Origami Logic’s “Now You Know” blog series answers common questions and “how to’s” for marketing measurement best practices. This series features subject matter experts, guest authors, and Origami Logic team members to provide solutions and insight into marketing must-know topics like agile marketing analytics, campaign performance measurement, video impressions, marketing KPIs, and marketing dashboards… Learn how to address these topics and leverage the Origami Logic platform features to master marketing performance measurement and maximize your marketing investments.

As we have worked with some of the world’s largest advertisers to help them develop and deploy marketing dashboards to a variety of users, we have seen what works — and what doesn’t. Through our experiences, we have developed a set of basic practices for designing dashboards that earn the adoption of users. Here are some of them:

Know the users of the dashboards

From a dashboard design perspective, we have found that there are basically two types of users: executives, and those executing and/or optimizing marketing initiatives. Executives typically have broad responsibilities, whether that is within marketing or across a business, while the execution team members are typically involved in a particular area, such as a product, a campaign, a territory, or a marketing channel.

Understand what the users want to see

Typically, executives are interested in high-level KPIs that provide a snapshot of everything that is happening, and execution team members are interested in all details related to the area they are involved in.

Tailor the dashboards for specific users

The most important rule to follow is to not overbuild dashboards; don’t try to be all things to all people. It is important to not mix the needs of different users in a single dashboard.

Make sure the structure of a dashboard is based on its primary need and answers all the questions to a specific use case

A dashboard should have a top-down framework that is based on its primary need. For example, a classic framework for dashboards is to have high-level KPIs for a particular area at the top — say for a campaign or a territory — and then having detailed metrics for the area below it.

Show progress against goals

It is important to easily communicate whether the current status of a KPI is good or bad. One effective way to do this is by using visual elements that show the progress of KPIs against goals.

Take advantage of dashboard technology

Before designing dashboards, it is important to understand the technology you will be using. Here are some features that we support with our Origami Logic solution:

  • Dashboard filters make it easy for users to update a dashboard by selecting particular values in a particular dimension (e.g., product, channel, territory, etc.). With the use of dashboard filters, a single dashboard can be designed to address the needs of a number of permutations, rather than having to hardcode dashboards for every permutation needed.
  • Formula editor enables custom metrics to be defined with an easy point-and-click interface. In Origami Logic, cross-channel metrics, which include elements from different services (e.g., Facebook, DoubleClick, Google AdWords, etc.) can be specified.
  • Links can be used to navigate users to different dashboards or different sections within a dashboard. In the example below, the tabs — Summary, Campaign, etc. — take a user to different dashboards, and the “Jump To” links take a user to different sections within a dashboard.

We have found that poorly designed dashboards are a significant reason why many are not used. By taking advantage of the best practices outlined above and the latest technology available, dashboards can deliver valuable data within an appealing user experience.

If you are interested in hearing more details about the methodology we use to design dashboards or would like to see our product in action, get in touch.