Web Analytics Dashboards Best Practices


In today’s highly sophisticated world, we are overwhelmed by the data flowing from all the possible sources to increase the growth rate of our business.  In this blog post, I’d like to talk about Web Analytics Dashboards Best Practices.

It is normal to expect a high output rate from our executives and thereby in our businesses by making the best use of the data amassed. Results matter most in the highly competitive world of internet marketing. However, it is not happening according to our expectations. Studies have shown that nearly 75% of the marketers does not succeed in measuring their performances making use the data provided to them.

They are also having a hard time in taking the right decision from the various reports quickly. The main reason for this hardship is their incapability to identify the key metrics of their business or to measure their marketing strategies.

Perhaps that is due to lack of leadership, resource, experience, or even availability of the technical solution to track and report key performance indicators.  The common problem that underlies is the incapability to identify the most important effective metrics and gain insights out of their tools.

At such context, the significance of dashboards comes into our focus area. Dashboards are our customizable collection of report summaries. They provide us with the critical data pertaining to our business performance quickly, easily, precisely and in the best understandable form.

Dashboards can vary by industry and business functions. However, there are certain commonly followed best practices related to dashboards. Let’s go through it.


Show the context in your dashboard:
There is no metric that can exist in isolation without the context. It will only give you a set of numbers, which will be hard for you to configure out into the related information.

If you place your metrics in the contexts then it will definitely give you quick insights rather than a bunch of questions regarding the data. My suggestion is to focus on building your dashboards around your marketing or sales funnel.

It is easy to show contexts in your dashboard. You can use internal and external benchmarks, goals and prior performance as a context. Without the context, your metrics will not give you the value even if it is the most critical metric for your business.

The purpose of the goal in your dashboard is to communicate the performance and to improvise your actions for the required results.


Pick out the critical few metrics:
You may be aware and have faced dashboards that don’t fit in one page or one slide but rather exists in a 20+ tab excel files or gazillion PowerPoint deck.

As a result, these track all of the metrics regardless of their relevance. It makes more difficult to have the accurate understanding of the significant points and makes us in a confused state relating to the required actions.

You should have a brainstorming session to grasp the few key performance indicators for your business. If you succeed in figuring out this difficult issue, then it will really give your dashboard the perfect decision making power.

The rule for selecting the key metrics is that they should be aligned to your business goals.


Take special efforts to include insights in your dashboard:
In the absence of a set of insights that make you available with performance information and the driving action, your dashboard will merely turn into a set of graphs, numbers, and statistics.

Such shallow dashboards leave everything to the intelligence and capability of the reader.  If you provide insights, then it will illuminate the thought process of the reader quickly to take the right action.  Hence marketers are hungry for ‘actionable insights’.

The insights may range from the reasons for the hits and misses, the underlying causes for the shifts in the business and the root causes.

The recommendations you share on the dashboard can be relating to our next action, the new emerging horizon of opportunity or the method to reverse the decline. This will increase your senior executive’s skill to take the right decision without having to go through all the unattractive statistics.


Single page for your dashboards will give you the best results:
You should realize the power of the single page dashboard. If your dashboard is not in a single page report, then it is not a dashboard but a report.

Single page is the best practice since it is packed up with advantages. It helps to make dashboards present the data in the neatest manner with only the required data and not an overflow of data.

It makes data presentation easier and enhances the understandability of it. So keep your dashboard really lean.


Constantly evolve and stay relevant:
Dashboards should not be made into a permanent outdated thing. Metrics should be eliminated as soon as it loses its relevance. As the website, strategies, objectives and goals change, consider reassessing your dashboard strategies as well.

So plan the evolution of your dashboard. Otherwise, your dashboard will consume your enormous time without giving you the perfect value.

All these actions will definitely make a positive output to your business and audience.

Also, check out my other blog post on — Effective Executive Reporting Dashboard for Web Analytics


Kris Twitter

As a data journalist, I enjoy curating and analyzing marketing trends, and data. The things that fascinate me the most are the transforming business landscape due to evolving marketing technologies.