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As a Digital Marketing Manager, you must rely on reliable and relevant data to guide your company’s marketing campaigns.

The dashboard is an essential tool to support you in the collection and analysis of data. Well designed, it saves time and a real help in making relevant decisions in order to achieve its objectives (such as increasing its turnover or its number of customers).

n this article, we walk you through the key points you need to know to design an effective dashboard.

Report automation: an asset for optimizing your campaigns

Companies collect a lot of data to analyze their performance and make relevant decisions. But this data can be meaningless or difficult to grasp when delivered in a raw fashion. In addition, generating reports each month takes time, between collecting data, analyzing, and then presenting the results.

The dashboard provides a satisfactory response to these issues. It allows you to present your results in a clear and immediately understandable way. To do this, it relies on visuals, such as graphics or tables, but also on a hierarchy of information through colors or fonts. Thanks to process automation, data collection is done automatically, with real-time updates. You have the right information at the right time, so you can make relevant decisions.

To be truly effective, the dashboard cannot be improvised: it must be carefully considered from the first stages of its design.

Achieve your goals with an effective dashboard

The objectives of the dashboard: for whom and for what?

Before you even start designing your dashboard, you need to answer these three questions:

  • To whom it is addressed?
  • How will your audience use it?
  • What purposes does it serve?

By answering these questions precisely, you will save time as you move on to the next steps.

Reporting: which technical solution to choose?

There are many tools for creating dashboards and generating reports. The best tool is the one that perfectly meets the needs defined in the first step: who will use it and for what purpose?

Here are several examples of tools to consider:

  • Data Studio: this tool offered by Google is simple, customizable and free. It centralizes in real time the data collected from different sources, such as Google Analytics or Google AdWords.
  • Report: this intuitive tool makes it easy to generate reports using data from different company departments. There is a free version and it is also possible to obtain a full paid version by requesting a quote.
  • Data Hero: very powerful, this tool has the advantage of being particularly easy to use. It is available from $ 49 / month (around € 45 / month) and it is possible to test it for free.

Identify your KPIs

You know what goals your dashboard serves. You must therefore define the actions that will allow you to achieve them. For example, for a business selling dietary supplements online, the goal might be to increase the number of customers. To achieve this, she may decide to launch a marketing campaign on social networks.

All you have to do is identify the KPIs (key performance indicators) that will allow you to measure the results of this campaign. For example, this could be the number of people who visited your site from an advertisement on social networks. You will also be able to observe how many of them actually made a purchase afterwards.

There are a multitude of KPIs, so you need to choose the ones that make the most sense to bring you relevant information. Here are several that are particularly interesting to follow for an e-commerce site seeking to increase its turnover:

  • The number of prospects.
  • The conversion rate: how many people have taken the action you expected (create a customer account, subscribe to a newsletter or buy a product).
  • The number of sales: this number can be monitored on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for example, depending on your reporting frequency).
  • The cart abandonment rate: the products put in the cart by a customer and which were not ultimately purchased.
  • Average order value: the average amount of orders placed on your site.
  • The return and refund rate: if your sales are high, but they give rise to many complaints, this will directly impact your turnover.

It can be tempting to track as many KPIs as possible to collect as much data as possible, but it’s not the best strategy. It is essential to identify those which are really relevant to a given situation, and then to focus on them to make them evolve. If so, you risk getting confused reports: it will be difficult to establish clear strategic axes.

To monitor and collect the information given by these KPIs, you must rely on several sources, such as accounting software, Google Analytics or even a CRM tool (customer relationship management software). Google Analytics will, for example, be very useful for analyzing the KPIs of your e-commerce site (traffic, most visited pages, etc.). If you want to analyze your performance on social networks, you can also consult the analysis reports directly offered by these companies, such as Facebook Analytics.