Today more than ever, running a business requires the use of data. That data needs to be put into the hands of all who manage. It needs to be readily available and crafted so it is easily viewed and understood. Data Dashboards are one of the important tools available to help visualize and consume data.
There are several software programs available to create dashboards. With Microsoft Excel so widely available, for those just getting started with dashboards, we recommend looking at Excel’s dash boarding, along with Excel’s pivot tables and charting capabilities. If more advanced functionality is needed there are advanced tools available.
Fundamental to all dash boarding, as well as any analytical reporting needs, is the data behind the dashboard. It is imperative to have data properly identified, correlated, organized, cleaned, rationalized and prioritized for effective analysis and actions.
Often the needed data resides in several sources. Data sources can include CRM systems, purchase, billing systems, marketing activities lead database, online system, and customer service incidents.
Data can include
- individual contact and company data
- demographic and firmographic data
- transaction data facts as well as derived transaction data categorizations and indicators, over time periods, including
- Purchase history over time
- Marketing actions, such as webinar attendance, email campaigns, inquiries
- Loyalty programs
- Customer service incidents
- Training participation
- Conference attendance
Preparing and organizing data is essential for systematic and effective analysis in a dashboard. We recommend developing an ongoing updated Data Framework for analysis and action. This data framework should include all pertinent data facts and data derivations. It can be updated on a practical and usable frequency.
All Things Data has produced an introductory video about dash boarding and the data behind the dashboards. Here is a link to the video, "Business Needs Data and Data Needs Dashboards".
Get the data right in order for the dashboard to be right!