The Art of Dashboarding


Dashboarding embodies the realms of both art and science. With the ability to present data in a clear and aesthetically pleasing way, dashboards bridge the gap between form and function. It is essentially a tool that aggregates all vital resources needed to make informed decisions and take action. Having previously focused on the potent dashboard of google analytics, creating your own custom dashboard is a powerful way to display useful data, and more.

What is a marketing dashboard?

In its simplest form, a marketing dashboard should display critical metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), in order to create a hub for all data that are relevant to marketing progress. The art of the dashboard comes into play with the decisions you make about which data to track. Once your target audience has been established, you can then determine which metrics and KPIs are necessary for indicating performance success. Essentially, the marketing dashboard can provide proof of return on investment (ROI), by linking your marketing efforts to outcomes.

Why are marketing dashboards important?

In this fast-paced industry, access to real-time data is vital for understanding which marketing tactics are successful, and which require attention. Having all major KPIs and metrics in one location frees up time that would be spent researching, and thus increases the time available for critical thinking. This platform also allows you to quickly provide your data analysis to stakeholders, thus fostering more valuable and transparent communication.

What types of dashboards are there?

Since marketing dashboards are customizable, they are only limited by imagination. However, there are many widely accepted archetypes of dashboards that include: Digital Marketing, Marketing Performance, eCommerce, SEO, Online Marketing, Web Analytics, Email Marketing, Social Media, and Web and Social Analytics. With variations of these dashboards, the opportunities are endless for how you could configure your dashboard.

What should your marketing dashboard include?

Your marketing dashboard is really just that—yours—so what it includes is entirely up to your preference and necessity. However, all of the best dashboards begin with a thoughtful examination of what is needed to be successful. This could take on various forms, but the goal is to be able to quickly answer questions and solve problems. Here are a few mainstays of general marketing dashboards to get you started:

  • A conversion funnel is a potent tool for understanding user behavior, and whether the reality of the data is aligning with the desired behavior of achieving some goal.
  • A monthly revenue monitor is essential for tracking month-to-month performance, in order to identify what factors positively and negatively impact your business.
  • Inbound and on-site analytics work together to show you how people are arriving at your site, and how they spend their time, once there.

Creating a custom dashboard provides the creative freedom to design and track crucial data analytics that affect your bottom line. It is safe to say that this tool should be implemented into every marketing strategy. The confidence and clarity that often result from awareness of real-time data can change how you perceive the challenges you face, and how you form your plan to meet them. What do you think is the most important function of a marketing dashboard? Let us know in the comments!