#002: What is a Dashboard?

Episode 002 finds Michael, Tim and Jim tackling one of the most important, powerful and sometimes frustrating deliverables to any business analyst: the dashboard. What exactly is a dashboard? What are they for? What should they accomplish? Why can’t Tim and Jim agree on anything? Prepare for lots of strong opinions and stories from the trenches in this week’s 40-minute power hour.


Episode Transcript

The following is a straight-up machine translation. It has not been human-reviewed or human-corrected. We apologize on behalf of the machines for any text that winds up being incorrect, nonsensical, or offensive. We have asked the machine to do better, but it simply responds with, “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

[00:00:25] Hello everyone. Welcome to the digital analytics power hour.

[00:00:29] This is Episode 2. I’m Michael Healthlink the Director of Analytics at search discovery and here in Atlanta Georgia. And I’m joined by my hosts Tim Wilson partner at web analytics demystified. Hi Tim. Hey Michael and also joined by Jim Kane double CEO of napkin and Babbage systems. Hi Jim. Hi Michael. Jim and Tim we’re here to discuss something that is controversial in our space and what’s so crazy about it being controversial is that everybody uses them and we’re talking about dashboards. So it’s strange rate something so fundamental to the practice of digital analytics could be thought of in so many different ways by so many different people. Right. There’s a lot of utility and things like that. People say you can use dashboards to garner insights. So let’s dig into this topic right. You know whatever happens. Hopefully someone will leave offended. All right so let’s jump into it. We start with you Jim. Why don’t we get your definition of a dashboard.

[00:01:36] Well that’s an interesting one. You know as I was kind of doing some of the prep and research and talking with my team it’s one of those weird words it’s like what is the dashboard what does the color blue smell like. Like it’s one of those hyper vague. It means something specific in a different way to lots of different people. And we actually had two days of training a couple of weeks ago with one of the gentlemen who works with Steven few. Has written some you know some of the books on dashboards. And the first hour of the training session was like Who’s on first because he would say a dashboard is this and my staff would say no it’s not.

[00:02:16] You know certainly you heard your staff is wrong. So there you go. Yes no one yeah. Let’s move on.

[00:02:25] Now that I’ve proven myself to know nothing about.

[00:02:29] But you know it’s interesting because the way that we look at it dashboard includes a lot of the key things that any dashboard would have if it’s at a glance it’s highly relevant to the driver of the reporting it’s accurate.

[00:02:44] You know it was so difficult to say when you said that when you said the driver the recording the person who’s consuming it or the person who’s created the consumer.

[00:02:52] So you know when you when you when you make a dashboard really relevant to somebody and they get it on you know Monday morning or every morning or whenever they require it they get it at a glance. You have kind of a heads up display of the things that they care about the training that we got from from Stinky’s organization. The emphasis was.

[00:03:11] That’s not a dashboard that’s a report said don’t call it a dashboard and a dashboard is in their opinion is something that is real time and a real time dashboard means something very different. It supports very different kinds of decisions and information. So you know the vocabulary is extremely interesting like I’m almost wondering if we’re going to move away from calling a lot of our kind of core assets dashboards and starting to call them corporate performance reporting.

[00:03:42] Well I think you’re either I have because I have because I worship at the feet of Steven few and maybe I just then I interpret what he says. I wouldn’t have said anything. Well I think almost by definition he’s not saying real time because he works with you know Tablo and Excel and shows things that are static. So and he gave in some of the prep and it maybe it’s worth reading AACSB. I don’t disagree with you on that at a glance or the relevance of the consumer. And I think you actually said performance that’s to me the key word that when I say what is a dashboard for a dashboard good at I always come back to is for performance measurement. It’s not. I mean I think you’re you and in your interpretation of Steven’s view as well as what Steven Phyu like literally says you know it all hinges on performance.

[00:04:39] It is not a everything to everybody which is where I feel like marketers and some analysts and some technology vendors try to position it. Let me let me read Stephen view’s definition of the definition from from the point of his favorite book of mine which is information dashboard design people’s understanding of what a dashboard is ranges widely.

