Are your dashboards taking you nowhere?

Sarah Stewart

by Sarah Stewart

Published on

Are you disappointed that your BI dashboards aren't driving the change you had been promised or expected? Read on to learn some simple steps to avoid this and drive the change you desired...

The problem:

Time and time again we see it. We get very excited about the prospect of a new analytical tool or dashboard.

Getting a new tool which takes all your data and displays it beautifully, combining vast amounts of data into a consistent format can be so exciting. And is often seen as the solution to all of our problems!

At Acumen, our products, Invest and Radar, do just that. They give you absolute clarity of your data around international pricing and promotions.

But, we fully recognise that whilst it’s all well and good having this information displayed oh so beautifully,  what you do with that information is far more important. It’s about analysing the information, and using it to drive a course of action.

Once the excitement wears off people often forget about the tool.

Or, people don’t want to use it – they don’t necessarily understand all the information in there.

Or, they’re scared of change – the effort required to learn something new, and change the way they have always done things.

So what happens? All that lovely information just sits there, gathering dust, never seeing the light of day. You never drive the change the tool you chose had the potential to do. You continue to operate as before, and the investment you made is largely wasted.

Here at Acumen:

We recently had this exact problem at Acumen – we had implemented a new tool which allowed us to track all of our inbound marketing and give us all the answers to our marketing woes.

However, after a few months of having it – nothing seemed to have changed.

When we stopped to think about it – we realised we had fallen into the same trap we try to avoid, but often see, with our clients implementing Radar or Invest.

We had implemented a tool, but we hadn’t made sure that everyone understood the information that was in there.

We hadn’t set up a regular review process – to stop, take stock of the information, and agree some actions as a result of what we were seeing.

We definitely had not then checked in a few weeks later to see if these actions had been carried out, holding those responsible accountable.

And, to top things off, it was unclear whose responsibility it was to drive all that.

The solution?

We realised we needed to take some of our own advice.

Whenever we implement one of our tools, we strongly recommend the implementation goes hand in hand with a capability & change management programme to make sure the implementation is a success, and that our users get the most out of their investment.

So we asked ourselves, what did we need to do to make this new marketing tool a success & drive the change we knew it could?

  1. First of all, training. We needed to make sure everyone who would be working on/ or close to the tool had had some basic training to make sure they understood how to use the tool, the data in it, and what it was telling us. We also needed to make sure this continued to happen for new starters, or when changes happened in the team
  2. Next, we needed to make sure that those we expected to use the tool, knew that, and they understood what was expected from them and how they should be using it in their role
  3. Finally, we needed to enforce a review process to check in on what we were seeing – a chance for everyone to share the insights, for us to develop an action plan based on the insights, and to check in a few weeks later to make sure the actions had been carried out

Doing these 3 things would make sure we were getting the most from our investment and getting the results we so desired.

Next time we implement a new tool, or dashboard, I will be making sure we follow similar steps so we don’t make the same mistake again…

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