Understanding Your Goals and Analytics Through Dashboards and Scorecards

Let’s face it, most online marketers (especially in healthcare) have trouble understanding their online goals and initiatives. Heck, a lot of organizations don’t even know what their goals are or how to generate good goals (I am not going to touch on how to generate good goals today, that’s for another post). And a lot of times, when organizations do have goals, they aren’t measurable.

One of the workshops I attended at the SHSMD Annual Conference this year in Chicago, IL was centered on dashboards and scorecards — specifically the right and wrong ways to do them and the information that should be going in each. Let me first go over what all of these different pieces are.

Goals can be a variety of different things. Here at Geonetric, we push our clients to have S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Result Oriented. Time Bound). Why S.M.A.R.T goals? Well they really cover all aspects of a having a good goal. What good is a goal if it is not specific, if you cannot measure success against it, if it isn’t even attainable, if it isn’t centered on an end result, and if it isn’t bound to a specific time frame?

Analytics can be difficult to understand if you aren’t in the trenches every day studying them. Trying to do this while tying analytical pieces back to goals can be even more difficult. One of the important things you need to try and accomplish when it comes to your goals and measuring success through analytics is helping, and in some cases forcing, your C-Suite to care and to pay attention to them. That being said, C-Suite individuals are not going to care about the “deep dive analytics.” This is where a dashboard comes into play.

Dashboards are generally short in nature and only include the high-level numbers that your C-Suite will care about. The people looking at the dashboard should be able to tell what the dashboard is all about in three minutes or less. It should be very clear and concise in its content. The content of a dashboard should reflect information related to your goals.

key to great goals

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all. -Stephen Hawking

A scorecard is more in-depth than a dashboard and generally has some distinction associated with it pertinent to how you are doing in each subject area listed on the scorecard. A lot of times, this distinction is represented by one or more of the following:

  • A pointing system
  • Colored stoplights
  • Colored arrows
  • Grades

Scorecards are great for the day-to-day people who actually work on the things that are getting graded. Scorecards generally offer more insights into what is going on, deeper than the high-level dashboard numbers.

At the end of the day, understanding dashboards and scorecards is very important but can be very complex. First off, you need to make sure that you have good (S.M.A.R.T) goals. Once you have those, you have the baseline you need to measure success against the goals. You also have the ammunition you need to create a great dashboard for your C-Suite as well as an in-depth and informative scorecard for your day-to-day team.

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This entry was posted in Marketing, ROI, Tradeshow/Conference by Matt Hacker. Bookmark the permalink.
Matt Hacker

About Matt Hacker

As Geonetric’s client analytics strategist, Matt helps clients define goals and measure online success. He goes beyond numbers, translating data into actionable guidance. This former manager of Web services for a busy Web design and video production company has experience in everything from search engine optimization and social media management to usability and design. Matt received his bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of Northern Iowa. He is also a certified Google Analytics Individual.

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