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Online Campaigns Performance Dashboard

by Alexander 'Sandy' Chiang, Research Director, Dashboard InsightMonday, August 15, 2011

This screenshot was created with Tableau Software. Click the image to enlarge the screenshot.


This dashboard is a follow up to last month’s featured dashboard, the Website Operational Dashboard. The Online Campaigns Performance Dashboard provides a snapshot of how online campaigns are doing. This dashboard is monitored by web marketers responsible for driving traffic to the site.

In this dashboard review, I will cover the following:

  • The online advertising metrics displayed
  • The importance of identifying correlations
  • The dashboard design

Online Advertising Metrics

One needs to closely monitor how advertisers’ campaigns. The main metrics to follow are:

  • Inventory Utilization %
  • Click Through Rate
  • Website stats

Inventory Util. %

Inventory is the number of times you can show an advertiser’s banner. This is typically represented by the number of pageviews for a website. In some casese, not all pages have advertisements shown or there are more than one banner slots available. However, the number of pageviews provides a very reliable approximation.  The actual number of times a banner is displayed is also known as the number of impressions. When you divide the number of impressions with the number of pageviews you get inventory utilization. Ideally you have 100% utilization; however, that is not realistic nor is it possible in some cases.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

CTR is the most important indication of how well a campaign is doing. The calculation is simple: the number of people who click on the banner divided by the number of impressions the banner received. The web average for banners on the Web is 0.2-0.3%.  If a website has a highly niche readership, it should be higher than industry average. For example, Dashboard Insight caters to business intelligence professionals interested in dashboards and the CTR should be at least double the Web average.
There are many factors that contribute to increasing the CTR including the message of the banner. However, it is up to the advertiser to ensure the banner is optimized.

For the publisher, they can increase the CTR by driving more traffic (visitors) to the site. This is done by providing relevant content and search engine optimization. In addition, they should show banners with content that aligns with its message. For example, if Dashboard Insight has an article focused on Data Management, it is more appropriate to show a data management vendor’s banner rather than a reporting solutions vendor’s banner.

Website Stats

As mentioned in the CTR section, it is important to provide relevant content and to optimize the content for search engines. There are 4 performance measures that should be looked at closely to ensure relevant and optimized content: the number of visitors, the bounce rate, pages per visit, and time on site.  These four metrics help determine if a website’s content is relevant.  If you want to learn more about these metrics, you can start with the resources Google Analytics provides.

Correlation Analysis

The power of dashboards is to quickly see a lot of information at a glance. This includes easily identifying correlations in data. The metrics in this dashboard shows a downward trend in inventory utilization and a large dip in the latest data (June 30th) relative to the goal. By looking at the Web Stats at the bottom, one can quickly see what is causing the drastic drop in utilization. The number of visitors has dropped significantly.  It tells the person they need to look at the content posted on June 30th and see what might have caused the drop in visitors to the site.

Dashboard Design Comments

The Campaign Click Through Rates visualization located at the top right was six individual bullet graphs for each campaign in my initial mockup. Instead, I used a bar graph with bullet graph characteristics such as bands for specific types of targets. In the case of this visualization, the bands represent the industry average CTR and the site average CTR. I have colored the poor performers in red so it is easy to identify which campaigns need my attention.
In July’s featured dashboard, I used down arrows to represent a negative change. In this Online Campaigns Performance Dashboard, I used colored text instead. This helps free up real estate on the dashboard.

About Tableau Software

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