An analytics dashboard is a collection of data focused on key metrics, presented neatly on a user interface. It enables analysts to easily monitor the performance of a digital product or website by tracking various metrics like online conversions, engagement, retention, and more.
- An analytics dashboard shows an assortment of metrics that give you a picture of the status of your digital product or website. It enables you to get a sense of overall performance in only a few moments.
- Dashboards enable you to view analytics data at a glance, collaborate with others in your company by sharing the dashboard, and act on data that’s current and accessible.
- Many different people use analytics dashboards, such as C-suite executives, sales executives, product managers, marketers, and others. Dashboards are built with a few key design principles in mind to ensure they help their audience make quick decisions.
- There are different types of analytics dashboards, such as product analytics, Google analytics, digital marketing, ecommerce, social media, and content dashboards—all serving different purposes.
Why use analytics dashboards?
There are multiple reasons why analytics dashboards should be used. For example, analytics dashboards can:
- Help you act on information that’s current and accessible: Dashboards report, analyze, and present data in real time. Analysts are able to act on this current, reliable data. Since these dashboards are cloud-based, users can access their dashboard on any internet-enabled device, whether mobile, tablet, or laptop.
- Give you a bird’s-eye view of all analytics data: According to Salesforce, 41% of organizations say that their “current system can’t make sense of large volumes of data from different sources.” On the other hand, with dashboards, you can collect and organize all your relevant data into a single, convenient view. Dashboards improve the overall efficiency of business analytics by making it easy to analyze information visually, in whatever format you like (e.g., bar chart, pie chart, etc.).
- Allow you to share your dashboard with people across your company: By sharing the dashboard with multiple people in your company, you enable cross-functional collaboration and bring everyone on the same page. You can start a discussion around your analysis right alongside the charts on a dashboard or use Amplitude notebooks to share additional context and key takeaways from your analysis. You can mention team members in your comments or even integrate the dashboard into a team communication tool like Slack. This collaboration is useful for teams to discuss and iterate on their findings and ultimately make great product decisions.
Who will use your analytics dashboard?
Analytics dashboards are used by a wide range of people, from manufacturing managers to customer service executives. Their main purpose is to get a quick overview of the metrics that pertain to their respective roles. Broadly though, they’re used by a few key roles:
- CEOs & Senior Management Executives: Use management dashboards for making strategic decisions and converting complex data into actionable insights. They mainly want to know who their customers are and what their revenue is compared to the same time last year. Revenue dashboards give this information by providing data on total revenue, average revenue per customer, customer lifetime value (CLV), the number of new customers, and customer acquisition cost (CAC).
- CMOs & Marketing Executives: Use marketing dashboards to track important marketing KPIs through data visualization, with the goal of boosting overall marketing performance. They use information like the cost of acquiring each lead, conversion rates, and more to set targets for the future and watch over campaign performance.
- CFOs & Finance Executives: Use finance dashboards to gather information like operational expenses (OPEX) ratio, gross profit margin, net profit margin, and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). They get an overview of all the money the company is earning (and spending).
- Sales Executives: Use customer dashboards to focus on high-level sales metrics, such as the number of sales, sales revenue, most popular products, high-value customers, etc. This information helps them create and implement an effective sales strategy to increase revenues and profits.
- Product Managers: Use product analytics dashboards to assess the success of their product. They use a combination of acquisition, activation, engagement, retention, and monetization metrics to know who’s using the product, how engaged they are, and how much money the product is generating.
- Marketers: Marketers use marketing analytics dashboards to track both top- and bottom-of-funnel metrics like conversions, traffic from different sources, the number and quality of leads, ROI on ad spend, content and campaign performance, and more.
What a basic dashboard needs to contain
There is no one size fits all approach to what a basic dashboard should contain because it depends on the type of dashboard being built and its purpose. When building a dashboard, you need to keep a few design principles in mind and ask these questions to determine what your dashboard should contain:
Who is the dashboard being created for?
You need to establish who the audience is for the dashboard. For example, if you’re creating a marketing dashboard, your dashboard needs to contain metrics like conversion rates, campaign ROI, and more. Adopting a human-centered approach to building your dashboard will help you build dashboards that serve their audiences’ core purposes.
What questions should your dashboard answer?
Think about the questions your dashboard’s audience has in order to determine what reports to include in the dashboard. If the dashboard is being built for an ecommerce product manager, they might want the answers to questions like: What is the total sales revenue? What are the most popular product categories contributing to the total revenue?
What is the source of the data?
Before you display any data on your dashboard, you must clearly establish that the data is coming from a reliable source. Your dashboard should only contain data you can trust. Primary sources are more reliable than secondary sources for data.
Does the dashboard tell a story?
