A Checklist for Creating an Integrated Communications Measurement Dashboard

Here’s an updated-for-2018 version of our popular checklist for developing an integrated communications measurement dashboard.  Click here to read all our posts on integrated communications measurement.

This checklist will help you get organized and track your progress as you develop your integrated communications measurement system. It is designed to be used alongside “7 Steps to Design an Integrated Measurement Dashboard for Your Entire Communications Effort.” For some advice on dashboard fundamentals, see “5 Quick Tips to Develop Your Perfect Integrated Communications Dashboard.”

Step 1: Get everyone, and we mean everyone, on the same page regarding goals, objectives and expectations.

☐ Make a list of people who influence your budget and set your priorities. Add in anyone else who will want to see or use your dashboard.

☐ Set up a meeting with those on your list. Invite the most senior members of your leadership team. Tell them you need them there to understand their expectations for communications results and to get consensus on goals for your dashboard.

☐ Create your meeting agenda:

☐ Confirm your target audiences

☐ Decide on goals

☐ Decide on who/what the benchmark will be (see also Step 5)

☐ Decide on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs.)  If you need help, see our guide: “Selecting the Right Data, Tools and Metrics For Your Objectives.”

☐ After the meeting, summarize the agreed-upon definitions in a document. Include a list of the key metrics (including the KPIs) you’ll be reporting on in your dashboard.

☐ Ask senior management to sign off on the KPIs and dashboard.

☐ Based on approved KPIs, make a list of data you’ll need to report.

Step 2: Determine who is going to use your dashboard and how.

Now you need to get consensus around the use of your dashboard.

☐ Decide who needs to just review the data, who needs to enter the data and who needs to be able to export and analyze the data that comes from your dashboard.

☐ Get clarity on what decisions will be made with the data.

☐ Decide on deadlines and how often the metrics need to be updated.

Step 3: Identify your data sources.

☐ Clarify what tool, platform, or system you will be using for web analytics.

☐ Who owns that web data? Can you get a user name and password? Will they generate reports for you? Can you get a full Excel export to automatically feed into your dashboard?

☐ Do you have a monitoring/listening tool?

☐ Who owns that monitoring data? Can you get a user name and password? Will they generate reports for you? Can you get a full Excel export to automatically feed into your dashboard?

☐ Do you have a CRM platform?

☐ Who owns that CRM data? Can you get a user name and password? Will they generate reports for you? Can you get a full Excel export to automatically feed into your dashboard?

☐ Is there existing market research data on your company (e.g., awareness or preference consideration studies)?

☐ Who owns that data? Can you get a user name and password? Will they generate reports for you? Can you get a full Excel export to automatically feed into your dashboard?

☐ Do you have access to your department’s budget data?

☐ How far back can you get data?

Step 4: Refine your benchmark.

Review your Step 1 discussion of your benchmark, and confirm the following:

☐ Identify what peer/competitor keeps leadership awake at night.

☐ Estimate the amount of data you will need to collect on your competition.

☐ Based on the previous answer, decide if you actually have the budget to do competitive benchmarking.

☐ Do you have consistent data for the past 13 months? If not, how far back can you gather data?

Step 5: Design your prototype dashboard.

☐ Set up a table in Google Sheets or Google Slides and populate it with the goals and metrics you’ve selected.

☐ Create sample indexes and charts with the data you have.

☐ Setup a meeting to review your sample with everyone that will be using your dashboard.

☐ At the meeting, go over the indexes and any other calculations with everyone who will be using or seeing your dashboard.

Step 6: Implement your dashboard.

☐ Create a detailed set of instructions and definitions that codify the decisions you made in the prior steps. Make sure that you explain how to calculate any indexes you’ve defined. Also spell out any terms like “tone” or “sentiment” or “issue” or “message.” Give examples of everything, particularly any messages you are tracking, and spell out any parameters (e.g, dates, key media)

☐ Select a dashboard platform.

☐ Import data into your platform.

☐ Analyze the data for insights, errors, and problems.

☐ Share results with your team.

☐ Share results with leadership.

☐ Train your team on how to use the platform or set up training with your chosen vendor.

☐ Congratulate yourself on a job well done! ∞

About Author

Katie Paine

I've been called The Queen Of Measurement, but I prefer Seshat, the Goddess.