The purpose of a Dashboard Design is to structure the performance data you need to be able to understand your results and to take action. Your dashboard needs to be customized to the nature of your business and marketing activities, as well as the specific person or team that will be using it. Dashboards can be analytical, providing people with information and benchmarks to use for analysis and decision-making. Dashboards can also be operational, providing time-sensitive information for teams to monitor and actively manage marketing activities. Dashboards designed by marketers typically include performance data vs. targets (measures), and a breakdown of that data by different dimensions (metrics). This framework helps you to determine what is most important to include in your dashboard.
What data do we need to include in our marketing dashboard?
- Who will be using this dashboard and what will they be using it for? Make sure that you have a clear answer to this question. If you have multiple audiences with different needs, you will need multiple dashboards.
- For Measures, identify the quantifiable outcomes that your marketing program needs to deliver – including the associated targets. Measures are what your CFO cares about. For example, Sales vs. Forecast.
- For Metrics, identify the more granular data that you need to be able to better understand your performance and make corresponding adjustments. For example, Sales per Day or Sales per Product.
- Identify the sources of the data that you would like to include in your dashboard. Will it be possible to access this data in a timely, accurate, precise, and structured way? Vet for what is possible today vs. the future.
- Finally, determine how often and in what format the audience needs to access this dashboard. For example, do updates need to provided daily or weekly? Plan for what is possible today vs. the future.
- Prioritize data ruthlessly based on how useful it is to decision-making, and avoid including data that cannot be actioned.
- Establishing internal role-based personas can be helpful to design different versions or views of dashboards.
- Ensure that the data in your marketing dashboard supports and aligns with executive-level goals and scorecards.
Knaflic, C. “Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals”, Wiley, 2015