In the July edition of Alert, a magazine from the Marketing Research Association, Ken Brewster of E-Tabs writes about the use of dashboards in marketing research. I'm not shilling for E-Tabs; I've never even seen a demo, but the idea of online reporting solutions holds tremendous appeal.
As Brewster states, the typical research presentation tends to be delivered in a static PowerPoint (or Word doc or PDF). Our department archives materials on our Intranet for NPR employees and on an extranet for NPR Member Stations. While we do our best to organize data and reports in such a way that they will answer our internal and station clients' questions, our phones continue to ring. We are happy to play a high-touch, resource-librarian role, but I am confident solutions exist allowing us to merge audience data, digital data, and survey findings so our constituents can find what they need more readily.
In his article, Brewster focuses on information sharing between research consultants and end users; however, research end users face the same challenges. In my ideal world we would be able have automated infographics allowing our internal stakeholders to look at the data on-the-fly. We've also discussed developing key metrics dashboards intended to focus NPR's attention on the "most" important issues. Are you using any dashboards effectively in your organization? Tell me more!
Lori Kaplan is the Director of Audience Insight & Research.