[00:05:03] We need to make it clear to the dashboards future users that it provides a means to rapidly monitor performance. It is not a report that used to look up information from time to time. It is not a tool for exploring analyzing data is an information display that will keep aware of what’s going on in their specific realm of concern.

[00:05:23] So that seems like to me that that would encompass more than just real time based on that description.

[00:05:31] That’s that’s what I think because I mean I think that a week dashboard reading a monthly dashboard. But the core part being that it’s I wonder like looking up information from time to time that time to time. I don’t know if that’s where some of the the even the confusion around his language is is falling that it can be a reference point.

[00:05:56] Yeah but usually the dashboard let’s say you want to figure out what happened you know four and a half months ago. I don’t know that you jumped to that dashboard you probably jumped to some other report in your ecosystem right.

[00:06:11] The bad I mean it it’s me the way it was described to us is that you know even though there’s a lot of commonality in terms of design and how you approach kind of a consumption or presentation layer of a piece of work a dashboard is realtime a standardized report is like a dashboard but it is not a real time delivery and then an ad hoc report is a wonder the ask a question get an answer and all three of them when you do them right have a lot of things in common but they’re designed to support very different kinds of work.

[00:06:47] Yeah but see that so this is the thing is if I think about a real time report kind of shooting from the hip here but that just screams did exploration write to me like I need to be able to look at that and kind of break things down and kind of figure out why right on the spot of what’s happening right this second. So if that’s all that a dashboard ISM and that directly comes in conflict with what they defined it as in the book. So I don’t know. Like I’m not trying to disagree with Steve in a few Steve a few of you ever listen to this please understand how high regard we hold you in. But at the same time like I also want to say like well how do we use dashboards really like the three of us. Is this how we use them. Because I’ll be honest with you like in this in the frame of digital analytics how often are we leveraging real time data and do we see it being something super useful.

[00:07:45] It’s funny that’s why I brought it up but I certainly don’t want to pigeonhole the conversation around vocabulary. It’s just it’s interesting that you know if you were to pick up the remote and call someone.

[00:07:54] This is a this is a show about dashboards so the conversations get pigeonholed.

[00:07:59] All right. Want you totally cornered on the vocab.

[00:08:03] It’s just you know when I work mostly with senior decision makers. And so when I talk to them about what it dashboard means their description will be wildly different than if I’m talking to an email marketing manager or someone in the web operations group like people who are more looking at either very hyper focused or very real part kind of reporting. So when I think dashboard I think regularly provision against a schedule or performance reporting. And

[00:08:36] that’s how I do it I actually think real time dashboards. Once you go high up in an organization or just analysis paralysis I’m not sure how someone would use them well but I think it’s a real time.

[00:08:48] We’re going to hit like seven of my hot buttons one real time is there’s sort of two two reasons that have real time. One is I’m going to sit there and watch the data constantly minute in minute out act on it and people act like they’re going to do that and it just doesn’t happen real time from a minimal wait and see. I don’t know if I’m going to look at this on a Monday or Wednesday but I don’t want to be stuck in pigeon hole that I’m only having data through Sunday. But the fact is if you have a a a Caden’s going where you can say I can only really act on a weekly cycle so I’m going to look at this once a week and I’m not going to not going to obsessed with it. But I think to your point of view a senior level executive versus an e-mail marketer versus the Web operations those are just different data. But the need to say at a glance you know relevant to the consumer.

[00:09:43] So the exact same things to apply just at a different level with a different scope or a different focus.

[00:09:49] Well here’s the thing. So let’s look at what I really want us to to be able to deliver to folks listening is something specific that they can look at their organization or how they leverage dashboards or standardized reports if they need to redefine it that way. Say I actually consider this as one aspect so I’ve heard some things that I think are key right as one is considering the audience rate we’ve talked around that. We’ve also mentioned cadence rate. So how often. So let’s dig into those two things a little bit. How often should a dashboard be produced for an executive let’s say somebody who is kind of managing the entire digital or you know a major piece of it.

