Live Dashboards: an interactive way to bring people together

Live Dashboards: an interactive way to bring people together

An interesting feature in analytics is the live dashboard. It permits every stakeholder to participate in the project even without the need to login or be registered to the analytics platform being used.

The concept behind it still follows the principles of building good dashboards and figuring out the best metrics for each project, but the apparently simple fact that it becomes live, interactive and easily sharable can really enhance analysis and bring stakeholders together.

A few key points are interesting to keep in mind when planning to use live dashboards and during the actual process of creating and sharing them:

1 – Serve Stakeholders, keep it simple and to-the-point:

The objective of stakeholders with the use of the dashboard must be taken into account when preparing to share a live dashboard with them. Certain stakeholders might only need certain bits and pieces of information, such as only an analysis of highlights from the period, and maybe this will lead us to separate certain dashboards or reports into more objective dashboards when preparing live versions of them.

When dealing with static reports, it is less of a problem if someone only needs one part of the information. They can more easily go through the parts they need and ignore the rest, since static reports also come usually with a less urgent demand for feedback.

When going live, into an environment where a reaction from the data is expected to happen as fast as possible, what is being displayed can be as to-the-point as possible. The excess of details can delay the feedback and reaction time from key stakeholders, so an objective approach is the way to go.

2 – Organise Feedback, be sure the purpose is fulfilled:

To iterate and improve on live dashboards as fast as possible, organise your feedback process in a way that stakeholders can quickly return with impressions and suggestions.

One idea here is to already present the new live dashboards together with a formal request for feedback and a clear deadline for such feedback. Another interesting idea is to track usage of the live dashboard if we are working with stakeholders that are accessing the dashboard from their computers and other personal devices.

3 – Review the choice of graphs and metrics:

Going live is a good moment to review the types of charts and how we are working with our analytics platform. We can also review formulas used behind rates and make sure that all stakeholders understand what they mean and how they impact decision making. With the objective still being to shape the best live dashboard we can build, such revision process can end up also improving other static reports that we already have in place but maybe have not been reviewed in a while.

Simple adjustments, such as changing from a line to a column chart can create an impact depending on the period of analysis or the amount of different assets we are comparing. A review in using percentages against absolute numbers can also help us better shape an understanding of the true volume around the data we have being displayed. There are many points where we can ask ourselves if “is this the best way I can look into such data? does this graph give me an immediate insight into what happened? How much time am I saving with this dashboard design?”

4 – Use cases, how can a live dashboard come into play?

4.1 – Access on-the-go: look into the fresh data from any device at any time. If someone calls you and wants to discuss numbers, you can quickly open the live link and be ready for it.

4.2 – Everyone on the same page: when everyone is seeing the same data, discussions can reach the strategic level and decision-making point a lot faster. With many companies going into a very mobile structure of workflow, being able to bring everyone together and not waste time before reaching the insightful part of a conversation becomes key to success.

4.3 – Crisis management: it is when things go bad that time becomes an even more important resource. If a customer has a problem and is spreading the news in social media. If internally we are delayed on delivering on product or content. Whatever it is that becomes an emergency will be best supported by data that is automatically updated.

4.4 – Metric & work ownership: it can happen that people involved with producing results that are displayed in analytics will feel more committed to results when the metrics are live and constantly updated and displayed to stakeholders. In cases, people benefit from understanding the true impact of their work when such a dynamic response from data comes into play. It can also accelerate the process of learning and reaching the best practices towards success. When people are more comfortable and familiar with dealing with data, they become also more comfortable with experimenting and pursuing alternative strategies that can prove to be more successful than what has been done in the past.

The contact with metrics and analytics in relation to this personal transformation can happen as people feel the need to understand more and more of what is affecting the ultimate result being displayed. Many metrics in analytics are affected by an array of subjective elements and pinpointing such elements can be hard without a more intimate understanding of the analytics environment.

Final thoughts:

In this day and age it is recommended that we can jump into live mode with analytics if we have the resources to do so. Some platforms such as quintly analytics does for Social Media, will make this process extremely easy for us with a simple push of a button and a generated link. So why not try it out right now?

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