What is a Data Dashboard?
Big data is all the rage in the marketing and advertising world, and it's with good reason. Data tell you how your campaigns are performing, give you insight into how to make better business decisions, and keep you in the loop with customer preferences.
As you know, there are hundreds of data analytics tools at your fingertips to help you capture insights. But, with hundreds of tools on the marketing, and you using several of them at your agency, how do you keep track of all those KPIs?
Enter data dashboards.
A data dashboard is an information management tool that helps you capture, track, analyze, and visualize all your important key performance indicators and metrics as they relate to your business.
The best data dashboard tools are fully customizable to meet your specific company and/or departmental needs, is fully integratable with either instant-on or API connections, offers the ability to connect proprietary and custom data, and allows you to monitor data in real-time. Not to mention, a top-notch data dashboard will provide an organized and centralized location (dashboard) for you to quickly access custom views of all your data.
Big data may be the name of the game in guiding your marketing decisions, but without the help of a data dashboard, all those numbers become overlooked mumbo jumbo. In fact, as of 2015, only .5% of collected data was being analyzed.
Let's take a deeper look at data dashboards to see how they can help you access, analyze, interpret, and implement the insights that come from your data.
How do data dashboards even work?
Data dashboards work by using pre-configured instant-on connectors and API connectors to aggregated data from all important advertising and marketing analytics platforms. Then, with the help of smart technology, a data dashboard will visualize the data and provide you with customized data reports, based on the needs of your client, organization and/or team.
Data analytics play a vital role in various functions of your business. Data can give you insights into:
- How your social campaigns are performing,
- What is an isn't working with regards to your paid search campaigns,
- What keywords you need to target in your content marketing,
- What emails are performing best,
- How programmatic campaigns are performing,
- And so much more!
In fact, the short list above just scratches the surface of what data can do for your agency, media company or enterprise. What's important is to remember how a data dashboard works depends on 100% on your business needs, questions, and goals.
Because data is so diversified, so is the functionality of a data dashboard. However, regardless of what your needs are, a data dashboard should be all of the following:
- Customizable - A good data dashboard will work to your advantage by allowing you to customize the dashboard to your liking. This means you can integrate only relevant data sources, use widgets to collect data that answer your business questions, and pick visualizations that make the most sense of your data.
- Integratable - A data dashboard that doesn't allow you to access all of your important data points and bring them into one centralized location isn't a great option. To get a full look into your data story, you need a dashboard that lets you aggregate data from all important sources.
- Visual - Another way data dashboards work to your advantage is by helping you visualize your data. Reviewing numbers and large sets of data can get tiresome and confusing. Looking at a graph, chart, or picture, however, lets you quickly identify insights and put them into action.
- Fluid - Data dashboards should be fluid and this helps assist in the management of information. With the help of a dashboard, you can visualize KPIs, sales, operations, etc. and monitor customer feedback, goals, workflow, and more.
- Real-time - What good is a data dashboard if it doesn't give you insights in real-time? Data dashboards work in real time to keep your insights actionable.
Ultimately, a data dashboard works by using smart technology to give you fast interactive visualizations that answer your most pressing business questions.
Different types of data dashboards
Let's say your two most pressing business questions are what are the main traffic sources to a particular client's website? and what is the average customer lifetime value in terms of revenue at our agency?
These are two important business questions, but questions that take very different data sets to form answers. To get the right answers to different questions, you need access to different data dashboards. Here are some of the most popular data dashboards you may utilize at your organization.
A marketing dashboard brings all your metrics and KPIs together into one, convenient location. A marketing dashboard gives deep analytics, helps you aggregate critical information from all your most important tools, and makes it easy to monitor your campaigns, and show your value to the company, clients, and the world.
Marketing dashboards are highly visual, simple to use, easy to customize for different clients' needs, and should offer automated reporting to show ROI to clients.
With a marketing dashboard, you can combine multiple elements of a campaign and visualize key performance indicators on one screen. This allows you to spend your time wisely, eliminate waste and human error, and get back to more pressing matters.
A sales dashboard helps you keep your sales teams on target by allowing them instant insight into top KPIs. With a KPI dashboard, you can easily share good news and performance data to show your company's sales stories. Additionally, you have instant access to client data and can clearly display opportunities for improvement and let the data drive the upsell.
With smart visualizations, you can easy see where your sales agents stand, how everyone is performing, where there are missed opportunities, and what you can do to make more sales and maximize your time. You also can rely on set it and forget it reporting, so you can spend your time interfacing with the client.
WIth a robust sales dashboard, you can connect all your clients through you CRM. Then your sales and ad clients can monitor this information. This is especially useful if you have different advertising or marketing products you need to keep track of. Detailed tracking results in multiple up sell opportunities as well as the opportunity to identify what needs improvement.
What agency doesn't want to know how to make their operations run more efficiently? By monitoring things like uptime, CPU usage, project completion rates, task management, data entry, fulfillment, and more, you can make sure everything is running smoothly.
With the use of an operations dashboard, it's easy to identify which tasks are taking too long to complete, where inefficiencies lie, whether or not you have a problem with the tools and hardware you are using at work, and if you are doing any tasks manually that you could simply automate.
Through the use of an operations dashboard, you can eliminate human error and waste and get back more man-hours.
Executives have a lot on their plates including needing to quickly understand key metrics about performance, client growth, and all other vital aspects of the business. An executive dashboard helps you track your organization's progress against your own KPIs, so you can identify areas of concern and progress, and accelerate your business growth.
Without an executive dashboard, it's difficult to get a clear vision into performance and to understand how daily actions are affecting results.
An executive dashboard offers an automated way for business leaders to get insight into performance, so they can drive accountability, promote transparency, and enjoy a quick view into business performance across all units and projects.
Metrics vary greatly depending on the industry of your client. For example, clients in the automotive industry need to track things like vehicle sales, service performance, accessory performance, etc. On the other hand, your clients in the manufacturing business need to track things like production rates, overall sales, defect rates, employee growth, manufacturing status, etc.
Since no two industries are the same, no two dashboards will be the same. However, rather than building all dashboards from scratch for all your clients, you can opt for an industry-specific template and customize from there.
An industry-specific dashboard will offer a starting point with all important metrics for that particular industry. Then, you can quickly connect your data sources, import any proprietary or custom data, white label it for your clients, and enjoy custom and automated reporting.
It's impossible to conduct a successful agency or media company without the help of data. And, the more you can do to organize your data and quickly get the insights you need to make better business decisions, the better off you will be.
For more information about how you can create custom industry-specific dashboards, manage your operations and workflow, and automate your reporting, check out TapClicks today.
Get started by scheduling a demo of this top-notch tool today.