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The Downside of Marketing Dashboards

Vikas Mittal

Like the data they display, dashboards alone do not provide value; it’s up to marketers to distill insights

Companies rely on dashboards to improve customer value—about 40% of the large U.S.-U.K. companies report efforts to build and use a dashboard. In some ways, dashboards are an evolution from the earlier practices of using control charts, scorecards, tracking studies and metrics-based snapshots. Fueled by advances in data analytics and visualization, marketing dashboards are becoming integral components of a company’s decision support system.

There are advantages to using a dashboard:

  • A dashboard visually displays a consistent set of metrics that can be monitored at a given point in time (cross-sectional) and over time (longitudinal).
  • This enables management to communicate trends in inputs, processes and outcomes with key stakeholders.
  • A dashboard may also be used for planning purposes; key metrics that are part of the dashboard can represent goals to be achieved.
  • Management can develop plans around measurable goals and further use a dashboard to monitor progress.

Don’t let dashboards make decisions tactical and reactive.

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Vikas Mittal, Ph.D., is a member of the faculty at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in Houston, Texas.