First let’s define what I mean by marketing dashboards. It is a category of reporting tools that display marketing analytics, KPIs and metrics using data visualisations. They are typically designed for continuous monitoring of digital marketing performance. Some examples of these tools are: DashThis, Cyfe, KlipFolio, Funnel.
The one sentence answer to the title’s question is:
Dashboards are tools to visualise your data while Causalytics is a solution for getting insights and actions.
I hear you thinking after reading the title: Why is he assuming there is something wrong with digital marketing dashboards? You can say that, as long as you use the right process, the right dashboard solution, focus on the right KPIs and use that for further analysis, there should be nothing wrong. That is where it gets complicated.
What dashboards do well
As a person who used several existing dashboards as well as talked to hundreds of people using them everyday. I agree that they solve several issues, the most important being:
- Gathering data from various sources into one display. One great pain point of every marketer is having your data scattered in many different places. To have a whole picture you would need to go to every “channel” own analytics tool and check it there. With dashboards you can have access to all of it in the same unique place.
- Instant visibility of important (and less important) metrics. Seeing the data laid down in one screen allows you at least to know what is going on with a quick glance.
- Saving time when reporting to various stakeholders. If we are talking about digital marketing data savvy specialists or all the others. Although I have to tone down this benefit, for other kinds of stakeholders. Often reports end up disregarded as they do not bring much value to the stakeholder. So even though you gain time doing something that needs to be done, it does not yield any extra value.
What dashboards essentially do is display data, and that alone cannot provide value. It is up to the user of these tools to go beyond and extract insights.
What dashboards do not do well
From the previous paragraph it is easy to extract the main shortcomings of dashboards.
- They can mask strategic trends. They offer the possibility of extreme granularity and capture smaller pieces of data. This makes it more likely to fall in the “more is better” trap. That adds to the information overload, which in turns tends to make marketers more reactive than prospective. Also, dashboards do not offer the possibility to compare long-term longitudinal trends to a control group which makes it hard get a strategic overview.
- They focus on analytics rather than insights. Marketing dashboards tend to push users to focus on analytics, trend lines and graphs. Is a metric increasing or decreasing and by how much...etc. Answers to these questions are also important but they are not insightful. Typically the dashboard answers to the “What” question. Answering the “Why” and “How” questions is what gives insights.
- They are not actionable. Knowing what the metrics are and their evolution does not make them actionable. Dashboards do not give you any indications on how you can use this data to improve or optimise your digital marketing.
How is Causalytics different from that:
With Causalytics we thought we have to reverse the order of priorities. The main difference is the focus on Insights, on Suggested Actions and making both humanly readable.
Like a dashboard, Causalytics will allow you to:
- Gather data from various sources into one display. Causalytics aims to be a hub for all marketing data sources. We start by offering the integration of Google Analytics, Google Ads and Facebook Ads integration. We will be adding more integrations continuously.
- Have visibility on important metrics. Causalytics offers a dashboard view focusing on the major KPIs, Insights and Actions. That allows you to have a good overview, and offers you the possibility to dig deeper if you wish.
- Save time with the reporting. Causalytics not only automates the reporting process but also the analysis process.
Added to these benefits Causalytics goes beyond your typical marketing dashboard tool to provide:
- Focus on ROI rather than only tactical metrics. ROI is the key in Causalytics. It also allows you to benchmark your situation with the average of your industry or similar businesses.
- Insights rather than only analytics. Go beyond the (usually complex) statistics and numbers into understanding why do the numbers look the way they do and how did they happen. Understand them better as Causalytics shows them in a humanly understandable way.
- Suggested Actions. Do not stop at the mere constatation of a situation, Causalytics suggests actions, fixes and tips you can try to optimise the situation.
The best way to have an opinion about this is still to try it out yourself. Feel free to signup for a trial or contact us for a demo at email@example.com or give us a call at +358 40 167 0096.