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Dashboard Metrics Glossary

Saturday, December 3, 2011
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Dashboard Metrics Glossary

Terms covered in this glossary include categories such as:  Business Intelligence, Data Integration, Dashboard Visualization, Social Media Metrics, Social Media Dashboards, Web Metrics, Dashboard Software, Dashboard Software Vendors, Building Dashboards and more……

Business Intelligence – an umbrella business term that refers to the devices and concepts used to process data into intelligence in a business context.  Devices include software, hardware, and people while concepts include data visualization, scorecards, key performance indicators and the like which help business management teams measure, monitor, and manage business operations towards successful achievement of business objectives.

Dashboard – a visual display of key information usually used in a business operational setting.  Article: What Is A Dashboard?

Dashboard Software – software used to display data in visual format. Dashboard software typically includes the ability to do any of the following:  connect to data sources, transform data into KPI’s, make graphical objects (pie charts, meters, maps, bar graphs, etc.), combine and organize graphical objects to form a dashboard, and share the dashboard.

Dashboard Methodology – an approach to building dashboards that typically includes the following components:

  • Analyze the purpose and goals of the dashboard(s)
  • Explore existing information system to determine technical requirements

Create metric and key performance indicators, design reports and dashboards

  • Implement Dashboards and Train Users on how to navigate the platform
Dashboard Solutions – software that offer a any, or all of the following features and capabilities:
  • Interactivity: filtering, highlighting, and details on demand
  • The ability to combine multiple data sources
  • Fast dashboard creation by technical or  non-technical user(s)
  • Sharing and Security Features
  • Visual analysis

Data-to-Dashboard – a term coined by Eman Bass, llc in 1996 and a synonym for “end-to-end” but only in context to the creation of data dashboards.  For example, a “data-to-dashboard solution” would include all end-to-end aspects of creating dashboards which include (in broad terms), 1) Data Collection, Integration, Warehousing, 2) Data Transformation, and  3) Delivery of information in the form of Dashboards and Scorecards (via online, mobile, or traditional methods).  A supplementary data-to-dashboard service would include analysis, modeling and data interpretation support.

Data-to-Dashboard.com – a website geared towards providing information, education, and services focused on the facets, directly or indirectly related to data-to-dashboard solutions.

Dashboard Vendor – a company that provides dashboard software. Dashboard software vendors can be found via paid advertisements, organic search and social media networks.  Dashboard vendors can also be shopped on data-to-dashboard.com via paid ads and sponsors.

Data Visualization – the practice of creating images, charts, graphics, maps, and other visual depictions that help a user make sense of huge amounts of data.

Data Visualization Objects – Maps, line charts, graphs, funnels, pyramids, meters, gauges, bar charts, scatter plots, and other graphical objects used to present aggregated data.

Digital Dashboard-  a digital dashboard is a collection of data visualization objects that enable a viewer to quickly get an overview of how an organization, or part of an organization, is performing. A digital dashboard achieves this goal by allowing a user to monitor important business activities and processes that give insight into a company’s activities.  Digital Dashboards are made available on websites and/or on mobile devices. Digital Dashboards are used in all industries including Manufacturing, Financial, Healthcare, Retail, Education and Energy.

Facebook Metrics Dashboarda dashboard that provides a wide array of key metrics about how a fan page is performing in the areas of

  1. Growing reach – this includes expanding a fan base both demographically and geographically through the use of engaging and relevant content.
  2. Audience engagement - engaging and relevant content will cause fans to talk about a brand via any of the following: Like your Page, Like your Post, Commented on your Post, Shared your Post, Answered your Question, Respond to your Event, Mentioned your Page, Tagged your Page in a Photo,  checked in your place, or recommended your place – by doing any of these things, fans are talking about you on Facebook which extends reach as more and more people see your brand and spread the word.
  3. Referral Sources – where people find your page.  This helps you understand where you are getting the most visibility.
  4. Page Like Sources – tells you from where people like your page.  This helps you understand where you page gets friendly exposure.
  5. Geographic Engagement – tells you what geographic regions get the most engaged activity. This helps you understand the location(s) of your most of your advocates exist and could help target marketing activity.
  6. Demographic Profile of Fans – gives a clear picture of the the age and gender of your fans.  This helps create appropriate messaging and products.

Graph – a visual display of data that includes a scale and one or more axes. Examples of graphs include: bar charts, pie charts, line charts, scatterplots, and the like.

Key Performance Indicator - a metric that measures performance of an activity that is critical to the success of the organization.

Lagging Indicator – a metric that measures activity that has happened in the past.

Leading Indicator – a metric that measures activity which will affect future performance of another activity.

Social Media Dashboard – a dashboard that visually displays key information relative to social media activity. The dashboard is a feedback loop that helps social media managers determine the reach and response of their social media tactics. An example of metrics that would be displayed on a social media dashboard are as follows:  visits, visitors, time on site, time on page, bounce rate, traffic source, top pages viewed, fans, followers, subscribers, connections, diggs, retweets, favorites, video views, and more of the like.  An example of a social media analytics dashboard is Unilyzer – the social media dashboard.