[00:10:34] So I might my answer is that it should be produced at roughly the same cycle with which you’re able to react. And the reason is that if you if you don’t say you’re producing it weekly but it takes you best case two weeks to actually make a change that might impact anything on the dashboard. If you kind of line that if you if you lay out the timelines and say I looked on Monday it was bad. And so I thought about it and dug into it for a week and then on Friday we made it heard the can’t make it change until two weeks later I’m still going to get another view of the dashboard the next Monday. And I haven’t actually made the changes yet. So there’s this is a very real risk of actually measuring it a greater frequency than you can impact a result. And you start heading down the path of Yeah you know what we’ve identified this is a problem because the dashboard says it is it’s going to suck on the next dashboard and the dashboard after that.

[00:11:43] So maybe I’ll chip in along with the temporal piece by saying I I like weekly. So when we take a client under management we require at least a weekly dashboard depending again on the goals for corporate performance reporting sometimes we’ll also do a monthly and a quarterly. We have a customer that is currently doing twice daily and we won’t touch it because it’s analysis paralysis it that drive report. Everybody that’s it. And they say Yeah I read it don’t look at it. Yeah. And we have one customer who does daily reporting. This is a gigantic e-commerce company and they do like 70 percent of their revenue in like six weeks we’re right in the middle of what they would call their holiday season Carol. I have to ask every single morning they look at that report. You know year over year and against corporate forecast and the C Suite makes decisions on on what levers in the business to poll in that case hyper relevant because like Tim said earlier if it’s not actionable it’s not worth it you know.

[00:12:48] Right. But then you also run into the situation where different aspects of your digital are actionable and different timeframes right. So you know maybe I can’t change my website in a week but I can certainly call up my search marketing agency and have them modify spent today.

[00:13:05] Right. And it actionable actionable dashboard is kind of another like sets my guess the hairs on the back of my neck standing up a little bit because I think there’s I think there’s an X that because when I hear that there’s sort of two things I hear from tends to be more marketers.

[00:13:25] Analysts some times as well because they are pleasers is you know this dashboard needs to be actionable.

[00:13:32] And I’m like well it doesn’t. If you’re if the dashboard is actually showing you that you’re hitting your targets in your goals then to me it’s it’s doing its job. And that’s fine. You should. You may see it six times in a row and you look at and say we are who we really are. Joining us now to do anything then if you hit a point and you’ve got to KPI and it’s it’s below forecasts below target below something there’s this. I feel like naive expectation that the dashboard is going to tell you what to do and it may be cases where your e-commerce and it’s a compressed six week thing and you already have teed up because you have to act operationally you know which levers you are going to need to pull through. I’m more into paid search push some promotion somewhere swap out your home page.

[00:14:27] You have to be prepped and ready to make those changes and already know that if this number slips this is how we’re going to react. The reality with most of the most of the clients I work with that’s not the case they’re going to see a problem and they’re going to say what do I do to fix it. And that dashboard is not going to answer that question. That question is going to have to come from sitting down and saying what might be causing the problem. This is now an ad hoc analysis or as I will say to my grave hypothesis validation land. And when the expectation is that dashboard is going to tell them this is down and here’s what you need to do about it. I don’t. I’ve never seen that actually be workable yet.

[00:15:16] Two words one of the places Tim where you and I I mean this is almost where the idea for these conversations came from as you and I butted heads over what a dashboard is you know.

[00:15:25] Yeah. No I mean I think I join you in that because I think what I need to do about it probably exists in the head of the person because they get they bring in the rest of the context right because they’re like oh this number is down. Let me just drop two of the five things that happened in our business to drive that number. And I’m going to now go look up those five things and see how they interacted with this metric movement.

[00:15:49] Well there’s a whole there’s sometimes I think marketers want that to be punted. They want to over scope what an analyst and what that data can do. I don’t think you can do anything without really knowing the business if I have any good I would even say that an analyst who knows deeper and analyst knows the business and I think we talked about this on the laughs last episode when Jim was kind of going through the more senior analysts the more there a marketer the more they know the business. And they start to be equipped to maybe make recommendations but generally they’re still not embedded in the strategy and the approach in the day to day they didn’t get the update from the agency that that some feed the product listing feed broke for three days. But I don’t know Jim. That’s so so far. I feel like we’ve almost completely agreed on that stuff. But Jim has heated up for us here comes right here.

