Data visualization consulting agency

Data visualization consulting agency is a company that helps companies automate their reporting and display data in a way that answers why, and so what. The service includes combining data from multiple sources, standardize data between different platforms and finally building widgets that tell a story and help drive the business forward without taking too much of the person who uses’ the dashboard’s time.

What is data visualization?

Data visualization is way to showcase your information. It is typically referred to as a dashboard or infographic. It uses tools known as business intelligence, data visualization tools or intelligence clouds. Visualization is the term referred to graphs or widgets that display your data points. For example, it can be a bar graph or a picture graph, it can be a funnel or a word cloud. The data visualization consulting agency finds the best graph or widget that display your data in a way that is easy to understand, visually attractive and more importantly should provide insights.

What type of data can be visualized?

Any data can be visualized, as long as there is a dimension such as time, location, category, channel, platform, sales region, etc… and a metric such as sales, cost, profit, ROI, ROAS, impressions, etc…

Data visualization per department:

Executive data visualization: executives often user data visualization for their presentation and to understand what is working what is not in big picture. They do not really care what sales person did what last quarter or what ad performed best. What they do care about are trends in sales, marketing spending and efficiency, human resource payroll changes or employee satisfaction, project management’s overall improvement or set backs, and companies efficiencies in all other areas. They look at KPIs (key performance indicators) which is nothing more than a set of widgets, goals or data points that tell them if there are any issues that need to be addressed or if the business is going better than expected and if they can improve it even more.

Executive Dashboard Tools: Since executive dashboards use data from multiple sources, they typically use Business Intelligence tools such as: Tableau, Domo, Power BI, Looker and even CRM or statistical platforms can build data visualizations such as Salesforce or SAS.

Executive KPIs: Executive key performance indicators look at metrics such as sales, profit, profit margin, marketing spend and Return on Ad Spend. Other metrics that executive look at depends on department or industry specific. For example, they may look at development schedule to see if product development is going on track or they may look at brand lift for retail consumer company. The way you slice and dice the data is always going to be dependent on the business and its goals.

Executive Dashboard Building Process: As a data visualization consultant, we start by asking what is the companies goals, what reports you are currently looking at, what information is lacking for you to make decisions or grow the business? Once requirements are gathered, next steps is to understand where data can be found, is it in your or Salesforce, does your HubSpot connect to all your third parties, and would SproutSocial provide the necessary social media data for the executive to judge if the channels are working or not. After requirements and data sources are established you can build your dashboard.  

Marketing data visualization:

Marketing department or marketing agency use data visualization to identify channels, campaigns, segments, keywords and creatives that are performing well or not so well. Product marketing dashboards look at how effective their marketing is based on different product levels. B2B marketers look at data from funnel perspective, how many leads they generated and how well do they convert to see if they can deliver high targets. Social media dashboards typically look at the growth of followers and engagement or video performance for different platforms and creatives. App marketing agencies look at metrics such as ASO, downloads and their performance.

Business Intelligence Used By Marketers: For marketing agencies most common tools are Datorama (Salesforce Intelligence Cloud), Looker (Google’s DataStudio) and DashThis / TapClicks. For marketers some agencies just use HubSpot native functionality or specific dashboards such as SproutSocial for Social media.

Most useful Marketing Metrics: Most common marketing KPIs include: Impressions, clicks, CTR, CPC, Media Cost, Conversions, Cost per Conversion, and Return on Ad Spend. Other KPIs include: video views, engagements, engagement rate, sales, followers, DRR, percentage left to budget, and other specific metrics.

Marketing Dashboard Building Process: The steps to building a marketing dashboard depends on the type of dashboard you are building such as performance, executive or pacing. Frequency is the data going to be reviewed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. After that what level of data and what slice of data is important to combine or display. For example, some would like to see the campaign across all platforms combined, while other marketers prefer to look at results channel by channel.  Finally, business requirements or special cases should be gathered before building the dashboard. For example, some agencies would like to separate their Google Ads campaigns by Top of the Funnel, Bottom or Middle, or split budget based on co-ops.

Sales: Sales dashboards typically look at the sales funnel or the efficiency of converting leads to opportunities or deals. They typically use CRM tools to report on things such as sales, opportunity stages, sales by rep, and sales efficiencies.

Sales Data Visualization Tools: Most of the time, sales uses native functionality inside their CRM platforms such as Salesforce, or Zoho. However, if combining with other data platforms, some companies also use business intelligence tools for better visualization and analysis such as Tableau, Domo or PowerBI.

Sales Metrics That Matter: The metrics for sales that make the most difference is not just sales, profit margin, but also sales efficiency. Efficiency includes monitoring time to close a deal, leads generated by sales and customer lifetime value as well as upsell opportunities.

Sales Data Visualization process: Sales dashboard creation starts with understanding sales goals, sales operations and sales initiatives. After which data visualization should be fairly straightforward.

Data Visualization Services?

Data visualization agency or business intelligence expert service providers are agencies or freelancers that help companies display your companies data in a way that is clear to even the most anti-math person in your company. The dashboards have to answer important questions, keep track of trends and more importantly explain why something is going up or down. Their job is to gather requirements, understand the business and department’s needs as well as identify any data gaps that are preventing the business from understanding the impact on their practices. Finally, once data is all standardized, gathered and cleaned, they can display the data in a way that is easy to understand and helps answer 90% of questions that come up on a day to day or monthly basis.

When do you hire a data visualization consulting agency versus doing it in house?

If companies have data engineers, analysts but managers and executives are still pulling data on a monthly basis, they ask their analysts the same questions and are missing critical data points, then its time to hire an outside analyst. Often bringing outside data consultant can help automate your reports, identify data gaps and help visualize your data in a practical and cost-effective way.

About StrategicDB

StrategicDB is the data visualization consulting agency that helps businesses automate their business dashboards. Our company has data experts that start by asking the question on what is important to your business, and what insights are missing for the business to grow or make decisions? We have built hundreds of dashboards and reports from tech start-ups to large consumer packaged goods companies, both B2B and B2C, executive and team specific, we have also cleaned data along the way, introduced third party tools to automate manual reports and ran ad-hoc analysis when an issue was identified buy lacked clarity into why.