Aug 26 2020 Courtney Danyel Blog Social Media Strategy How Custom Dashboards Can Improve Your KPIs and ROI Marketers today have so many options to choose from when it comes to analytics software and marketing intelligence platforms that can tie together scores of data in one central location. Some solutions have more valuable features than others and custom dashboards are one such example. Having the capacity to build specific charts and graphs tailored to your needs and being able to consolidate all your marketing data has become increasingly important in this era of big data. In this article, we dissect a selection of the main benefits that come from utilizing custom dashboards to improve KPIs and ROI. Faster Access to Insights Dashboards provide a visual summary of the metrics that are most essential to you. Using one platform, you can become empowered with a quick and easily digestible overview of how the main aspects of your business are performing, all in real-time. This ease-of-use ultimately means you can access key insights without having to rely on your IT department or data analysts for help. What’s more, advanced dashboard tools include discovery features that can help you explore data beyond the most basic insights. Time Savings Creating data reports without the help of automation is an incredibly time-consuming process. You need to gather data from disparate sources, organize it in a spreadsheet, run your analyses, and create visuals. Then you need to distribute these reports to the appropriate teams. When you use automation to create custom dashboards, all this is done for you. You just need to set up your data feeds in the beginning and then everything simply operates automatically. You can also quickly make changes to your reports anytime you need. Just ensure you use a tool that is compatible with all your standard marketing channels so they can be easily integrated. Learn From Custom Visuals Having the ability to construct rich visual representations of data is more critical now than ever before. Custom dashboards allow you to create all the charts, graphs, funnels, and other types of visuals to illustrate the most important insights from your data reports. It’s also simple to adjust these visualizations to reflect different factors of importance, such as date range or filtering for a certain data type. Visuals can also be interactive, allowing you to hover over elements to get more detailed information. This is a valuable solution for users who need to interpret and derive insights from a significant amount of data. Always Make Informed Decisions Many marketing professionals feel pressured to make changes to improve their campaigns before they have even had a chance to fully analyze and dissect performance. By employing custom dashboards you are ensuring that you’re always making informed decisions based on the latest performance insights. You can easily see how current and projected performance compares to your overall goals and then confidently reallocate budget and resources to improve performance even more. Implement at Scale Especially with enterprise business, it’s necessary to create and share performance reports with involved team members at many different levels of the company. This is nearly impossible to do if you’re creating all your reports manually. Custom dashboards offer the flexibility you need to integrate and share important reports across your business. Whether your challenge is data consolidation, preparation, presentation, or analysis, dashboards can handle these tasks to make it easier. How you approach these tasks can be adapted to the unique needs of your business, ensuring greater adoption by key players. You can make simple changes using basic customization features or take full control of scripting and CSS styling. Most cloud-based technologies require extensive training and employee onboarding to effectively utilize. However best-in-class analytics dashboards are intuitive and flexible, making it easy to adopt, use, and manage at scale. Improve Team Focus Custom dashboards offer an intuitive interface and visual representations of data that make it easy for all users to analyze and understand results. Compiling data from all relevant sources in a single dashboard and highlighting the most relevant insights for your teams can help them understand how their work relates to results. Employees can easily see how their performance compares to their overall business goals. This helps guide their focus towards activities that are most crucial to success. They can also observe metrics over time to see how their work impacts overall business performance. For many, this is a huge motivating factor that drives them to work hard in the areas that matter most. Understand Key Factors Behind ROI Even small businesses engage in numerous sales and marketing activities that work together to drive revenue. With basic reporting technology, it’s difficult to fully understand which initiatives are the real driving force behind program performance. When you’re able to select custom KPIs and fully illustrate your data, it becomes much easier to understand ROI. Intuitive yet data-rich visuals provide in-depth insights into how your marketing efforts help you acquire new leads and win new sales. Custom reports can also give you a clear view of your whole marketing funnel, showing new opportunities to earn revenue. So not only can you understand the key factors driving ROI, but you can also identify ways to improve it. Easily Secure Buy-In Key players in sales and marketing often utilize performance reports to illustrate the effectiveness of their strategies and secure buy-in from their superiors. Custom dashboards make it much easier to achieve this. Whether you’re speaking with a manager, board members, investors, or clients, intuitive reports can help drive their decisions. With custom dashboards, you can easily pull up whatever reports you need on your computer or mobile device. There’s no need to prepare a presentation in advice — the dashboard has all the features you need to illustrate for your audience. Even more valuable is the ability to quickly change datasets and analysis parameters based on what you and others are discussing. All of this can be done on the go from any device using any data source in your system. Reports can be updated in real-time, allowing you to keep decision-makers informed based on the most relevant insights. Improve Collaboration Across Teams Dashboards can help leaders make smart business decisions, but they also offer value to improve information transfer and collaboration across teams. First of all, they offer team managers key insights they can use to guide employees to reach business goals. The best dashboards also include features that allow everyone to understand and learn from the latest data insights as well. You can easily schedule and share reports with employees and use notification features and other built-in tools to keep everyone aware of their progress. These reports can be displayed on anyone and everyone’s devices, so all team members know about the latest performance insights. Comprehensive reporting can also bring to light new opportunities for people across teams to work together. What to Look for in a Dashboard Now that you understand the value of using custom dashboards, it’s important to know that not all dashboards are created equal. Some offer more features that can make a huge impact on improving KPIs and ROI. Here are a few key features to look out for when shopping around for a dashboard: Filters Allows you to easily change parameters and discover new insights from your data set. Numerous Visual Options The ability to create bar graphs, pie charts, data maps, and other kinds of visuals. Drag-and-Drop Editor This makes it easy to move your visual elements around to keep the most important ones centered on your dashboard. A drag-and-drop editor also allows you to easily add or remove graphs so you can focus on the data that best suits your needs. Predefined Templates Instead of creating your dashboards from scratch, choose a template and adjust it to your needs. Multiple Custom Dashboards Lots of businesses can benefit from using more than one custom dashboard for their different aspects of your marketing initiatives. Examples include organic keywords, paid ad targeting, backlink performance, etc. Make sure your tool allows you to create multiple custom dashboards for your needs. Dashboard Organization Features The ability to set any custom dashboard as your default dashboard, as well as organize other dashboards using tabs. Dashboard Sharing Features Easily export your current dashboard to PDF, or use special sharing links to allow others to access and read your live dashboards without editing permission. Alerts Receive emails or text messages when key metrics change on your dashboards. The Bottom Line Custom dashboards offer numerous benefits for marketing professionals and key decision-makers. The marketing landscape is changing quickly, and there’s a significant amount of relevant data out there that can help businesses adapt. Custom dashboards offer the flexibility, portability, and insights marketers need to optimize their strategy for today’s world.