Chapter 14. Dashboards and Reports

Auditors look at the top-level overview; investigators drill into the data and provide answers.

Dashboards are tools that can provide auditor-like insights, or investigator-like insights. Which one you use and how is completely up to you. Dashboards and reports are how we bring everything together to visualize our data. In the audits we have done so far we have focused on a single component or element, and to keep things simple I have tried to keep each element separate. But the real power of analytics comes when you begin to bring data points together.

Utilizing dashboards and reports should become second nature to you. They are not only a way to present data, but a way to create an impact. Dashboarding is an art, much like presenting or any other business practice. Your dashboards and reports will be the tools you employ most successfully, and presentability is a major factor to consider. You may find that your selection of auditing tools is affected by how presentably the data is provided to you. Some people are OK with raw data and numbers, but most people are visually stimulated and can recognize patterns more easily through charts and graphs, which also create a more dramatic impact.

Tools you will need in this chapter:

  • Clickstream tracking package (Google Analytics, Adobe SiteCatalyst, etc.)

  • Spreadsheet program (Excel or something similar)

  • Presentation software (PowerPoint or something similar)

Know Your Audience

Different people prefer different ...

Get Mastering Search Analytics now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.