May 10, 2012

The case for Mobile Dashboards - Marketing agencies

The case for Mobile Dashboards - Marketing agencies

In my previous article in this series, I took a look at the use case for mobile BI in a call center. The next-use case I want to look at is for marketing agencies. Like a call center, marketing agencies monitor metrics and data that are constantly fluctuating. That data is crucial for determining the ROI of a marketing campaign and for understanding why a campaign is a success or a failure.

Marketing Agencies and Mobile BI

Who

Sandra, an analyst, and Steven, an account manager, are responsible for tracking and monitoring the performance of marketing campaigns and sharing those reports with clients as well as sharing them internally. Sandra aggregates the data to create reports, provides insight and recommendations, and Steven shares those reports with clients to provide the ROI of certain campaigns (and their agency).

The Situation...

The marketing agency has been dependent on Excel to create and share KPI reports for internal and external use. Once a week Sandra saves the Excel report as a PDF, sends it to Steven and other account managers, and they share it with clients. Not only does Sandra have to manually input data each the week to keep up the report relevant , but the report she generates each week is out of date almost as soon as it is printed. Marketing metrics change on a daily or hourly basis, meaning a static report (like Sandra's PDF) provides an incomplete view of KPIs.

On the other hand, Steven relies on those reports to provide clients with detailed information about their marketing strategy. Unfortunately, the Excel reports have burned him more than once, when the report in his hand didn't match up with the data his clients were accessing live via Google Analytics; or worse, during a week of launch when his client called asking for stats and insights, he couldn't access the data because he was away from the office and his laptop. Steven has always prided himself on being proactive, so when he found his data was out of date and inaccessible he knew it was time to stop relying on manually updated, weekly Excel reports. He wanted something that worked in real-time so he always had all the facts at his disposal, as events unfolded.

...The Next Step

One of Steven's clients had mentioned that their call center had deployed a web and mobile dashboard. His client explained it was a web accessible dashboard, which meant that Sandra could build and share KPIs using Safari on her Mac in the office, and Steven could log in and view that information using his iPhone anywhere, anytime. That all sounded good to him, but he needed Sandra's help to create the KPIs for the dashboard.

At first Sandra was hesitant to switch dashboards because she had invested so much time (literally years) mastering Excel. The first thing she noticed when she started building KPIs in Klipfolio Dashboard was that the KPI editor worked in a way that was familiar to Excel users. At first she started creating KPIs by uploading her Excel files, but soon she realized it was much easier to import the data directly from sources like Google Analytics, Facebook, or Omniture. The best part was that any KPI she created always used the most current data set. As new data came in, the KPIs on her dashboard were automatically updated.

Going Live

Sandra was able to complete dashboards for each of Steven's clients, and they even decided to provide the clients with access to those dashboards. One thing Steven really appreciated about the dashboards was that Sandra could use the annotations feature to share insights and recommendations from the office, and he could view the annotations on his iPhone. Her role as an analyst meant her expertise was an invaluable commodity not only for Steven, but also for their clients. When they unrolled the dashboard, his clients were immediately impressed by the clean, effective design, and loved the fact they could view that information anywhere.

It was just about this time that Steven logged into his dashboard at a conference and saw something alarming: his newest client's marketing campaign was flat-lining. Without hesitation he called the client, who didn't even know there was a problem yet, and they started figuring out what went wrong. Even though Steven was working remotely, he and his client could view the same KPI dashboard showing the same metrics. As Steven was examining his dashboard, he noticed that Sandra had made annotations to one of the KPIs showing the problem. He was able to leverage her insight to gain a contextual understanding of the data, and then provide his client with a clear-cut plan of action.

The client walked away from the meeting reassured in Steven and the marketing agency he represented. They not only noticed that Steven was willing to share his information, but that he was also actively checking that information and willing to do whatever the situation called for. If that meant talking for an hour on his iPhone in the conference lobby, then so be it.

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