What’s the best way to present your Marketing Dashboard?


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We often speak about best practice for dashboard design. After having created thousands of dashboards over the years, we have a very strong methodology for constructing the most easily navigated and understood contextual dashboards.

While I could speak all day about the number of elements on a page, the use of tabs, the metric/visualization mix and which type of chart best represents each type of data, I will take this a step further. Best practices can act as a fantastic guide for creating your own dashboard, but they are generally so broad and varied that even within these sets there is wiggle room. And additionally, while they can help you when starting off, there is nothing quite like testing them out until you find the mix that delivers you the best experience.

In the end, I feel it really boils down to a simple conclusion: the best presentation of your Marketing Dashboard is one that results in the greatest understanding of the insights it presents and most action-taking.

While logical grouping of information will probably be on everyone’s list, their idea of logical grouping may differ substantially. While I prefer the data on my marketing dashboard to be grouped according to goals (acquisition, conversion, and brand awareness), my colleague prefers hers to be grouped by media type (earned, owned, paid). Which way is the best way? The way that suits each of us as individuals.

While we share the same KPIs and charts, and these have common goals so that we can see how our individual and team efforts contribute to the achievement of these, our dashboards are visually extremely different.

Another example is our finance dashboard. While our finance team is used to working in accounting software and consulting financial statements that are effectively tables filled with rows and rows of numbers, I neither understand these well nor enjoy deciphering tables. My own interpretation of the Finance dashboard, which contains mostly KPIs and tables, is completely different from the original. Instead of naming my KPI with their financial terms as the Finance Department has, I have used questions to help me understand the significance of these. Hence, CAC becomes, “how much do we need to spend on Sales & Marketing to acquire a new customer?”

One of my colleagues is a visual learner, always jotting out ideas in his notebook and drawing flow charts. His Customer Success dashboard is full of charts breaking out data by segments, while another colleague prefers to mix up KPIs with visualizations.

Our development team also has a dashboard that maps out their tasks and efficiency. It is very cleanly structured and highlights their logical thinking. My dashboards on the other hand are often accompanied by interspersed text boxes explaining my thoughts on why we are performing as we are. I have also added a number of conceptual and practical images to liven up my dashboard and make it more enjoyable for me to consume. As a creative individual, this type of storytelling appeals greatly to me.

So, the bottom line? While best practices are thus named for a reason, the best dashboard will always be the dashboard that allows each individual to best process the information within it and encourages them to act on this understanding.

My dashboard is filled with a mix of charts and KPIs, textual explanations and images, questions and notes. And yours?

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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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