The 10 keys of an effective metric dashboard


In today's online marketing , it is essential to have a dashboard of metrics to track results. Good marketing teams know how to select the most important KPIs to make sure they have the information they need, but they do not always pay the same attention to how they present them.

 The dashboard is the "control panel" of your marketing campaigns, the site where key decisions are made about the future of the company. If it is well presented and organized, you will be much more efficient. So, let's see what are the 10 keys of an effective metrics dashboard according to the Tableau data analysis company .

The 10 best practices to build effective dashboards

1) Know your audience

The best dashboard is the one that best suits its recipients . You have to understand that within the same company, there can be audiences with very different needs: from the sales manager who wants to know what is happening in 30 seconds, to the marketing team that spends hours analyzing the metrics, going through the boss who needs to make sure that the investment is justified. Let’s suppose if you run a small furniture upholstery in Dubai, then you targeted audience should be the one having interest in furnitures rather than any other.

So first of all, consider who the metrics are aimed at, what they need to know and what their level of knowledge is on the subject. You may find it necessary to create a different control panel for each audience, or even several. But the important thing is that each one of them has the data and the level of complexity suitable to inform without overwhelming.


2) Take into account the size of the screens

It is not the same to review a dashboard of metrics from a desktop computer with a double screen than from a mobile phone. And the reality is that in today's companies both options and all the intermediates are given.

How can you solve this problem? Always keeping in mind that the design is responsive and appropriate to different user experiences, since it is not the same to filter the data by having a keyboard and a mouse that touch a screen. In case of doubt, consult an expert in UX who can guide you on your specific case.


3) Optimize loading times

The best metrics dashboard in the world is useless if users despair before it finishes loading.

One of the most frequent problems in these cases are the filters. If you have a lot of data, it may take time for the system to find and display the information you are looking for. In general, keep in mind that "Show only" type filters are usually faster to load than "Exclude" type filters. And in case of doubt, do not be afraid to simplify the interface or the graphics if that helps them to load better.


4) Take advantage of hot spots

In order for your dashboard to be really effective, you need to understand the users' reading patterns on the internet. As a general rule, you start to see the content on the top left of the screen, which concentrates most of the attention. The rest of the content is quickly scanned in the form of relevant information.

Moral: once you have clear what is the main message of your metrics, place that data in the upper left to ensure that it jumps into view.

5) Limit the number of panels and colors

The maximum "less is more" applies perfectly to the metric dashboard. Sure you have a lot of data that seems relevant to you, but adding them all will create confusion and cause the main message to be diluted. The ideal is to limit yourself to two or three panels.

In the same way, the excess of colors can make it more complicated to visualize the information. The easier and "clean" your graphics are, the better.


6) Add interactive elements

The great power of dashboards lies in the ability to display several variables at once and compare them with each other using different filters (for example, highlight the data of users of a certain demographic or living in a particular location). You can also incorporate search boxes so that users can search for a specific data.


7) Take care of the design

To provide a pleasant user experience, the different design elements should be consistent throughout the dashboard. For this to happen, try to plan the design going from the most general to the most concrete, that is, from the template to each of the graphics. In particular, it is convenient not to mix fonts or color ranges.


8) Take advantage of the emerging texts

The emergent texts or "tooltips" (a kind of "help balloons" that appear when the mouse passes over a specific piece of information) are very useful to help you tell you what is happening.

Spend a little time optimizing this aspect to show relevant information for the user, in a format easy to understand at first sight and with a consistent wording whatever the number shown (for example, be careful with plurals and singular) .


9) Do a general cleaning before finishing

We have already seen that "less is more", but it is good to repeat it again. Before publishing your dashboard, take a general look and try to put yourself in the perspective of someone who sees it for the first time. All the elements have to fulfill a specific function. If there is a metric, label, title or legend that does not add value, go! And remember that white space is very important to ensure readability.


10) Test

You are almost ready to publish your dashboard, you only need the latest revision . Generate a preview and click on the different filters and options to make sure that everything is seen perfectly and that nothing is missing or left over. In particular, pay attention to the fact that the titles are coherent with each other and that the graphics look good on different devices. Ready


Kazim Raza is a Digital Marketing specialist @ Nursery in Abu Dhabi and Search Engine Analyst who love socializing and playing soccer. One of his target is to guide people how to earn a living via online marketing. He says that there is a proper method to do this, and once you learn what that is, you become unstoppable.