Best Practices of Setting Up Dashboards in Web Analytics Applications
In today’s highly sophisticated world, we are overwhelmed by the data flowing from all the possible sources to increase the growth rate of our business. Therefore, it is normal to expect a high output rate from our executives and thereby in our businesses by making the best use of the data amassed. Results matter most in the highly competitive world of internet marketing. However, it is not happening according to our expectations. Studies have shown that nearly 75% of the marketers does not succeed in measuring their performances making use the data provided to them.
They are also having a hard time in taking the right decision from the various reports quickly. The main reason for this hardship is their incapability to identify the key metrics that are the powerhouse of their business. As a result, they are unable to take the right measures for the quick progress. Thus, it is clear from here that unavailability of data or the right kind of data is not the main problem. The problem that underlies is the incapability to identify the most important effective metrics. In short, we are short of resources to analyze our business performance.
At such context, the significance of dashboards comes into our focus area. Dashboards are our customizable collection of report summaries. They provide us with the critical data pertaining to our business performance quickly, easily, precisely and in the best understandable form. This helps us to decide the goals for our business and take quick and the right driving measures. If you have the required skills to use your dashboards in the best possible way, then they prove out to be the greatest communication medium.
Dashboards can vary by industry and business functions. However, there are certain commonly followed best practices related to dashboards. Following this, will surely give you a better sense to deliver the key insights, and translate the performance and effectiveness of your site through dashboards. Here are the best practices…
Show the context in your dashboard:
There is no metric that can exist in isolation without the context. It will only give you a set of numbers, which will be hard for you to configure out into the related information. If you place your metrics in the contexts then it will definitely give you quick insights rather than a bunch of questions regarding the data. It is easy to show contexts in your dashboard. You can use internal and external benchmarks, goals and prior performance as a context. Without the context, your metrics will not give you the sort out value even if it is the most critical metric for your business. The purpose of the goal in your dashboard is to communicate the performance and to improvise your actions for the required results. Segmentation is the most effective way to access key insights regarding your good or bad performance.
Pick out the critical few metrics:
You may be aware of the fact that dashboards are not merely one page, but 28 tab excel files or 34 slide PowerPoint decks. As a result, these track all of the metrics regardless of their relevance. It makes more difficult to have the accurate understanding of the significant points and makes us in a confused state relating to the required actions. You should have a brainstorming session to grasp the few key metrics significant for your business. If you succeed in figuring out this difficult issue, then it will really give your dashboard the perfect decision making power.
The rule for selecting the key metrics is that they should be less than 10. If they are greater, then it will be less effective. You should identify a goal for each of these selected few, segment it, and display the goals and metrics in your dashboard.
Take special efforts to include insights in your dashboard:
In the absence of a set of insights that make you available with performance information and the driving action, your dashboard will merely turn into a set of graphs, numbers and statistics.
These insight freer dashboards leave everything to the intelligence and capability of the reader. If you provide insights, then it will illuminate the thought process of the reader quickly to take the right action.
So include a session in the top of the dashboard to highlight your insights. The insights may range from the reasons for the hits and misses, the underlying causes for the shifts in the business and the root causes. The recommendations you share on the dashboard can be relating to our next action, the new merging horizon of opportunity, or the method to reverse the decline. This will increase your senior executive’s skill to take the right decision without having to go through all the unattractive statistics.
Single page for your dashboards give you the best results:
You should realize the power of the single page dashboard. If your dashboard is not single page, then it is not a dashboard but a report. Single page is the best practice since it is packed up with advantages. It helps to make dashboards present the data in the neatest manner with only the required data and not an overflow of data. It makes data presentation easier, enhances the understandability of it, and of course, makes it portable. It also promotes much hard work in choosing the few critical metrics.
Constantly evolve and stay relevant:
Dashboards should not be made into a permanent outdated thing. In this world of change, help in the evolution of your dashboards. Metrics should be eliminated as soon as it loses its relevance. As the web changes at least a few of your key metrics will change according with it.
So plan the evolution of your dashboard. Otherwise, your dashboard will consume your enormous time without giving you the perfect value.
All these actions will definitely make a positive output to your business and audience.
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