Imagine you have dozens of data points across multiple channels and you need to keep track of them all so that you know exactly how your brand is performing at any given time.
Now imagine a page that displays all this information in the form of visually-pleasing charts and graphs. Sounds magical, doesn’t it? Now what if you could be the mastermind behind the whole thing, linking databases and formatting the data in a way that you can identify trends and measure efficiency at just a glance? Well, becoming a dashboard developer may be the position for you. Let’s dive in a bit deeper and find out.
What is a Dashboard Developer?
While a dashboard developer has the word developer in it, they don’t code in the typical sense. A dashboard developer is someone who works with coders and subject matter experts to define, design, develop and deploy dashboards. Dashboards are made to simplify complex sets of data into easy-to-interpret and actionable sets of information. In the world of marketing, a business may run ads across a variety of channels and want to measure the total volume of impressions their brand is accumulating from around the internet. A dashboard developer would collect this data and communicate trends and insights that help the business make better decisions.
Why do we make Dashboards?
Dashboards can serve as the primary means of evaluating the health or status of a particular aspect of a business. We make dashboards because they simplify complex sets of data and let everyone in the organization speak the same language. When there’s a long-term negative trend in the data set, everyone from the C-suite to the marketing managers and subject matter experts are aware of what’s going on.
Who typically fills the Job of Dashboard Developer?
This responsibility can vary depending on the organization. You need someone with a keen understanding of the data in question and how it all relates to the bigger picture.
A sharp dashboard developer will gain a better understanding of the needs of their client or business they work for by asking questions. They can take what looks to be a large pile of seemingly indecipherable data and use it to help tell a story. They do this by leveraging their expertise in marketing analytics, helping their business owner understand what's happening and what they can do as a reaction.
Big picture questions to ask:
- Is our brand’s ads conversion rate improving over time?
- Are our video campaigns effectively generating additional lead volume?
- Is our paid traffic engaging with our landing pages for an acceptable amount of time?
These are examples of precise questions that a dashboard could help answer by cutting through some of the meaningless metrics and getting straight to the point. For example: Is our ad campaign converting more sales? Are we trending in the right direction? What can we do to turn this negative trend around?
What Would This Look Like in Practice?
For the question, “Is our paid traffic engaging with our landing pages for an acceptable amount of time,” a dashboard could be built to monitor this performance.
We’d first look at the time interval we are most interested in; we suggest looking at time on page changes on a weekly basis. For this reason, we would create a chart that shows the average time on page across all your landing pages on a weekly basis.
From there we could insert a few other relevant metrics, and then schedule a monthly meeting to discuss the direction of our engagement metric and what we are doing to affect change.
Should I hire someone?
Often, dashboards are made by third parties (Like agencies, consultants or some other technical group). Dashboarding requires a sophisticated blend of knowledge. The developers must be familiar with how to interpret, manipulate and orchestrate data from a variety of platforms.
For a marketer, data for a dashboard could come from:
- Google Ads
- Google Analytics
- Facebook Ads Manager
- Programmatic Advertising Tools
- Your organization’s CRM
- And a whole lot more
Someone who understands what all these platforms are, and what they do for your business in context with each other, is a rare person. Not to mention, they need to be comfortable collecting and reformatting all this data in a way that’s simple to understand. That’s a tall order! For this reason, looking to external help may make sense for your business.
While searching for someone to fill this position, keep in mind these other skills that are great to have in a successful dashboard developer.
Skills of a Dashboard Developer
- Critical thinking
- Comfort working with data
- Understanding of marketing analytics
- Proficiency in ads tools, Google Analytics, Facebook Ad Manager and other places where the data comes from
- Proficiency in reporting tools like Tableau, Google Data Studio, etc.
By now, I am sure we have convinced you of the wonders that a masterfully implemented dashboard can provide an organization. We may have even introduced you to a new career path filled with data, critical thinking and a plethora of charts and graphs.
If dashboarding is a tool you want to incorporate into your company's toolbelt, we can help! At thunder::tech we are proficient in all things dashboards and marketing data. Reach out today and we can get a conversation going.