almost all companies today, irrespective of their market position or size, leverage Business Intelligence tools to analyze their business & customer data, and thereby make smarter and informed business decisions that help drive business growth and profitability. Business Intelligence tools allow businesses to visualize their data in the form of dashboards in order to gain insights and maximize revenue outcomes.

There are numerous Business Intelligence tools that are available in the market today. One of the most well-known tools in Tableau which is used by almost all departments in a business including Product, Marketing, and even Finance. 

This article will help you understand the various metrics that can be used to make a Tableau Finance Dashboard.

Table of Contents

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a popular Business Intelligence and Data Analytics tool that was developed to help organizational decision-makers visualize, analyze and understand complex business data and make data-driven decisions. It can be leveraged to create a wide range of interactive visualizations and derive valuable insights. Tableau was founded at Stanford as a part of a computer science project in 2003 with the fundamental goal of improving the flow of any Data Analysis and making data more accessible and understandable to people through easy-to-understand visualizations. 

A core Tableau technology, VizQL gives users the ability to visually express data by translating drag-and-drop actions into data queries through an intuitive interface. It was developed and patented by the Co-founders of Tableau i.e., Chris Stolte, Pat Hanrahan, and Christian Chabot.

Businesses of all sizes, operating across different scales rely on Business Intelligence tools like Tableau to analyze their data. Large-scale enterprises like Unilever, which sells 400+ different kinds of products across 190+ countries, to Small-scale local businesses like Marination, an Asian-Hawaiian food truck eatery in Seattle make use of Tableau visualizations to analyze their business data seamlessly.

Tableau offers a free version called Tableau Public along with its numerous paid products and services such as Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online, and Tableau Reader as part of its suite.

What are the Key Features of Tableau?

Some of the key features of Tableau are as follows:

  • Advanced Dashboard: Tableau Dashboards provide an in-depth view of the data using advanced visualizations. Dashboards are considered to be very informative as they support the addition of multiple views and objects. It also allows visualization of data in the form of Stories by giving users a variety of layouts and formats to choose from.
  • In-Memory and Live Data: Tableau ensures seamless connectivity with data extracted from external data sources in the form of In-memory data or Live data sources. This gives users the ability to analyze data from various data sources without any restrictions. 
  • Attractive Visualizations: Tableau gives users the ability to create different types of data visualizations. For example, users can seamlessly create the simplest visualizations such as a Pie Chart or Bar Chart or some of the most complex visualizations such as Bullet Chart, Gantt Chart, Boxplot, etc. Tableau also houses information on geographical data such as Countries, Cities, Postal Codes, etc. which allows users to build visualizations using informative maps.
  • Robust Security: Tableau implemented special measures to ensure user and data security. It houses a security system based on permission and authentication mechanisms for user access and data connections.
  • Predictive Analytics: Tableau houses several data modeling capabilities, including forecasting and trending. Users can easily add a trend line or forecast data for any chart, and view details describing the fit easily.

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Why use Tableau Finance Dashboard?

No matter what product or service a company offers, if the finances of the company are not in check, it becomes difficult to grow. Tableau Finance Dashboard contains a set of management tools that help companies and their higher officials keep track of all the finance-related KPIs such as Gross Profit Margin, Expense Ratio, etc. There are many constraints involved when it comes to analyzing the finance of the company and easing the workflow, Finance Dashboards organize all the information in one place. 

As the business grows the finances of the company move beyond the spreadsheets and becomes difficult to manage. This data increases rapidly because all finance includes every single activity of the company such as travel expenses, salary, investments, loans, partnership, profits, revenue, taxes, etc. With the help of a fast and flexible Analytics engine, Tableau Finance Dashboard makes it a lot easier for companies to import all finance figures to the dashboard let Tableau do its job to simplify all for you. 

Tableau Finance Dashboard allows organizations to easily monitor and analyze extravagant things and keep them in check. Also, with its advanced Analytical modeling, companies can use algorithmic forecasting to enable greater value for their business.

What are the Metrics for Tableau Finance Dashboard?

Tableau houses numerous robust functionalities that give users the ability to perform an in-depth analysis of their financial data. Various metrics that should be taken into consideration while making a Tableau Finance Dashboard are as follows:

1) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Gross Profit Margin

This metric is used to define the percent of Total Sales Revenue that a business will keep after taking into consideration all direct costs associated with producing the goods. Direct costs include the price of labor and materials but exclude expenses such as rent and distribution. Gross Profit Margin is considered to be an important measure of the production efficiency of any business. It can be calculated by using the following formula:

Gross Profit Margin = (Total Revenue - Cost of Goods Sold) / Total Sales Revenue

2) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Operating Profit Margin

Operating Profit Margin, also known as the Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) can be defined as the percentage of total revenue earned by a business. This does not include revenue earned from the investments made by the business or the effects of taxes. 