[00:16:48] I mean I think that there’s a difference between a standard standardized report on a dashboard. Right. And so a lot of times I’ll talk to someone and they’ll go I need to see this and this and this and this and this structure with this you know timeframe for a refresh and we’ll look at the numbers and it won’t be actionable it’ll be what I call a report card. And the reason that people ask for a report card reporting is for managing up. So if my boss doesn’t see these numbers and ideally they are all green I’m going to get pulled in the conference room B. My day is going to suck. So I need you to encapsulate the things that my boss cares about in a one pager so I can put it in PowerPoint or just keep people off my back and that’s a report card. I try to avoid those at all costs.

[00:17:33] And a dashboard to me is actionable so maybe what I’ll do and this is going to lead into the how many pages should be in a dashboard discussion. But you know that should not be a discussion.

[00:17:44] We all know it should be one page right.

[00:17:47] There will be name calling foreshadowing.

[00:17:51] Well when I build a dashboard or my team works as a stakeholder to build the dashboard it’s basically got to have you know five things in it in terms of the output it needs to be hyper relevant to that particular decision maker and you know if we were to work with for digital all of whom do roughly the same thing you know the executive summary page would have probably four different sets of KPI and they could be gross margin that could be tied to corporate performance. But it needs to be hyper relevant. Normally by we normally ask how do you get paid your bonus. And that’s a pretty good place to start. In terms of making it hyper relevant then the next two things that need to happen with a good dashboard is a combination of question removal and question creation because one of the things that we find when we’re doing analysis on behalf of a company is that we get asked lots and lots and lots of the same questions over and over. You know how the e-mail do or what’s going on with bounce rates and if we can build something that again concisely at a glance and tied to performance removes 95 percent of the questions that would normally get asked the analyst we win with that standard report or that that dashboard and the other pieces question creation. And I find that a really good dashboard per what Tim was saying earlier. You know it’s not going to say you had a bad sales day and it’s because you didn’t promote this particular product enough. But a good dashboard will allow a seasoned executive to go.

[00:19:21] I understand what’s happening and now that I can see it all together I have one or two really good questions that this dashboard informed I could not have them otherwise. In the last two elements of a good dashboard are about being able to manage down and manage. So you know again a great dashboard to bring things together and removes questions and helps you come up with new ones and lets you see performance against the way you get your bonus is going to give you the ability to better understand and manage your vendors better understand and manage your staff and your campaigns and ideally it’s also going to be when it’s that concise in that business relevant something you can forward to your boss or your boss’s boss and have them go OH I GET IT. I know where your budget goes. Now

[00:20:09] removal of which of those am I supposed to disagree with. Yeah I’m struggling here as well.

[00:20:16] So in order to pull that off that there’s no executive summary one page report in the world that’s going to pull that off. And maybe that’s a segue into the name calling.

[00:20:27] Well so let me I will I will hedge a little bit and say that the one page is an ideal and one page forces some some level of privatization like if you lay that out and say we’re going to stick to one page and then somebody comes in and says Yeah I like all that. But you know what. Still I just want to see the top 20 pages on the site by these seven metrics and that I can’t I can’t fit or maybe these three metrics I can’t fit 20 that’s going to blow my one page as it is. So you’ll listen and you’ll hear me say it now. But it’s been said by hundreds of peoples that the dashboard should be different based on who the audience is which you’re hyper relevant says exactly that. Who is the primary audience for this dashboard. OK. If the primary audience is this you know middle level manager then they don’t need all the e-mail. You know all the emails that were sent last week in their open rate and click through rate that that’s for the e-mail person. So I’d still like to be hyper relevant. If it can’t fit on a page you know one page. If they get it at a glance and it’s what they need to know. I think answering the questions is where I do start to cheat. Sometimes I want to you know they want to see my channel or they want to see some other thing. It’s not a KPI and it may start to bleed over into a second page.

[00:21:55] But I still militantly go to that one page needs to be the K.P. eyes. It’s going to tell me it’s hyper relevant because it’s the numbers that I most care about. It’s what does impact my bonus. And it may generate questions because a KPI is moving in a bad direction.

