The minute we pick one dashboard tool to rule them all, a new need for data would arise. Our data management is something that needs to evolve as our business evolves. Rather than look to one tool to rule them all, we need to look at consolidating rules to govern our data use.
Maybe it’s because I am a pragmatic person by nature. Added to that my belief that you should be a master of your tech, not a slave to it. And what comes out the other end is that I think you apply that when making decisions on what you want to implement or not. With a big nod to “or not”. One of the rabbit holes that us technologists can fall into is that we want to see people implement technology because it’s the solution we recommend is the cleaner cooler neater way of doing a job. We sometimes forget its not always the smarter thing to do.
So, while the ideal would be to have one Dashboard tool where everything rolls up into it to have a consolidated view or views. I know that most people don’t. And for good reasons. I would like to explore some of these today.
Because it can be an investment
And likely a big project. There is a cost in terms of money and time to pull all your data together into one tool. With all big projects, there should be a way to measure is it worth it. And a business case built around why the investment is working the spend. Weigh out both the costs to not doing it, and the costs to doing it. And make a rational decision. If it is worth it, then do it. If it’s not, then you now know reasons why you aren’t.
We have different dashboards for different needs
There just might not be a way to standardize on what data to look at and what tools. Teams today use a variety of tools, marketing teams probably being one of the teams that use the most variety of tools. And most of them have some data analytics component. A different dashboard for the different things we look at. A digital marketing dashboard, a campaign or channel dashboard, a sales effectiveness dashboard, to name a few. For a specific need that one dashboard view may be enough. The data may be only needed for a function in that moment. A consolidated view of your data and kpis might only be required when it benefits multiple teams or management levels.
There may not be a tool that can do it all that works for us
Or at least it might not be a tool that is accessible in your budget. There are enterprise level tools that produce great views of any data. They often work from data lakes. Connecting information in real time. (Looker comes to mind as one example.) But they come with an enterprise level price tag. (around $3000 /month). The opposite kind of one tool to rule them all is excel. Everything can be consolidated down into spreadsheets. But then we lose the real time aspects. And a data quality or security nightmare to live with. So a middle ground for medium sized companies can be to use a combination of tools.
The question might be when, rather than do or don’t do.
A team should also be able to implement a new tool, and evaluate it’s use, before needing to figure out how it fits into a full platform. Since the fitting in is an investment, let’s make sure we have adopted the tool fully first.
Which rolls us up into the biggest point. Because the minute we pick one dashboard tool to rule them all, a new need for data would arise. And we would need to look at how we handle that need. Our data management is something that needs to evolve as our business evolves. We need to be able to be growth minded, rather than fixed. Rather than look to one tool to rule them all, we need to look at consolidating rules to govern our data use. And decide the times or situations when those rules need to be flexible and change.