The Operating Profit Margin can be used to understand how profitable a business model is and what amount is left from the revenue after all operational costs have been paid off. It can be calculated by using the following formula:

Operating Profit Margin = Operating Profit / Sales Revenue

3) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Operating Expense Ratio

Operating Expenses Ratio can be used to understand the operational efficiency of a company by comparing Operating Expenses i.e. the cost associated with running core operations to the total revenue. 

This is a metric that is widely monitored by investors to understand how high the operating costs of any business are as compared to the revenue it generates. The lower a company’s operating expenses, the more profitable that company is considered to be.

Operating Expenses Ratio can be calculated using the following formula:

Operating Expenses Ratio = Operating Cost / Total Revenue

4) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Net Profit Margin

Net Profit Margin is one of the most closely tracked metrics in Finance. It is used to understand how well a business is turning revenue into profits. It is usually represented as a percentage of Sales rather than an absolute number and is often used to compare the performance of different companies with each other.

Net Profit Margin can be calculated using the following formula:

Net Profit Margin = [(Total Revenue - Operating Costs - Depreciation - Interests - Taxes) / Total Revenue] * 100

5) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Working Capital

The Working Capital can be defined as the amount of money left remaining after the current liabilities of a business are subtracted from its assets. The assets of a business include its Cash, Accounts Receivable, Inventory, Prepaid Expenses, etc., and liabilities of a business represent all its obligations or debts that are due within 12 months such as Accounts Payable, Accrued Expenses, Bank Operating Credit, Taxes Payable, etc. 

This metric can be used to understand the Operational Efficiency and short-term financial health of a business. It can be calculated by using the following formula:

Working Capital = Current Assets - Current Liabilities

6) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Current Ratio

This metric is also used to understand the Operational Efficiency and short-term financial health of a business. It measures the ability of a business to pay off its obligations in the short term. The Current Ratio can be calculated using the following formula:

Current Ratio = Total Current Assets / Total Current Liabilities

It is of paramount importance for businesses to ensure that the value of this metric for them is higher than 1 at any point in time. If the value is lower than 1, it means that the business would not be able to pay off its obligations if they all were suddenly due.

7) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Berry Ratio

This is considered to be one of the most essential metrics for any Financial Analysis. The Berry Ratio compares the Gross Profit of a business with its Operating Expenses. It can be used to understand if a business is making a profit or loss at any point in time.

If the value is above 1, it means that the business is making a profit even after taking into consideration all variable expenses. On the other hand, a value below 1 could indicate that the business is losing money. In an ideal scenario, it makes more sense to track the value of this metric over a period of time.

The Berry Ratio can be calculated using the following formula:

Berry Ratio = Gross Profit / Operating Expenses

8) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Cash Conversion Cycle

Cash Conversion Cycle helps businesses evaluate how efficient their operations and management processes are. It is used to understand how long it takes for the business to convert its investments and other resources into incoming cash flows from Sales. It can be calculated using the following formula:

Cash Conversion Cycle = Days of Inventory Outstanding + Days of Sales Outstanding - Days Payable Outstanding

9) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio

Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio can be defined as a short-term Liquidity Financial metric. It can be used to understand how quickly a business pays off its suppliers along with other bills. 

Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio can be calculated using the following formula:

Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio = Total purchases from Suppliers / Average Accounts Payable

10) Tableau Finance Dashboard Metric: Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio

Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio is used to understand how quickly a business collects its payments owed and displays its effectiveness in extending credits. 

It can be calculated using the following formula:

Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio = Net Credit Sales / Average Accounts Receivable

What is the Template for Finance Dashboard on Tableau?

A simple finance dashboard created using Tableau is as follows:

This template covers a majority of the metrics that were explained in the previous section and it will help viewers understand the following financial data of any business:

  • Total Revenue, Gross Profit, EBITDA i.e. Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation, Operating Income, Income Before Taxes, Net Income, etc.
  • The trends of Actual Revenue as compared to the Revenue Budget and Actual Gross Profit as compared to the Gross Profit Budget.
  • Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) and Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) trends for every month of the year.
  • Information on Cash Flows for the entire year along with Revenues and Profits for each month of the year.
  • The trends of the Operating Cycle as compared to the Cash Conversion Cycle for every month of the year.
  • Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Inventory for each quarter.
  • Top 5 clients of the business.

The template can be accessed free of cost on Tableau Public.

Conclusion

This article provided you with an in-depth understanding of the metrics that you should ideally include in a Financial Dashboard. These metrics can easily be monitored to understand the financial performance of any business.

Choosing a Business Intelligence and Data Analysis tool for your business can be a tough decision primarily because almost all departments in a business such as Finance, Marketing, etc. now make use of multiple platforms to run their day-to-day operations and there is no single tool that can integrate with all these sources easily. Hence, businesses can consider using automated Data Integration platforms like Hevo.

Hevo helps you directly transfer data from a source of your choice to a Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence tools such as Tableau, etc., or desired destination in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write the code. It will make your life easier and make data migration hassle-free. It is User-Friendly, Reliable, and Secure.

Details on Hevo’s pricing can be found here. Give Hevo a try by signing up for the 14-day free trial today.

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