Doing some research at the moment on better ways to gather and report on audience data. One area I’m looking at are dashboards – how useful are they? Who’s doing good things with dashboards? Are they the (one?) answer for busy and overstretched staff that don’t have the time (or the inclination) to trawl through large reports?
Kati Price (V&A) and Chris Unitt (One Further) gave a presentation about dashboards at MuseumNext 2014, with the following useful set of tips (with my commentary):
- First ask – do you really need a dashboard? (and maybe before that ask “What data do we need to be collecting?”)
- “Pragmatism beats idealism” – you could waste huge amounts of time developing a tool that may be unusable, just do something and see how it goes
- “Narrative is the spoonful of sugar” – informed, short commentary of key points will ensure the report is read
- “The first bite is with the eye” – visual representations win out every time
- “Behaviour beats demographics” – not sure I totally agree, demogs have many uses
- “Context is key” – say no more
- “Strategy for some, tactics for others” – reminder that the same data may be used in different ways by different people with different needs
- “Dashboards can’t do everything” – an important reminder that there (probably) isn’t a one size fits all solution (go to point 1!)
- The dashboard made a difference at the V&A in several ways – two that stood out for me were “happy trustee” and “More conversations about this”
I don’t have the data to prove it, but I bet a lot of shitty dashboard started with the sentence “we need to add a dashboard”. They are built without the users in mind because the product team has a bunch of numbers that they think could be useful. Or because the exec team somehow thinks “we need a dashboard”.
I’m keen to hear your dashboard story – feel free to add in comments or tweet me @lyndakelly61.
Have gathered a set of resources to share (below) and will keep adding as I find out more.
- Carnegie Museum of Art: Museum data and what to do with it / The Digital Metrics Dashboard (dashboard doesn’t seem to be in use…)
- Cleveland Museum of Art dashboard
- Elena Villaespesa:
- Europeana Usage Statistics
- IMA Dashboard
- Sairanen, E. (MOMA, 2017). What Does Data Have to Do with It?
- Smithsonian Metrics Dashboard
- Thomas J. Watson Library /Dashboard (The Met)
- UCL Museums Dashboard
Non-profits and dashboards:
- Beth’s blog: Show me your non-profits dashboard!
- Kaushik A. Digital Dashboards: Strategic and Tactical: Best Practices, Tips, Examples
- National Council of Non-profits: Dashboards for non-profits
- Non-profit Quarterly: Models and Components of a Great Non-profit Dashboard
- UX Planet: Ten rules for dashboard design