Most marketing organizations struggle to attribute their activities back to sales with any degree of confidence. But when a team becomes a Revenue Marketing™ organization and is directly responsible for proving revenue contribution, this is no longer optional. Accurate, effective reporting is what proves the connection between marketing efforts and revenue.

Good reporting should inform and enable decision-making. Companies typically encounter a variety of pitfalls when creating their reporting dashboards: they lack focus and struggle to include the right information, they include irrelevant or too much information that increases visual complexity but doesn’t add value, they are hard to read as a result of using too many colors and graphical formats, or in many cases, they present unreliable information as a result of improperly managed KPIs.

To design an effective dashboard, we recommend keeping three considerations in mind:

1) Include only the information that is relevant to the decisions senior managers will be making. Do not include all available data and metrics. This will clutter the dashboard and make it difficult to identify the key pieces of information that will drive better business decisions.

2) Keep the metrics strategic, objective and measurable. For a Revenue Marketer™, it’s not important to measure the number of campaigns implemented. We want to know what impact those campaigns had, so for example, what was the performance against MQL goals?

3) Provide a clean, consistent dashboard that conveys insight. Many dashboards include a plethora of colors, graphs, and fonts. Competing or inconsistent use of color will draw the eye in a variety of directions and confuse the audience as to what the colors mean. A variety of graphs require the reader to continually decipher the meaning, slowing them down as they work to interpret what each type of visual means.

It is essential to design effective, actionable dashboards. It is often the case that a report suggests something counter-intuitive to corporate thinking or tradition, so the information included must be defensible and accurate. The design must demonstrate knowledge of business process to inspire confidence.

What dashboard designs are most effective for your organization? Share your tips here.

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