Dashboards for every department

Good quality information is essential for decision-making, yet publishing staff may sometimes lack easy access to the right facts and figures. A dashboard combines related charts and metrics into a concise one-page view, which can then be tracked consistently over time. Often dashboards are seen as the preserve of senior management teams, but they can provide an excellent way for every department to see the ‘big picture’.

1. Management summaries. A management dashboard will usually contain the highest level of detail: summing up overall revenue, subscriptions, article submissions, and usage month-by-month. A direct comparison with the previous year’s figures is also common, making it very easy to spot year-on-year trends.

2. Marketing campaigns. Marketeers need to assess the success of each campaign. A campaign dashboard will typically report costs, recipients, and various levels of response (eg. for an email campaign: customers who read, clicked and purchased). Many campaign management systems will provide clear, visual dashboard summaries for each marketing campaign.

3. Product headlines. For editorial staff, a product-centric view is often the most relevant. For a journal publisher, that might be a summary dashboard for each separate title: highlighting subscriptions, article submissions, usage, single article purchases, and alert sign-ups. This type of product overview can provide real insights into the relative strengths and weaknesses of different titles.

4. Sales overview. A publisher’s sales operation is usually organised by region (eg. by continent), and so a set of regional sales dashboards might usefully report revenue and subscription figures, plus some indication of the number of new prospects and market penetration. Maps and country-based breakdowns can be particularly useful in this context.

5. Data quality targets. Dashboards are also a great way to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which often include internal measures of the accuracy and quality of customer data. Important metrics here might be the number of contacts with valid name, address, and email data, the recency of contacts (when did they last interact?), and how many contacts are opted-in to receive marketing.