Dashboards represent our need to believe that customer relationships and competition are simple. If a number moves up the business is good. If a number goes down and business is bad, all we need to do is move that number back up. It is not an error to use a dashboard. It is an error to only rely on a dashboard.
List of important information dashboards do not show, but should:
1) Creation of new values – New values sustain a business. Without them every business will fail. New values are created either through innovation or by copying competitors. Marketing and sales dashboards do not show any information related to the creation of new values.
2) Quality of interactions – Most, if not all, dashboards offer normalized and simplified data. Even if they offer more, users tend to opt for the simpler point of view. Why did a customer interact with a brand, why did they buy something, why did they like something, why did they see or share something.
3) Quality of a rejection – For the same reason we need to know why someone interacted with a brand, we also need to know why they declined. This information is sometimes more important than the understanding of success.
All information above presents quality which is more difficult to collect and present in dashboards, and hard to digest by users. But going down the path of less resistance by excluding it only creates an operational culture in which marketing and sales contribute less than they could. Simpler information does make teams passive, no matter how complex the interface is. Creating new values, understanding successes and failures of a business are important for every member in a team, and not only for the few.
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