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Why should I care about dashboards?

At ARM we record a lot of data – it’s at the heart of every media decision we make and puts us in a position to find hidden armalytics-dashboard-295x300insights that can greatly influence strategic directions. However, at the risk of reiterating a modern-day cliché, simply possessing a huge bank of numbers is not enough, being able to organise and visualise that data in a way that clarifies hidden insights is what really counts.

A well-presented dashboard is key to displaying an ’at-a-glance’ summary of campaign performance in relation to its goals. It ensures that everyone involved in a campaign is making a data-informed decision, regardless of their numeric ability and without spending too much time on in depth-analysis.

There are plenty of incorrect ways to execute a KPI dashboard, but what are the features of great dashboard design?

Only show key information: When it comes to data visualisation, less is definitely more. The user’s focus should be drawn towards the key metrics that really matter. Cluttering up a screen with over-complicated graphs and trying to display too many lesser metrics clouds the overall message and severely limits the effectiveness of the data snapshot.

Make it visual: The human brain can process a single number or a picture much more quickly than a table of information. Colours and crisp lines highlight a clear boundary between different categories within a metric. Displaying information is the prime goal but a dashboard should also be a pleasure to look at to encourage continued use and ease of information digestion.

It must stay live: A dashboard should always be on hand to provide the latest data available. If the displayed data is no longer relevant then it could lead to false decisions being made or dent the confidence of a user in believing the findings laid out in front of them.

All Response Media Viewpoint

Our current ARMalytics system does a great job of allowing us to view all aspects of a TV or press campaign in depth, however yielding an instant view of campaign performance is an area that needs some improvement. Fortunately that’s all about to change! A brand new dashboard interface is currently in the stages of testing ready to be rolled out into the ARMalytics suite next month.

The end goal is to provide a sleek and easy-to-use dashboard solution that becomes a vital part of your daily reporting while meeting the design criteria specified above. It is important to remember though that there is no one-size fits all and the most useful charts and metrics will differ from advertiser to advertiser.