“Action-packed!”, “Astonishing!”, “Beautiful story-telling.” This may sound like a summer blockbuster review but it should be how the CMO reacts to a marketing dashboard. Unfortunately, most dashboards suffer from a glut of metrics and elicit responses such as, “A circuitous tale that is sure to confuse,” or “The Analyst will take you on a wild ride through the forest of big data…” However, there is a solution. It starts with the realization that a dashboard is not a document, but instead it is a tool for future action, notes Martin Kihn, research director for Gartner for Marketing Leaders.
From Good to Great Dashboards
Instead of rattling off the qualities that make up the world’s worst dashboards, it’s more helpful to focus on what makes a dashboard useful. Your dashboard should be audience-specific, answer an important question(s) for that user and focus visual attention on what is important. Consider a simple dashboard for a family car. Its chief focus may be on speed. However, the dashboard for an electric card may highlight available resource.
In other words, know your audience, do the heavy lifting to give them actionable recommendations and highlight exceptions. After all, dashboards are simply a visual summary of metrics relevant to the user. So make it a summary and make it relevant. Above all else, remember that dashboards exist to help users make decisions and take action.