In Analytics, some of our biggest challenges are assuming that our audience wants to know as much about the data as we do. Or assuming that they have the same level of comprehension of the data as we do.

At Domopalooza, Ryan Coats, VP Marketing Ops, and Demand Gen at Optum with Tim Dunston, Analytics Manager at Danaher, delivered an amazing presentation that addressed how to better align your Domo dashboards to your intended audience. Their description of their presentation was intriguing and catchy, “Not too much, not too little. Just right. Way to go, Goldilocks.”

Ryan’s advice for achieving and staying in the “Goldilocks Zone” was to:

  • Words Matter – Meaning, that what may be clear to you as the analyst, may not be as clear to your audience. Remember that your audience may be coming from a variety of different backgrounds, industries, divisions, etc., and what may be a clear acronym, metric or KPI for one group, may not mean the same thing to another. So be careful, and if you can, ask and clarify before delivering the final product.
  • Know Your Audience – This speaks to transparency in your data and the importance of not hiding your formulas, calculations and definitions. Ensuring that everyone with access to the dashboard is able to comprehend what the cards are visualizing. A quick example from our client base is how conversion rate is calculated. Some of our clients calculate conversion rate as orders/sessions while others use orders/users. To maintain transparency, Ryan would likely advise adding a description to the card to highlight which calculation was used.
  • Iterate, Collaborate and Experiment – Your dashboards will progress dramatically through a shared understanding of the audience’s needs.

Tim’s advice for achieving and staying in the “Goldilocks Zone” was to relentlessly work toward simplifying your dashboards:

  • Don’t Over-produce and/or Overwhelm Your Audience – As an analyst, you may need to dive deeper into a question or problem to determine the cause and/or the solution. This may require building any number of cards for your own use. However, when it comes to what you actually deliver to your audience, you may only need two cards. For example, here’s the problem (a decline in conversion rate year-over-year) and here’s the reason.
  • Identify the Critical Few KPIs – While you may have 20 or 30 KPIs that are important to your business, really hone in and identify the top 3-5 that truly make a difference. For instance, many of our Ecommerce clients track Traffic, CVR, AOV and Revenue. Those four metrics alone can tell you a world of information about what is going on with your website. From there, you may have a number of other secondary KPIs that an analyst would help to dig deeper into that are directly related to those main four.

So, the next time you are tasked with building out a dashboard, use Ryan and Tim’s advice to help you deliver the best dashboard for the audience.