Customer analytics: 4 dated practices to leave behind in 2021

A great customer-facing dashboard makes complex data easy to digest. Meanwhile, a bad dashboard experience makes your customers cringe and leave your application. We’ve identified four practices that lead to bad customer analytics experiences. Let’s leave behind these dated practices in 2021!

1. Generic product dashboards

Many products have one generic dashboard for every user. Imagine a CRM that shows a basic view of the sales pipeline. This is useful for the CEO. However, a regional sales leader wants to see what’s relevant to them.

Instead, make dashboards personalized for each user. This provides high-context metrics for specific viewer roles.

Here are a few tips to put personalization into practice:

  • Filter views for each user. Only give a user access to relevant data. 
  • Different dashboards for different personas. Show a sales rep their individual pipeline view, while the Head of Sales gets a global sales view.
  • Pay attention to personal context. Serve each customer in their language, time zone, and the device format they use.
  • Allow users to personalize dashboards themselves. Let them create and save a personal version of your proposed dashboard.

Personalized customer analytics for Angelina
Angelina sees marketing statistics in English in her organization’s colors

Personalized customer analytics for Brad
Brad sees sales statistics in French in his organization’s colors

2. Poor user experience

Bad user experience kills engagement. Did you know that:

Poor UX can impact dashboard experience as well. People are less likely to engage with poorly designed, hard to comprehend analytics. 

Investing in the best customer analytics experience will keep your users hooked. Here are a few tips on how to improve analytics UX:

  • Make it easy to find information. Don’t cram information in a single dashboard. Split it into smaller and more digestible reports.
  • Use a clean and concise layout. Limit dashboards to 10 charts with the most essential information on top.
  • Avoid static tables and add interactivity. Engage users with charts with filters, drill-downs, sliders, and slicers.
  • Give dashboards a premium look. Impress your customers with branded and stylized dashboards.

Digestible dashboards with a clean, interactive lay-out
Digestible dashboards with a clean, interactive lay-out

3. Dashboards that don’t drive action

Digital product users consider insights as a must-have to make informed decisions. 

Unfortunately, most software companies produce customer-facing dashboards without links to the decision-making process. 

Instead, add insights that aid decisions and inspire action. For example, for an inventory management platform this could mean:

  • Adding data visualization where customers place orders to inform order quantity
  • Sending automatic alerts when the inventory drops beneath a certain threshold
  • Adding the ability to place an order inside the dashboard with a click

Example of actionable analytics
Let customers take action while they explore their data

4. Analytics that push users elsewhere

Analytics often are treated as a separate product. As a result, customers switch between applications to analyze their data. It’s a sub-optimal experience.

The goal should be to make dashboards available in the same application. Do this by adding insights to existing workflows, so users never have to leave your platform.

For example, email marketing platforms send users weekly email reports. Alternatively, the subscriber engagement dashboard could be right where they build their campaigns. 

When insights pair with product workflows, customers gain efficiency and become more productive.

Improve user experience by adding dashboards to your core application

Cheers to better customer-facing dashboards in 2022!

As you can see, a lot can go wrong with dashboards if they are a mere afterthought. Let’s leave these bad habits in 2021 and produce better dashboards in 2022! 

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