[00:22:20] So you know we require kind of by law and we’re doing a build that once the KPI have been defined. There needs to be one page of depth per KPI in terms of kind of 1 degree of abstraction in terms of our higher level of detail. Again a lot of times in retail transactions or product revenue it will be one of the KPI sets chosen for performance because at the given and on that executive summary page they’ll want to see you know what is trending and the performance on revenue and how is that revenue comparing to our corporate forecast for the year. We will require one page underneath that. And that’s really where you start to get interesting. We will not do two pages of depth so we’ll never have a dashboard that has more pages in terms of secondary pages and there are KPI. On page 1 right. So some customers in retail really care about gross margin like if you’re selling TVs and computers online you’re making three points of sale margin is very very important. So the secondary page might be you know units per order and products broken down by gross margin.

[00:23:31] So again I don’t I honestly don’t think where it maybe it purely comes down to semantics. So. I have a allergic reaction to executive summary because it’s ambiguous as to whether or not it’s for the executives. And if we’ve said hyper relevant and this is a dashboard that’s going to the e-commerce team the director of Commerce or the manager of e-commerce who’s not necessarily an exact to me what you describe as your executive summary that is the dashboard. Now you just happened to package that dashboard with one finite level of drill down and out. I absolutely have the exact same thing with clients where there’s one page and there is a drill down. But I always frame that drill down as being the place to start. It’s two things reference the yeah I just always want to see this list for these other couple of metrics. But I agree it’s almost a compromise I can live with. We agree that it’s not a KPI. You the business owner wants to have it. I will shove it on that second page in some way that makes organized sense. The second is as a person getting the dashboard I see something that has moved that is not what I wanted to be. I don’t want to have nothing else just all I have is one fact. This KPI is not where I want it to be. I do want to be able to do kind of initial quick drill down into better I understand my business the more I understand.

[00:25:09] Like if I’m watching if I’m really watching margin then I know that if margin goes out of whack I want to see my lowest margin products by volume and I’m always going to want to have that on a supporting page. But that is actually to me supporting an ad hoc analysis. You’re just taking a guess at what what data is most likely the first thing you want. Look at the channel breakdown product breakdown a page breakdown and you kind of package that up. But to me that’s not part of the dashboard that is it may be packaged in with the dashboard it’s accessible from the dashboard but it’s there for a first first cut analysis of what’s what’s causing the KPI has to move but it’s not standardized it’s relevant.

[00:26:00] It’s tied to KPI. It’s tied to performance. It’s just one level of detail underneath the primary KPI. So you know I think executive summary actually means Coles Notes of reporting means what it’s the call notes of the reporting it is the short version.

[00:26:19] You know so here the number you like how out here in the United States those are the cliff notes notes. Okay could call Haneda and cause he’s from New Brunswick. Cliff Cole I think they were on cheer’s together maybe.

[00:26:34] So then that Cliff’s Notes is the executive summary page and you’re going to look at that page and you get to go because again you know I’m a senior decision maker visits good we nail that we have my number tab transactions were like How come you drill into the relevant you detailed page. And that allows you to remove like a get around a hypothesis creation go not that not that. Now I need my analyst to do it and ask you a very hyper specific question that it’s very actionable. So for those of you just tuning in I am about a minute away from getting Tim Wilson to agree that a dashboard should have multiple pages. Tim your response.

[00:27:16] I’m going to break in there in the last saved him from having to change horses on that. We’ve talked a lot about KPI and very quickly I’d like us to define that for our audience just so that as we’ve talked about it we can just make sure that we are communicating that across and just assume agreement. Why don’t you take that one to him.

[00:27:38] So I will. So here’s where I and again all of these things I start with kind of a purist and I try to march to the purist as far as I can and then know that I have taken the kind of shape it. But to me K.P. eyes they kind of like they hinge off the two magic questions. Credit to Matt Cohen is the guy who taught me these. You start with what are we trying to achieve. It depends on it it doesn’t matter where you are in the organization it’s what are you trying to achieve what are you this decide on or what are you. The marketing executive call that your goal your objective whatever you want to call it the K.P. eyes are exactly how are we going to know if we’re achieving that. And that means by almost it from a practical perspective that means two to five measures with targets set that tie to that are we going to achieve this. That’s it. There are tons of other metrics that are useful and interesting and are related to those but it’s nothing more than nothing more nothing less than that.

