Data Visualisations In Reports And Dashboards: Concepts And Best Practices

When presenting your digital marketing results to clients and shareholders, data visualizations are a great way to structure your reports to aid in understanding your audience, visualize trends and effectively communicate results.

With the exponential increase in the use of digital marketing platforms, it should come as no surprise that data is the number one driver to all business decisions. Every second marketing software tool is processing vast amounts of raw data to help companies make sense of user behavior.

With this in mind, the comprehension of this raw data is extremely important as it is what drives marketers and decision-makers to push for better results. The best way to visualize raw data in a way that is easy to understand and can be easily consumed by non-experts is through the use of data visualizations.

When presenting your digital marketing results to clients and shareholders, data visualizations are a great way to structure your reports to aid in understanding your audience, visualize trends and effectively communicate results.

But what exactly are data visualizations and how do you incorporate them into your digital marketing reports? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

What Are Data Visualizations?

In short, data visualizations are a graphical representation of quantitative results. Data visualizations can range from graphs and tables to infographics. The main goal of using data visuals is to provide a comprehensive way to create better visibility and credibility of the recorded results.

Using the right data visualizations in your reports is just as important as the data itself. It’s important to keep in mind who you are presenting your report to as well as how you would like to display your data. The most common considerations to keep in mind when selecting your data visualizations are your display types. The two common display types are Dimension and Date.

Let’s take a closer look at what data visualizations are best suited for the above display types.

Date

The display type Date is a great way to monitor the performance of a specific metric over time.

Here are the best data visualizations you can use when reporting on a metric over time:

Line Chart: If you are looking to report on the performance of a single metric over time, a line chart is the perfect data visualization to use! By plotting the performance by day of one metric, you can quickly predict the metric’s future performance using a trend line as well as compare it to the performance of the previous year.

Graph with trendline.jpg

Scorecard: Scorecards are used to represent the total performance of a single metric over the reported time period. Scorecards are also a great way to visualize the percentage change between the performance of the previous period or the performance of the previous year. This can help you easily understand if you have performed well against other reporting periods.

scorecard.jpg

Column Charts: Column charts are a great way to visualize the performance of multiple metrics over a period of time. With a column chart, you can easily outline the relationship between other metrics and other data points. For example, pulling impressions and conversions on a bar chart can show that an increase in impressions has led to an increase in conversions.

column chart.jpg

Dimensions

The display type dimensions help monitor certain metrics according to specific groups, categories, channels, countries, and more.

Here are the best data visualizations you can use when reporting on dimensions:

Pie Charts & Donut Charts: By using a pie or donut chart, you can display the value of each individual category and how they contribute to the overall result. Pie charts and donut charts are perfect to report on dimensions like age and gender.

Pie Chart and Donut Chart.jpg

Tables: Using a table is a great way to show how multiple metrics perform according to the dimension breakdown. Tables are a great visual to use when you are looking to report on large amounts of data such as a report on metrics by landing page, country, city, etc.

Table.jpg

Bar Chart: Using a bar chart helps visualize the distribution of specific metrics within a dimension group. For example, you can easily categorize your top 10 performing dimensions.

Bar chart.jpg

Best Practices

Let’s take a look at some best practices when working with data visualizations:

  1. Effectively Communicate Results: When working with data visualizations it’s important to effectively communicate your results by adding supporting information to further communicate what the client can see. Make sure to always include insights to communicate noticeable changes to the data at hand.
  2. Data Hierarchy: Communicate the importance of certain metrics by focusing on the hierarchy of the data visualizations when creating your report. Make sure to include the most relevant data first and focus on the supporting metrics later down the line. Important charts and tables should be big enough to catch the viewer’s attention and allow them to make their own conclusions.
  3. Data Visualization Overload: Ensure to mix and match the different chart options within your report to avoid overwhelming clients with too much information. Stick to a few simple chart types and clearly separate the report into sections to provide a break.

Start Planning Your Next Report…

Data visualizations are a great way to help you further communicate your marketing results to shareholders, colleagues, and clients. Knowing how to work with data visualization helps you highlight your knowledge on how to read important marketing results to monitor, track and report on the performance of new campaigns and marketing strategies. Now that you know how to use data visualizations in your digital marketing report, it’s time to buckle up and start putting your knowledge to the test.

If you want to learn more about digital marketing reporting and agency tips, visit our blog.

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