The internet and social media is buzzing nowadays with words such as Big Data, Analytics, Visualization, and Dashboards. Although, these concepts are exciting there are very few clients / companies who are able to effectively make use of this data in a productive way to drive business outcomes. However, the challenge in my view isn’t the availability of data or technology to mine and visualize this data but is the inability to use these to drive business outcomes.
Below I put forward some best practices that clients / brand owners need to focus on to make the best of their analytic dashboards.
OUTCOMES – Identify clearly the objective or “why” you need a data visualization dashboard. In other words, it might be a good idea to ask what outcomes will be taken based on the information that I get from data visualization. Once these actions have been pre-decided they surely go a long way in ensuring the action ability from the dashboard.
METRICS – Having identified the outcome very clearly, it is important to identify the key metrics and measures you want to track in your dashboard. The measures that you select need to be collated from varied sources and should cover the entire gamut of your business. It’s also important to identify which metrics in your data are outcome variables that you track – Sales, Brand Performance Metrics, etc. versus which are causal variables – Media Spends, TV GRPs, Spends on BTL activities etc. which will be used for deep diving and understanding the cause of performance / non-performance of your outcome variables.
DESIGN – Having identified the metrics that you would track. The next step to focus on is the visual design of the dashboard. This means thinking through the design of each graph and visualization, as well as the various drop-down options.
PROCESS MAPPING – Having identified the outcomes and the metrics to track. The next step should involve mapping of the process to capture this information. It’s important to work with the agency / dashboard technology provider to map out things such as source of this information, frequency of updates, identifying contingency plans etc.
AUTOMATION – After the design and process mapping. Effort should be made to automate as much of the ETL (Extract Transform Load) process as possible.
REVIEW – A data visualization dashboard should be reviewed at least every six months to ensure that it is aligned with the business priorities and feedback from key business stakeholders is incorporated.
To a few readers, the above advice might look like common sense. However, I assure you that “There is nothing more uncommon than common sense” – Frank Lloyd Wright.
Hope you have a great success with your next data visualization dashboard.
About Our Guest:
Deepak Jethwani, Director, Business Planning, Mindshare APAC
With 14 years of experience in Data Science, Analytics, Market Research and Digital Media, Deepak is passionate about advising clients and providing solutions to their business problems. With his equally spaced career on both client side (having worked at Coca Cola and Yahoo!) as well as various agency roles he is adept at deriving implications from data, seeing the big picture and providing conclusive answers to client questions.
His international experience spans highly diverse markets including Singapore, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South East Asia. He has an extensive portfolio of work which includes working with Fortune 500 clients such as Nike, Coca Cola, P&G, Unilever, Prudential, Mazda, SAP, IBM and Yahoo!
At Mindshare, he is responsible for business development, leading the product development and project delivery across a range of Mindshare Business Planning offerings.