As a standard system SharePoint provides a web-based portfolio of office productivity tools, network file access and social sharing. However, many users are taking the platform a step further, creating an entirely new digital environment within their own online business communities.

Management Dashboard Concept

One of the creative SharePoint ideas becoming more and more of a reality is the management dashboard concept. This approach utilizes SharePoint to draw data from different users and summarizing the collectivedata into visual charts and grids for quick status consumption. The result is the ability for a user to be presented with an initial summary report compiling the latest information from the group involved. Then, as the user interacts and provides new, updated data from his or her own area or function, the summary report changes again and again. For some aspects of business, this kind of a tool can be immensely powerful.

Take the case of a regional sales manager. She can use SharePoint to immediately see:

    • How regional sales offices are functioning
    • How much product or service is being moved
    • What the trends have been in the current quarter or period
    • What the latest changes are as they are occurring.

Live and Ever-Evolving

The most powerful aspect of this design, however, is the fact that it is live and changing. So as resources are ordered, supply goes up. As a customer makes a big purchase, inventory decreases but revenues for the given zone rise. A given office loses personnel, and sales drop. The dashboard almost becomes a living representation with moving pieces constantly changing. That kind of “in the moment” data reporting can make a sales manager far more effective in immediate decision-making.

SharePoint provides the basic tools, but how they are manipulated and put to best use depends heavily on the user of the system and what can be created. In that respect, SharePoint is a bit of blank canvas; how it looks how it looks and performs depends on how your IT adapts the interface to meet your company’s information needs.

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