Social Media and Web Metrics – a means to measure the impact and effectiveness of social media on a website’s traffic, brand promise, and conversion success.  A short list of social media metrics include the following:

  • Bounce Rate – a measure of how how many people quickly leave a site after reaching it.  A high bounce rate can be caused by poor landing pages, misleading advertisements, poor content, or otherwise unexpected content relative to the advertisement or message used to create a web site visit.
  • LinkedIn Connections – this is the number of 1st degree connections you have on LinkedIn.  Remember that 2nd order connections matter as well because they extend potential reach.
  • Net Reach – the number of people who see your message or advertisement.  Net Reach is a way to measure the breadth, spread, or range of a message. The message can be in the form of a URL, advertisement, video, or other form of strategic digital content. The means for distribution the message on social media might be twitter, facebook, youtube, linkedin, stumbleupon, or other social media networks. Thus, Net Reach would be a measure that includes a fraction of twitter followers, facebook fans, linkedin connections, youtube subscribers, website visitors, and more of the same.
  • Pageviews – the number of times a web page is served which provides a top-level measure of the websites popularity.
  • Pages-per-Visit - the average number of web site pages served to unique visitors of a web site.  This measure will can vary from 1 – 20+ pages per visit depending on the purpose of the website.  Thus, to determine whether performance is poor, good or great, several factors need to be considered including; 1) type of site and the benchmark for such sites, 2)desired sequence of page visits needed to meet a goal.
  • Visitors – the number of unique web site viewers.
  • Visits – the number of website visits (as opposed to visitors). This metric helps determine the level of repeat viewing by visitors and can thus help determine customer loyalty.  For example, 1 visitor (unique person) can visit a website 20 times during a given period, thus the visitors = 1 while visits = 20.
  • Twitter Clicks – the number of people that click on a link distributed via twitter.
  • Twitter Followers – the number of twitter profiles that have agreed to communicate with your twitter account.  A measure of how many people would receive a message sent via twitter, but not necessarily the number of people that will see the message.
  • Twitter Mentions - the number of times twitter users talk about your brand using the @ tag.  A measure of how many people are talking about your brand.
  • Twitter Retweets – the number of times a twitter user rebroadcasts your twitter message to their own twitter followers.  Retweets are a prized event because they extend can extend a message’s reach dramatically.  For example, if you send a tweet to your hypothetical 250 followers, and one of those followers retweets that message to their 4.2 million followers then you have extended your reach dramatically.  This implies that reach is not purely based on 1st degree followers, but on followers of followers (2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree followers).
  • Facebook Comments – the number of times people comment about your brand on Facebook.  This metric helps determine the whether people are talking about your brand.
  • Facebook Engaged Users –  the number of unique people who have clicked anywhere on your post. Engagement includes: video plays, photo views, link clicks, other clicks and “stories generated” (see stories generated definition below).
  • Facebook Fans – the number of people who have “liked” a fan page and thus have opted-in to receiving a brand’s advertising messages.  It’s easy to see how the number of fans is a component of overall reach.  Remember that fans have friends, and friends can see when a another friend ‘fans’ a brand, thus creating further visibility for the brand that was “liked” – all this means that each fan brings a 2nd, 3rd and 4th order of potential reach with them.
  • Facebook Friends of Fans –  the number of unique people who are friends with your fans, including your current fans.
  • Facebook Likes – the number of people that “like” a comment, video, or other piece of content on a fan page.
  • Facebook “Peope Talking About This” – a metric provided by Facebook Insight’s and is the number of unique people who have “created a story” about your fan page in the time period.
  • Facebook Total Reach – the number of unique people who have seen any content associated with your fan page (including any Ads or “Sponsored Stories” pointing to your fan page) in the time period.
  • Facebook Stories Generated – stories include: liking, commenting on or sharing a post, answering a question or RSVP’ing to an event.
  • Facebook Virality – the number of unique people who have created a story from your fan page post as a percentage of the number of unique people who’ve seen it.
  • Facebook Wall Posts – this metric counts the number of posts placed on a fan page wall and thus measures the frequency of content activity on a fan page wall.
  • Social Media Amplification Rate – a metric that considers how often people re-share messages.  When people retweet your Twitter messages and share your content on Facebook, this activity increases the amplification rate.  Amplification rate quantifies how often a message will reach beyond 1st order reach.
  • Social Media Conversation Rate – the rate at which people reply to your posts on Social Media Channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube.  This metric helps measure how engaging are an authors comments.


Emilio 40x40 Dashboard Metrics GlossaryEmilio Basaldua is business intelligence and marketing analytics professional located in the Dallas, Texas area.  His experience includes applied business intelligence used to drive financial performance, building & leading business intelligence competency centers (BICCs) and performing all aspects of end-to-end dashboard development. Emilio is the founder and developer of  Unilyzer® .

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