[00:28:47] I think the single hardest question that I ask when we’re doing dashboard design is what is winning which is similar to you know what are we trying to achieve. But you know I have to ask a lot of sneaky questions for K.P. definition but basically it’s what are the what are the heartbeat metrics that actually really really matter that everything else is tied to you know because I mean you get Pedibus to data but they should all roll up into two or three what winning looks like and it’s deceptively simple and it’s really hard to kind of get the right ones in place.

[00:29:19] But if you don’t find those the caveats is that so then I’ll go to your other you’re managing down and managing up to me if you’ve got your KPI as well from a managing up. There are clear and intuitive and it’s a handful that you can go to. You can always go to your manager and say these are the four things that I’m trying. That’s the opening your conversation about data or if they ask how things are going. It’s that said a cape Yeah. Because it’s there they’re clear enough they’re not way down in the weeds at the same time managing down. You go to your team the people who work for you and you say this is what we’re trying to deliver. So it fits. It fits in that hyper relevant mode but it’s a very very finite list but I think we joked about it last time and you know it drives us all nuts it drives me nuts when somebody says I mean actually I predict there’s a 40 percent chance that I would die from an aneurism. When somebody says the word key KPI to me and you know I’m I’m a consultant. So I I I hope that doesn’t happen when I’m on a client call but I definitely die little bit. And there are people in the industry who say the same thing. And it’s like you listen to yourself that is utterly moronic like a KPI indicators. They want to say every every metric that I might want to look at or that is of interest that I might want to look at on a regular basis therefore it’s important therefore it’s key.

[00:30:52] And I’ve heard people actually say well you have K.P. eyes and you have eyes and I’m not sure I really like that. I like that either. But once people start saying Our KPI is looking it is visits by channel and I’m like no like your channel breakdown maybe for somebody in the e-mail channel the KPI is conversions for email. But if you want to suffice the KPI channel that’s fine but your KPI is not visits by Channa or conversions by channel it just it’s wrong.

[00:31:28] And this goes back to one of the things we talking about. Last time around requirements solicitation and there are tricks to figure out what someone’s K.P. eyes are you know for example again what is winning. How do you get paid your bonus. I like asking you know if you got stuck in the elevator with the CEO for 30 seconds and he said Hey I know you. How’s it going. And yet 30 seconds or what would you talk about. Let’s take the verbs and the announcer might be a KPI in their eyes. Just kind of really industry specific way to say what does winning look like. We were doing dashboard design a year ago for a large electronics company and the V.P. of e-commerce loved all of my ideas. What if we look at a cost of sale. Love it. Put it on the front page. What if we look at you know this kind of performance Channell channel performance or life and value. Everything I said is like wicked let’s put it on the front page. So basically it turned into. Can you replicate Omniture and excel for me.

[00:32:26] Finally I said you know the CEO of your company is very famous. Does he ever walk by your office and he said Oh yeah the CEO ever comes near my office. I know that someone’s about to get yelled at and I say okay well what are you scared about getting yelled at for digital. And he said Oh that’s easy. This this and this.

[00:32:45] There is our front page and so now Jim you understand why Tim wants to frame dashboards is something it needs to fit into one page.

[00:32:55] Yeah. Oh wow they did it. All right.

[00:33:00] Now on that let’s get some wrap up. I think you know we didn’t even cover everything that we had planned to cover this episode but we’re getting down to the wire here and I really want to come back around kind of have to really think about the conversation we just had and maybe deliver kind of here’s here’s the three things or here’s the thing that’s key. As an organization like I feel like this is if you can do this well this will do more to drive your analytics sophistication than almost any other activity you can do in an organization. But why don’t I have Jim why don’t start with you.

