United States

Board governance and dashboards


Tribal Councils are tasked with a variety of responsibilities directly linked to the future financial success of the Tribe. At the core of these responsibilities is the ability to set, monitor and report on the goals of the Tribe’s various enterprises.

Many tribes make significant investments in new systems and tools designed to assist in the effective pursuit of tribal financial goals, yet struggle to integrate these tools into the decision-making process. If you feel your Tribe is not positioned to interpret the powerful patterns and trends that can be observed through the data your systems collect, you are not utilizing your technology investments to their maximum benefit.

Critical to the successful utilization of technology is the ability to create meaningful, consistent and concise dashboards which are tied to strategy and key initiatives. Tribal Council can create dashboards that will allow for fact-based decision making in all areas of your enterprises, from how to best meet current and targeted needs, to proactive positioning for short-term and long-term reinvestment and capital expenditures.

Dashboard creation

To begin creating board-level dashboards, you’ll need to consider what drives the success of the business initiative or program at hand. What are the key objectives of the business, and what are the key performance indicators? How is the data collected to assess the business or program?

Below are two examples of strategic dashboards a tribal board may wish to consider.

Tribal personnel dashboard (click to enlarge)

Restaurants dashboard (click to enlarge)

Dashboard utilization
In addition to allowing the tribal boards to make effective decisions, strategic dashboards provide the board with a means to:

  • Educate membership consistently
    • on the systems of checks and balances that are in place or being implemented
    • on overall financial information and understanding of information
  • Provide information readily
  • Provide information in an easy-to-understand format
  • Avoid any perception of hesitant disclosure
  • Respond to challenges of miscommunication
  • Take ownership of fiscal responsibilities

The establishment of strategic dashboards is key to the establishment of an organizational structure which promotes fiscal governance in support of the tribes long-term financial planning.

For more information on this topic, contact RSM US partner Dwayne Eto.