Think automated dashboards will steal your job? Use them to optimize your human value


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While the tide is slowly turning towards acceptance of automated reporting practices, resistance is still rife. A recent article by HubSpot Founder & CTO Dharmesh Shah discusses the fear that some individuals have of being replaced in their job by software. This article struck a chord with me after having spoken with individuals with a similar resistance towards automating dashboard delivery due to this very reason.

In his article, Dharmesh does a superb job of arguing that software is effectively changing industries, has adjusted the value of the work of certain professions, and that these need to evolve in order to avoid being made redundant. He argues that where your work is based on a simple set of rules or is perceived as a commodity, or where software can provide ‘reasonable’ results and customers are satisfied with ‘reasonable’ quality services,  attempting to sell higher quality services at a much higher cost is ineffective.

He then outlines a number of strategies for overcoming this problem, including: developing communication skills and empathy, providing value, working hard and thinking creatively.

I couldn’t agree more with his line of thought. Why on Earth would you waste your valuable human resources on completing processes that could be automated? The true value of your colleagues will be blunted if they are left doing menial tasks that do not allow them to think deeply, and explore their creative or human sides.

As opposed to computers, humans are able to think extremely laterally. Our subconscious mind is able to dream up ideas and solutions that a pattern-seeking machine may not be able to. We also have intuition. Whilst digital marketers have for years been arguing against the use of intuition in favour of data-based decisions (a stance with which I wholeheartedly agree), intuition can be a useful tool in the initial stages of creating ideas – that should later be tested and adjusted for best results, of course!

Therefore we should certainly leave all simple processes that can easily be automated without damaging quality of work to computers. Should we then, in the same way, leave all creative tasks to the human mind without any technological assistance? Certainly not! We should use software to help us optimize our human value!

Below are just a few of the many ways in which automated dashboard software can support our human value to organizations:

Use automated dashboards to facilitate communication

The list of productivity, project management and collaborative software tools available is growing daily and these tools are perfect complements to digital marketing projects. In addition to these specific solutions, however, we are seeing a trend of increased integration of communication functionalities within various software types. Data delivery solutions can not be wholly effective in encouraging action-taking without allowing analysts and business users alike to engage in open discussion and record suggestions. Keeping the conversation running alongside objective-based indicators will enable us to focus our analysis whilst keeping our observations in context.

Use automated dashboards to help demonstrate your value

What better way is there of demonstrating your value than showing the exact impact of it against Key Strategic Indicators? Quantifying the exact effect of your suggestions, decisions and actions, together with linking these to progress towards strategic objectives can help to demonstrate your value to your team.

Use collaborative dashboards to increase creativity

Creativity is often spurred by the influence of new or unexpected experiences. Therefore, collaborative software, where groups are able to maintain open communication and make recommendations, can greatly enhance creativity. This should of course be supported by a culture of appreciation of new ideas and lack of consequence for unashamedly suggesting unique ideas – although these should undoubtedly be considered and tested before being implemented.


Are you using software to improve your digital marketing initiatives in a manner not explored above? Do you have any tips for other organizations on how to get the most out of your human resources?


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Megan Wilcock

VP of Business Development for Sweetspot. Responsible for strategic brand development, marketing and business development. BA/BComm graduate from the University of Melbourne. My passion lies in finding creative solutions and encouraging collaboration.

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