You’ve started to get an inkling, right?
The one that makes you wonder how much longer you can get away with delivering your market research reports in PowerPoint form.
We live in a data world. And business professionals—the people who fund and use market research—are increasingly accustomed to getting their data in dashboards. It makes sense: they are getting data from many sources these days, and well-designed dashboards improve data access speed and convenience.
It’s time for the market research and customer insights profession to catch up.
Getting Ready for Customer Insights Dashboards
If you’re feeling uncertain about how to get started, here’s your 2-step ramp-up plan:
Step 1: Get acquainted with the look and feel of dashboards. Check out dashboard examples from firms that offer these platforms:
Step 2: Gets some training. Seriously. You’ll need to know the basics of dashboard design—whether or not you plan to outsource the actual implementation. At minimum, all market research and customer insights professionals should know enough so you can guide your suppliers and set appropriate expectations with clients. You should also learn enough to be able to confidently evaluate dashboard implementations; and yes, that’s an appropriate learning goal even if you have never touched a dashboard before. Think of it this way: I don’t need to know how to build an engine, to be able to write a great road test review.
Where to learn about Dashboards?
I do recommend completing some training, or at least some significant free trials, before you pick a tool. Once you select a platform, it will be hard to change—there’s always a learning curve, and it’s hard to walk away from that investment of your time. Here are some great training options (fully disclosing that I’m biased):
- Coursera has one on dashboard design using Tableau
- Research Rockstar has a course on dashboard design for market research data: Data Visualization and Dashboard Design (next session starts May 1, 2017)
- Udemy has courses on dashboard design using Excel
Don’t get hang up on the training being with specific platforms (the Research Rockstar course uses Plotly). All dashboard training will have you use some kind of tool, as that’s the best way to learn. But once you learn a little about one tool, you will be able to transfer the skills (broadly speaking) and it will give you the deep understanding you need to be able to coordinate suppliers and clients.
Dashboards are fast becoming a key mechanism for delivering customer insights-related data. Professionals who continue to solely deliver PowerPoint reports will soon find themselves under pressure to catch the trend. Start the 2-step ramp-up plan above to join the leaders, not the laggards.
Written by: Kathryn Korostoff