When an analytics manager views their dashboard, it needs to read like a story. It should only contain reports that provide a clear, logical flow from top to bottom. By pooling together reports that tell a coherent story, you can extract more meaningful insights from your dashboard. Avoid unnecessary information and be minimalistic in your selection of what data is included in your dashboard.
Have you chosen the right type of data visualization?
If you’re comparing values, a bar chart or column chart might be best. If you’re visualizing hierarchies or relationships, then maybe a tree map. Are you showing percentages of a total? Then a pie chart might fit in best. Are you working with dates? Then maybe a time series is best. Choosing the right type of visualization to include in your dashboard enables your audience to easily digest the data that’s presented to them.
6 examples of analytics dashboards
1. Product analytics dashboard
A product analytics dashboard helps product managers gauge how successful a product or feature is by presenting specific product management KPIs. Some common product management metrics include:
- Reach or acquisition metrics: Paid subscribers, 3-month active users, page or ad impressions
- Activation metrics: Percentage of activated users, number of activations
- Engagement metrics: Average daily active users, time spent on site or app, pages viewed, sessions per user, shopping cart or checkout abandonment
- Retention metrics: Churn, retention rate, or N-day retention
- Transaction or monetization metrics: Monthly recurring revenue (MRR), average revenue per daily active user, customer lifetime value, cost per acquisition
Product managers can use product analytics dashboards to do segmentation or cohort analysis. Both analyses are done on user groups with shared characteristics, for example, users who use mobile to access the product versus those who use a laptop to access the product. Data comparisons between user groups are helpful to put things into perspective, so product managers can focus on the segments or cohorts that matter.
2. Web Analytics dashboard
A web analytics dashboard gathers all the important metrics about your website traffic into a single custom dashboard. This dashboard shows you KPIs like:
- Page views, bounce rate, pages per session
- Goal completions, such as form fills, lead generation, or sales conversions
- Performance by traffic channel and traffic source
- Website or landing page sessions, bounce rates, and conversion rates
- Statistics for which browser or device the user is using
- Campaign performance data like campaign costs or campaign ROI
Accessing these KPIs in a web dashboard enables you to analyze what’s working and what isn’t, so you can drop the unprofitable parts of your marketing efforts and scale up the ones that are profitable.
3. Digital marketing dashboard
This dashboard allows you to track the results of all of your digital marketing campaigns from one place. You can see information like organic search traffic volume, PPC metrics, how your email campaigns are performing, and even social media metrics all in one dashboard. This dashboard has KPIs like:
- Campaign performance data like cost-per-click, click-through rate, and conversion rate
- Bounce rates to know how long users stay on your web pages before they go somewhere else
- Traffic source performance (search engines, social media, paid ads, etc.)
- Conversion rates (sales, email newsletter sign-ups, etc.)
This dashboard gives you a bird’s-eye view of your full marketing funnel to find out what’s working and what’s not.
4. SEO dashboard
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy, and small changes can bring big results, so it’s important to know your metrics. This dashboard gives you a lot of insights into the overall SEO strategy of your company. KPIs included in the SEO dashboard are:
- Visitor sessions (number of organic visits, bounce rate, page load times, etc.)
- Organic landing pages (how many visits by channel and device, new vs. returning visits, etc.)
- Conversion rates (new conversions, new revenue, and transaction data strictly from organic traffic)
- Top performing keywords that generate traffic
Being able to see this information makes it much easier to pick the best SEO and content marketing efforts, so you can focus on doing more of the same.
5. Ecommerce dashboard
If you sell products or services on your website, the ecommerce dashboard helps provide data on every stage of the sales process. The ecommerce dashboard includes KPIs like:
- Number of ecommerce transactions and ecommerce trends
- Total ecommerce sales revenue
- Product-specific sales (exact quantity sold and revenue generated for each product)
- Product conversion rates by marketing channel
Looking at ecommerce data at a broad level with this custom dashboard will make it easy to see which products are the most successful, which traffic sources lead to the most sales, and which channels convert the most. Once you know that, you can scale up the successful ecommerce campaigns and drive more revenue as a result.
6. Social media dashboard
This dashboard enables you to track all your important social media KPIs. This social media reporting dashboard includes KPIs along the lines of:
- Number of likes and followers
- Number of impressions to assess your content’s reach
- Social engagement metrics (shares, comments, clicks, etc.)
- Popular posts (social engagement metrics on a per-post basis)
Each social platform has its own unique way of reporting, so tracking all this information across multiple social media sites is a lot of work if done manually. Extracting it all into one single dashboard makes it much easier to see which sites are giving you the best return on your investment.
Ready to create an analytics dashboard? Try our self-service demo, or explore your own data with a free Amplitude plan.