When you login to a Drupal site, the very first link you will see in the admin bar is "Dashboard".
Even though it's the first link, few people seem to use it, perhaps because they don't fully understand what it does. Perhaps as a result, the Dashboard won't be included in Drupal 8.
In this video, taken from our Better Drupal Administration class, Robert explains what the Dashboard does. It really can be a helpful control panel for users of small sites.