[00:33:40] Well other stuff I had thought about it that way Michael but if you can if you can get a good dashboard in front of somebody then you have mastered requirement solicitation data cleanliness the that management advanced excel. So you’re dead right. You know you’re at the point where you’re putting the dashboards in front of stakeholders. You’re doing all right. I think the big takeaway for me is that you know a good dashboard again needs to be hyper relevant to the consumer of the report. I think that it needs to be something that’s designed to remove simple questions but allow for the creation of masticated questions that are relevant to that stakeholder and I think and we didn’t touch on this today. But I actually think a good dashboard is a living document. So you know if it becomes something that set it and forget it and we can’t change a single thing on it given the evolution I have kids older than Twitter. You know what I mean if I had a dashboard that was 6 years old or 7 years old social wouldn’t have the prominence it might need to have. So a dashboard needs to be a living breathing thing in order to remain relevant and provide that kind of decision support. My

[00:34:52] big takeaways also multiple pages though so I want to use my wrap we’ll start off saying Jim you ignorant slut. One page. So actually that’s part of the being I’m hoping you qualify that a little bit. I agree that they need to change. But I also think they need to be they need to evolve with extreme like liberation and prejudice that that the dashboard or call it the the you’re the first page of your dash for what I would call a dashboard. Those what the business is trying to do should not be shifting that much. So so when I see evolution it’s a little bit more of what’s the other kind of supporting stuff that we thought might be useful that we kind of get tacked into it. And it’s only when we say yes we have shifted you know what we’re trying to achieve that we’ll say yes we’re introducing a new KPI. And I agree that happens you think you’ve got four K.P. eyes and you realize that one of them is totally secondary and you want to pull that off that something else is something you always go to look at. So I’ll agree on that.

[00:36:04] But I agree with you by the way in summary or the dashboard page as you would call it.

[00:36:11] Yeah I mean that’s that’s something you don’t tinker with too much.

[00:36:15] So my mike quick wins I think I mean I really like some of the lists Jim had. So the one thing I think I think the hyper hyper relevant I think is a great word to use.

[00:36:25] And I think that you get the hyper relevance by being really clear on your audiences. And so I find myself doing that in planning when somebody says he wants you to do a dashboard. And I’m like OK let’s talk about who’s getting it and you start saying it’s for it’s for I.T. and it’s for sales and for marketing. And it’s it’s it can’t be hyper relevant to all of those. So part of that early kind of requirements gathering step is who is the dashboard for. And it’s better to have multiple dashboards for different audiences. Not not everybody gets the same six dashboards because then you’ve just cheated on the one page. The second thing for me would be being really really clear that you’re just measuring performance. That’s that first page is really around are we. Are we delivering what we expected to deliver and then the thing that we didn’t really touch on at all. But I think all three of us although we started off with Stephen few is actually designing it really really well. It’s not just you know barfing the K.P. eyes onto a page and forcing them to fit applying some level of structure and organization and data visualization best practices otherwise that whole at a glance goal it’s going to be undermined it could be one page and you can’t read it at a glance.

[00:37:39] If it’s not actually really really well designed no great takeaways I think my takeaway is that there’s almost no time when a pie chart is acceptable on a dashboard. Now that’s where I disagree there is no time that a picture is oh well OK. So if fireworks folks know. So yeah I think like you said we started off talking about Steven few in the definition but actually a few topical areas we didn’t get to cover and so you know a little inside baseball for the listener we actually had all these topics kind of fleshed out and we’d tried to cover it one show it looks like our attempt to do that is few title so we will cover dashboards again that future date. I’m almost positive. Well I want to thank you guys Jim and Tim for this conversation. I think it’s very useful.

[00:38:34] I do feel like Jim and I kind of kind of came together a little bit but today that maybe we’re not is where we sit down and talk about it maybe or not it’s as far as far apart as we thought.

[00:38:44] I have a tremendous amount of respect him for anybody who’s able to just sit up straight and open it and say I was wrong and Jim was right.

[00:38:51] And I just think you know I’ll send you some cold.

[00:38:57] No it’s still over. You know we have a Facebook page and we will stick to your comments and questions. Other topics covered. All right. And this is the digital analytics power in our series. See you next time.

[00:39:13] Thanks for listening. And don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. We welcome your comments and questions Facebook dot com slash. I don’t think now at all. Now on Twitter.

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  1. […] carefully monitoring our show dashboard, we had an actionable insight: we could finally revisit episode #002. Conveniently, the topic of that show was dashboards, which explains the self-referential […]

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