Almost weekly I get an announcement from someone touting a new tool that purports to deliver some sort of communications “dashboard.” The latest announcement landed in my Twitter stream, so I tested it out. I was immediately overwhelmed with irrelevant data and notified that I had “exceeded my data limit.” Then the account was terminated so I couldn’t even change my search string. (Email me and I’ll tell you which useless waste-of-time it was.)
A dashboard worthy of its name is designed to present relevant up-to-date information in a concise way, on an as-needed basis. It’s meant to enhance your understanding of what works and what doesn’t work. But almost none of the alleged new “dashboards” that cross my desk add any insight or in any way provide data that can be used to make decisions. The vast majority just show off pretty charts and graphs, leaving the insight to someone else. These bad dashboards give measurement a bad name, confuse the measurement conversation, and distract clients from metrics that matter. Therefore all these deficient “dashboards” deserve our Measurement Menace of the Month Award.
(And yes, there is hope for all Measurement Menaces. Click here for 10 unique ways I can help out.)