This is part I of our Halloween horror stories on reporting… read on if you dare!
I recently had a meeting with a marketing manager interested in streamlining her organization’s internal reporting. We sat down to discuss the current situation and I could see panic in her eyes each time I mentioned the word “report”. As she opened up some sample reports to show me her living nightmare, the lights in the room suddenly seemed to dim and we entered into an eerie gloom. I immediately saw why. These reports, or metric Graveyards as I have come to remember them, are where all good data goes to die.
So, what was I looking at?
The most horrific evil may perhaps have been the reports delivered without any form of context or insight. Or those where comments and storytelling were presented separately from data and charts. A synopsis presented in Word was accompanied by a separate document in Excel. The marketing manager told me that her colleagues constantly complained about having to flick between different documents, which led to confusion, headaches and neck-aches.
As a result of all of these factors, her organization has basically stopped looking at their reports, and all these metrics have gone to the graveyard.
Firstly, it’s often the case that there is a general lack of agreement or direction on what reports and metrics are important to the business. This leads to the dreaded “that’s interesting” factor, where data is presented simply because it is available and may (or may not) offer some insight by itself.
In the same blood-curdling vein, occasionally different teams may just not know what metrics are most important to them.
In order to help you avoid a similar fate, we’d like to share 5 tips for keeping your reports out of the metric graveyard:
We hope you haven’t seen your reports go to the metric graveyard. If so, how have you turned things around to bring life back to your dashboards?
Not Another Dashboard.