Business Intelligence & Analytics
Jan 16, 2020
Belén Vidal
KAM & Operations Development Manager
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Tips for Creating a Business Dashboard

Home > Business Intelligence & Analytics > Tips for Creating a Business Dashboard
Are you running a digital marketing strategy? Have you correctly defined your Goals & Metrics? If so, the next step will be working on a business dashboard to be able to convert the data into relevant information for your project. In this article, we’ll give you some tips for improving and completely optimizing your dashboard. Make it your roadmap for achieving your goals.

Dashboards are essential for many roles. Drivers use them to direct their vehicle, paying attention to any alerts that indicate trouble. In the same way, an interface with the key information about your business allows you to lead as best as possible. Have direct access to the most important data and use it to make decisions, avoid disasters, and reach goals. The first step of making a dashboard is defining your goals and metrics. 

How to Make a Good Dashboard: start with goals and metrics 

If you’re asking yourself how to create a step-by-step dashboard or you’re simply looking for tips to improve the one you already have, the most useful trick is to have a good base; this means defining your goals & metrics. G&Ms guide our actions in the right direction and are essential for client relations, aligning efforts, and defining priorities. 

 

Goals, metrics, and KPIs are frequently confused. These terms are all related, but not synonymous: 

  • The goal is the definition of an achievement that we want to reach with our final objective.
  • A metric is a unit, expressed in absolute numbers or percentages.
  • A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is an indicator that serves to measure the state of a goal. It’s based on metrics that vary according to the business or type of industry; you can’t understand a KPI outside of the project to which it belongs. It’s only understood in its specific context. 

The table below shows an example of goals, metrics, and KPIs in the tourism sector. We can observe how they are differentiated between each other but, at the same time, are intimately related. 

 

Once your goals, metrics, and KPIs have been defined, we have to set up our analytic tool indicators and choose the right tool that will be shown on your dashboard, according to your needs. For example, Datorama, Data Studio, or Tableau are all options. Tableau is a data visualization platform from the Salesforce ecosystem that allows you to design highly personalized interfaces in the cloud with a simultaneous connection to various databases. We highly recommend it. 

Dashboard Requirements: Ordered Data for your Business 

Before we begin working on the dashboard design, it’s important to understand the requirements that we must meet for them to be truly effective when it comes to measuring the success of a campaign or action. There are 4 qualities to keep in mind so that a dashboard works

Useful

The dashboard has to contain the metrics that help you respond to your business’ key questions. It’s important to understand that KPIs have their own lifecycle: they are defined, redefined, and sometimes even cease to exist. It’s necessary to constantly revise them and decide if they are still useful. 

 

When it comes to choosing KPIs, it’s also important to ensure they are aligned with the company’s business goals. Through these indicators, you have to be capable of measuring if you’re meeting the objectives or not, what actions are working best, and which have to be discarded in the future. 

Visual

Another indispensable requirement is good data visualization. This is the only way you’ll be able to interpret the information based on just one glance. Bar graphs, highlighted numbers, or dates are very common resources to achieve a visual design. Pay special attention to your structure as well. 

Understandable

With just a dashboard, you have to be capable of making decisions and taking action; that’s why it must contain the necessary information to take these steps. The dashboard must facilitate data contextualization for its later comparison and interpretation; with this, you’ll be able to draw useful and interesting conclusions to maintain or redirect the path of your business. 

Current

The dashboard must be updated in real time, given that data evolves quickly. For this, it’s useful to have visualization tools (like those previously mentioned) that will automatically collect information, sort it, and present it on the dashboard. 

Why is a Dashboard Important on a Strategic Level?

The main goal of a dashboard is to offer visibility about the indicators that can reach a determined value to satisfy the company’s goals. In addition, it allows you to learn data values, analyze trends, and create action paths. This powerful tool will help you; it will also orient your company’s digital marketing strategy and even help you discover new business opportunities. 

 

On a practical level, how can a business dashboard help you during your day-to-day life? 

  1. Facilitate Information Access 

A good dashboard allows you to have valuable business information in reach at all times, easily and simply. You can share it with other members of the company when necessary and check it out at any moment. Transparency is a value to strengthen in companies; with dashboards, it’s possible. 

  1. Make Data-Based Decisions 

Justifying the decisions that you make with trustworthy data is the best weapon to make the right decisions. Thanks to the presentation of KPIs in clear graphs and interactive diagrams, strategically making trustworthy decisions will be much easier. You’ll be able to consult history, trends, and comparisons and truly make the most out of the data. 

  1. React Quickly to Unforeseen Changes 

Accessing your KPI results at any moment will allow the company to immediately react to unforeseen changes. The sooner you can detect a possible error or problem, the sooner you’ll be able to rectify it and minimize its impact. 

  1. Generally Optimize Business Management  

The person responsible for the business dashboard will have a complete vision of the campaigns, actions, and processes that are live. The use of a data visualization platform will also help with daily management and team coordination. 

How to Use a Dashboard 

The steps to create a dashboard are clear and we know its benefits, so now what? It’s time to put it into practice and establish a few steps:

Decide the Update Frequency

If your business works with an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system or any other tool that’s capable of measuring and extracting data, we recommend updating it continuously and automatically, depending on the needs and characteristics of each company. The more frequent the update the better. 

Compare and Measure Indicators 

These require a fixed image of a certain moment. To contextualize data and analyze trends, it’s best to run at least two comparisons: 

  • On one hand, compare the current data to that of the previous period. For example, the current month compared to the previous month. 
  • On the other hand, compare the current data to the average data. This means putting the data from the latest exercise or period up against average data. 

To sum it up, the benefits of a business dashboard are vast. It helps you define and implement your digital marketing strategy; quick, visually attractive, and real time data visualization is the recipe to success for improving project results. Dashboards provide business intelligence and they will be your best ally to control the direction of your company. If you have any questions, We Are Marketing is here to help you define the best dashboard to make your company grow.

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