In the world of PR, dashboards are frequently brought up and used in a variety of contexts, often without much forethought. Typically, dashboard design focuses almost exclusively on defining success metrics, then piecing together a bunch of charts to present that information.
But the PR dashboard should not be thought of as just another reporting document to be shuffled out during meetings. Instead, this valuable tool should be used as a crucial learning device that senior leaders want to see early and often so it can be used to inform business decisions.
The trick with using these kinds of visual displays effectively is to determine what kind of dashboard you need, and who’s going to be looking at it, Sarab Kochhar, associate director of measurement and analytics, APCO Worldwide, told readers of PR News’ Book of Measurement Strategies and Tactics Vol. 9. Are you using dashboards to help management define what’s important, or is it to communicate progress and success?
However, what’s most important to keep in mind is that decision makers need more than visuals and graphs—they need insights. When reviewing dashboards the questioning needs to move well beyond just asking “how did we do?” Dashboards need to give insights into answering why the results are what they are and help reveal what’s next.
In order to generate these kinds of insights with your dashboards, Kochhar offers these four C’s to help communicators make the most out of their PR dashboards.
- Collect: Data quality is key to the credibility of dashboard performance measures. Significant errors or lack of common standards compromise quality.
- Connect: Connect data to specific segments or even individuals.
- Control: Manage the volume and speed of data. What techniques, algorithms and storage solutions would be needed to control the data and manage it?
- Collaborate: Use statistics, reporting and visualization tools to come up with the key insights that will generate value for the business.
Follow Mark: @MarkRenfree