In companies, the need to put in place effective dashboards, aligned with the objectives of the marketing department and the global enterprise is increasingly present. Thus, these dashboards can greatly help companies in strategic decision-making, more specifically, that of marketing teams.
With the personalization of communications via e-mail and targeted advertising, we collect more and more data, which we are exploiting to better target our messages.
Today, with the digital evolution, this data exploitation strategy continues to gain momentum, which encourages the development of new practices. Analytics becomes a central focus in the management of customer information. We need to know more and more what our visitors are doing, their customer journey and what they want to receive as an offer or as a message.
Analytics is more and more important
First, according to a Markess study, nearly 60% of marketing decision-makers place analytics among the top 3 priorities in their business.
Indeed, data management and analysis are very important business skills to acquire within the next 2 years. These skills make it possible to know the data collected, build dashboards and react on them to reorient marketing strategies. In addition, defining KPIs, which is an important part of the dashboard creation process, becomes essential for evaluating the impact of the various actions implemented. Thus, the main benefit of an analytic strategy is that of improving the decision-making process.
Part of the solution is often hidden in the data you collect, thus making it necessary to understand them properly. Hence the importance of integrating it into your business processes.
In light of this information, it becomes necessary to establish a formal policy surrounding the collection and analysis of data. This will help you understand your customers more accurately.
Omnichannel at the heart of businesses
One reason for building dashboards is the importance of omnichannel in businesses. Before, each channel had a specific role and the campaigns were targeted by channel. Today users have navigate between multi moments. Each point of contact with the brand must meet a specific expectation of the visitor and be part of a logical actions sequence.
In fact, omnichannel breaks all the silos and establishes a communication between various channels. Each channel supports and strengthens the other channels. Thus, the customer and the brand communicate from one medium to another, which offers a unified and transversal customer experience.
With the collection, centralization and processing of customer information in real time, the marketing team can better understand the customer journey through the different channels. The team can also know the influence of each channel in relation to the campaign it is implementing.
The dashboard must therefore represent this reality by unifying all the performance indicators; from all channels; in one place. This is his main role, which is to evaluate in real time (or in semi-real time) all campaign performance statistics and make decisions to readjust the situation quickly if necessary.
10 reasons to use dashboards in your business
The use of dashboards offers several advantages to the teams that use them:
- Win time
The information is available at a glance as the data is visually and clearly represented.
- Be more reactive
A good dashboard crosses data together to obtain the cause of the results and thus react quickly to the information provided by making appropriate decisions.
- Lower the costs
A dashboard makes it possible to evaluate the performance of the company’s activities in order to improve them and thus reduce costs.
- Control losses
The dashboard acts as an alarm on the state of the company. We can quickly see if it loses money and adjust the shot afterward.
- Allow better targeting
With the data presented on the dashboard, we can easily analyze them and target the best contacts for our messages: visitors with an interest, qualified contacts, prospects, customers, ambassadors, etc. This is very useful when you practice lead nurturing.
- Improve communication between teams
A well-constructed and well-used dashboard greatly improves communication between teams within the same company. Among other things, it’s by working with the same information base, which is understandable by everyone. This allows you to start a discussion and make decisions much more quickly.
- Centralization of your data
Using a dashboard allows you to centralize all your data from multiple sources. All information is found in the same place and is presented in a simpler way.
- Allows continuous improvement
One of the great benefits of dashboards is that they clearly show when there is a gap between your initial goals and your real-time performance. This allows you to adjust everything and limit the damage.
- Exploit omnicannality
Today, one channel is no longer enough to connect with people and promote your business. Having a maximum of channels allows you to get data from all sides and track your contacts wherever it interacts with your brand. In an omnichannel approach, cross-referencing of the profiles and purchasing behavior data obtained by all the channels used can be very useful in a retargeting strategy.
- Make better decisions
We all know that marketing actions are difficult to measure by their direct impact on consumers. That’s why creating a dashboard allows you to track all your activities and see real results. Thus, many of the reasons listed above together enable any marketer to make informed decisions based on real data.
What is a good dashboard?
It’s nice to create dashboards, but they must be well made to be really effective!
Let’s go back to the very definition of the term: a dashboard is used in companies to visualize raw data and gives meaning to that data.
The sudden technological evolution of data collection and data capture has resulted in companies storing thousands of data that is unnecessary for experts and analysts. Hence the usefulness of a dashboard that precisely allows to filter aggregated data, select them and highlight the most relevant data is lost.
What you need to remember here is that too much data kills information.
A dashboard must, therefore, be constructed as a decision-making tool. It should contain only relevant and representative information about what we want to be able to interpret and then make a decision.
This information should be easily understandable as each channel has different indicators and different meanings. It becomes difficult to know everything perfectly. Hence the need to reinterpret the information so that everyone can understand the same thing. The indicators must also be hierarchical so that we can have logic in the order of presentation.
Overall, a good dashboard is based on 4 criteria:
- Simplify what is complex
- Tell a story
- Express the data in a meaningful way
- Reveal the details required for decision-making
If your dashboard does not meet all of these criteria, rethink it and modify it until it does.
What is the difference between a report and a dashboard?
The distinction between a dashboard and a report is not necessarily obvious at first glance, but yet these two tools are not based on the same way of thinking. Although there are several differences, they are both very complementary.
First, a report and a dashboard are not addressed to the same person. A dashboard is operated daily by the manager of a department. The dashboard produces reports for the higher company levels, such as board members or directors.
Therefore, a dashboard is normally updated in near real time, while a report takes a snapshot of the situation at a given time, but does not update automatically. If we want to update it, we have to produce another report.
Finally, as mentioned above, a dashboard should always fit on one page and the data should be represented by graphics. Reports, for their part, have no such requirements, rather their objective is to present the data in its raw state.
Work with hypothesis
It can sometimes be difficult to determine the right KPIs to measure your performance. In addition, if the KPIs are badly established from the start, it is difficult to change them since you will no longer have points of comparison between your different dashboards. That’s why working hypothetically can help you find the best indicators for your dashboard at first glance.
Basically, it means starting your thinking with what you think the end result will be, and always against your original goals. This forces you to ask yourself the following questions: What will you test to check the validity of your hypothesis? What do you need to measure to validate your hypothesis?
Thus, starting with the (estimated) answer, you will be more inclined to find the best possible indicator to track your activities from the start.
To conclude, the use of dashboards offers you many very interesting advantages. By adopting this practice, you will improve your processes, your communication, and your strategic decision-making.
Nevertheless, many professionals find that setting up personalized dashboards is long and complex. They, therefore, prioritize Excel to track their activities, which is not optimal if we want to follow the daily activities. Even more if you do not have all the necessary knowledge to use Excel to its full potential. The ideal is to choose a tool that automates all the tasks you would manually do with your Excel file.
There is a wealth of tools available today to create customized dashboards that each meet different needs. It’s up to you to find the one that suits you best!
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