Dashboards: A Window into Your Contract Management
By Karen Howe, Director of Training at Contract Logix
When talking to customers, one of the biggest drivers for adopting contract management software is the need to get more visibility into their contract management processes with contract management dashboards.
They want to be able to get fast and accurate answers to key contract management questions in an effort to provide the business with actionable insights.
“How is our contract management process performing?”
“Where are the bottlenecks?”
“How many NDAs do we have outstanding?”
“How long does typically take to execute an MSA?”
Unfortunately, traditional and manual approaches to contract management can’t provide that information, at least not in a timely and efficient manner. That’s why dashboards are such a popular and important feature in contract management software. They can provide a real-time visual of key metrics that the business wants to track to monitor its contracting health, performance, and direction. Not having this capability in your contract management processes is like driving a car without a gas gauge or sailing offshore without any navigational aids.
Let’s take a closer look at how dashboards have evolved, where they’re headed, and the value they deliver.
I’m old enough to remember when the only dashboard was the panel you glanced at while driving your car. It told you how fast you were going, how empty your gas tank was, and if your engine was about to overheat. It offered a no-frills way to keep you going and out of trouble with law enforcement, but not much else.
Early edition contract management dashboards weren’t much different. They commonly required you to manually tag your contract data points in order for them to show up in the dashboard. But what if you forgot to keyword tag something when entering a record? Or, what if your colleague used different keyword tags than you? All of this led to the potential for incomplete and inaccurate dashboard information.
Today, car dashboards have evolved (think Tesla’s touchscreen) and so has the whole concept of a dashboard. Software vendors now invariably include some sort of dashboard that pulls vital information from various sources into a single, easy-to-read display that helps users visualize their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). And, modern software that offers dashboard functionality should not require any keyword tagging of data. It should automatically structure your data so that it’s recognizable and usable by the dashboard. This ensures its accuracy, completeness, and it gives you the flexibility to look at it in different ways.
In the world of contract management, dashboards might include graphs that show…
- the number and type of new contracts coming in each month
- the number of requests that result in contracts
- the aggregate value of different types of contracts
- the number of contracts by organization type (vendor, supplier, etc.)
- the breakdown of contracts in various stages of completion
- the average number of days to execution
The Contract Logix Dashboard available through our intelligent contract management platform includes all these graphs and more, over a dozen in all. Each graph can be displayed in a variety of ways (bar graph, column graph, line graph, pie chart or donut). The Dashboard can be rearranged and graphs can be hidden or filtered to suit the individual user. Each graph delivers easily digested, real-time and relevant metrics that lead to better insight into key contract processes.
And, since all your contract data is intelligently and automatically structured by our system, you aren’t required to do any keyword tagging. All your data is searchable, capturable, complete, and correct. That means that when you look at your dashboards you can be 100% confident in the reliability of the information.
As contract lifecycle management software like Express CMS and Premium CLM from Contract Logix evolves, dashboards will evolve as well. They’ll continue to be more configurable, offer new ways to harness all types of contract data, and provide more and more actionable business intelligence.
After all, data is one of if not the most valuable asset in your contract management arsenal – assuming you can leverage it. Today’s modern dashboards give you that ability and more.
So, what does the future of your contract management dashboard look like?