Don't succumb to the clutter. Make the most of your data — and time — with the help of dashboard analytics.
In the era of Big Data, we are constantly inundated with information. Tackling such large volumes of data can be daunting to even the most skilled digital marketer. What should you be measuring? What kinds of skills do you need to be able to parse and interpret data sets? How can you aggregate all of your information?
Working with your data, one metric at a time, and using the right tools can make data analysis a lot less scary and easier to handle. As long as you have an idea of where you’re going, you can find ways to manipulate your data to help you get there.
Narrow Metrics, Broad Impact
Before you dive into your data, you need to know what you’re hoping to measure. Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are business metrics used to track individual goals. It could be any of the following:
- Web traffic sources
- Brand awareness
- Cost per lead
- Website traffic leads
- Returning visitors
- Online conversion rates
- Lead conversion rates
- Click thru rate
- Customer lifetime value
Do you want to analyze a campaign? Are you more interested in getting eyes on your product? Or are you trying to increase sales? Remember that measuring KPIs is only helpful to your company if they are relevant, actionable and attainable. Actionable KPIs allow you to shift course in the middle of your monitoring timeline.
Make the Dive into Dashboards
There are a lot of data analysis tools, each with its own specific niche. Choosing which tool to use can be just as daunting as tackling the data itself. If you’re not a data analyst, tools like R and SAS can seem complicated and too hard to learn. Luckily, there are tools out there for the non-analyst that make data visualization a breeze.
One of these tools, the dashboard, is the easiest way to aggregate, visualize and analyze data. A marketing dashboard is a data analysis tool that provides a real-time, visual representation of your chosen KPIs and marketing metrics. A dashboard can be dedicated to a few KPIs, detail metrics for one campaign, cover all of your social media, or any combination of metrics you’d like to display.
Dashboards are available from a variety of providers and can be used by people of varying skill levels. The learning curve depends on the dashboard software you choose, but most offer a range of pre-built tools, knowledge base articles and one-on-one support to help you create your one-stop data spot.
While manually pulling your quarterly reports from Google Analytics seems pretty easy, you’ll never go back to screenshots once you have a marketing dashboard. Here are the top three reasons to use dashboards as your data analysis go-to.
1. Dashboards require minimal configuration for maximum output.
Many dashboard applications require no coding knowledge and use a point-and-click approach to configuration. Pre-built dashboards and individual widgets can be linked to Google Analytics, MailChimp and a variety of other sources with just a few clicks.
Pre-built dashboards can also give you a look into all of the KPIs that you might want to measure and allow you to cut your dashboard down to the most critical information, rather than starting from scratch. For those dashboards that require a bit more work and for users that want more customization, many dashboard companies offer one-on-one assistance or complete setup.
Custom dashboards also allow those with some technical knowhow an opportunity to create dashboards that can analyze and combine data across sources. Combining data in a dashboard allows you to customize your insights without having to handle raw data or complicated code.
2. Dashboards provide real-time insights.
Dashboards allow you to see the latest information without juggling logins and multiple screens. You can select a specific date range to make reporting easier, or you can put a live feed up for everyone to see, so they always have the freshest info.
Having instant access to historical and current data makes it easier to measure KPIs over time and helps you make decisions on the fly. Real-time insights and comparisons translate to a serious competitive edge and potential savings.
3. Dashboards allow you to see multiple sources on one screen.
No longer will you have twenty tabs open in an attempt to analyze your site or campaign. With dashboards, you can see your open rate from inbound marketing tools like HubSpot, your monthly organic revenue from Google Analytics, and your impressions from DoubleClick — all on one screen.
Dashboards make it easy to quickly see the KPIs that matter to you and your team, saving you the time of searching for one metric in clunky systems. You can even give clients access to dashboards, reducing your time spent on reporting and emails.
Cut the Clutter
Dashboards make data science easy with all of your most important metrics in one spot.
- You work more efficiently.
- You can react and adjust more quickly upon analyzing goals to be met.
Whether you’re new to data analysis or a skilled statistics wizard, dashboards offer something for everyone.