Dashboards: Measure what Matters

The increased attention on marketing ROI and the customer experience has produced an increased interest in the development and use of dashboards in the marketing/CRM environment. The article “Dashboards: No Longer a Luxury” from 1-to-1 Magazine clearly points that out. The fact that everyone wants dashboards is positive, since measurement drives more informed—and therefore better—decisions, but the reality is that few succeed in creating dashboards that are truly valuable management tools. The pitfalls of most dashboards are that they measure too much which creates information overload and/or they measure the wrong things.

To be effective, dashboards should comprise no more than five or six measurements, which should be a blend of results metrics (e.g., sales, leads) and operational performance metrics (e.g., call resolution statistics, outbound call volume).

  • Results measurement should focus on the two or three numbers that will provide a “snapshot” of the health of the business/functional area. The numbers should be able to provide either an early warning of issues requiring intervention or reassurance of the state of the status quo.
  • Operational measurements should focus on quantifying the operational activities that drive positive results. For example, if you can correlate customer training attendance to customer satisfaction and repeat business, you should be monitoring training attendance rates.

Dashboards can and should be a valuable tool for management to understand at a glance the state of the business and the progress towards goals, but only if it’s focused on the right measurements.