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The Days of the Dashboard Are Here

A Dashboard Means More Than the One in Your Car

What is the reason for a dashboard? I like to think of a dashboard the way many would think of a car dashboard. A car dashboard has so many data points that are projected right in your face that tell you what is going on in your car. Imagine not knowing your mileage, gas, oil life, what gear you are in, or how fast you're going. Scary, huh?

In the digital world, a dashboard provides companies with a snapshot into digital performance. Think of it as an executive summary. In the one page dashboard, the business leaders have a clear view of the high level performance of their website and digital marketing activities. The one page dashboard includes visuals that, while informative, are also very easy to understand. There are many ways to build these dashboards, ranging from the simplistic, such as a Google Analytics shared dashboard to a slightly more difficult, such as a Tableau web-based dashboard.

How do clients use dashboards?

 At AMP Agency, we created a multi-view web based dashboard showcasing a client's data for 230+ multiple language websites worldwide. The dashboard enables the client to view high level data or filter by specific brand by site visits, average time on site, spend, paid search campaign performance and much more. With this quick access to multiple sites data, the Management Team can view their data in seconds rather than hours or days.

A sample client dashboard: 

Untitled

 

 

How does the City of Boston use a dashboard?

Recently, Boston's Mayor Martin Walsh requested 'a dashboard like Mayor Bloomberg (NYC) has'? from his staff. The data on these dashboards varies from Public Safety to Human & Basic Services, such as trash collection, street light outages or even number of potholes filled. These dashboards provide a quick glimpse into tracking daily operations and progress on more major strategic purposes. Compared to taking the time and effort of manually locating this data and putting it into an executive summary report for Boston's leadership, this dashboard provides a view that's more frequently updated and easier to digest.

How can you create a dashboard?

You can easily set up a dashboard for a website that has Google Analytics (GA) as its tracking tool, whether in GA itself, or through another medium such as Tableau or Spotfire.

How do you integrate offline data?

If this is so easy to do then why are we taking the time to write a blog post about it? The reason is simple ' the Mayor's dashboards are not reflecting any website analytics or EASY to collect data but actual live human interaction data, which first has to be made digital instead of analog.

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How can you translate offline activity to an online portal? Here's an example provided by the City of Boston:

Old Way: You are building an addition on your house in 2007 and you need the proper building permits, followed by a proper inspection. After the inspection was requested, two weeks later the various inspectors arrive at the home, perform the inspection and fill out a form to hand off to the city hall.

The problem is that this form will then enter the netherworld of data as if it never were.

New Way: Same scenario, only the inspector comes with an electronic form built into his tablet to submit the pass/fail electronically to Google Sheets.

Through a Google Sheets API, this valuable data can be showcased using Tableau to display a real time dashboard.

These dashboards give the city's leaders the best understanding of how well government employees are servicing the community. The Mayor and his team use pretty simple tools to collect this data and display it with Tableau software. The change from paper-based forms to electronic data collection was the foundation for the change and puts the city's leadership's ability to view data into hyper-drive.

More information on the Boston dashboard can be viewed here:

http://www.cityofboston.gov/mayorsdashboard/

 

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This fall, AMP is kicking off its first ever DE&I challenge! We're playing bingo all month long and we invite you to join us. There’s gonna be bingo, there’s gonna be prizes, there’s gonna be education we can use to make our workplace and the world more equitable and inclusive. Get ready to celebrate diversity *and* simultaneously compete with your fellow AMPers for some awesome grand prizes. To play, screenshot the bingo card template in our Fall 2021 DE&I Challenge highlight on our Instagram page, and re-share it to your Instagram Story as you complete challenges. Tag us in pics of you completing challenges for a chance to be featured in our Highlight reel! For recommendations and resources, view our Instagram page and click the link in bio to view the resource list. LINKS: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amp_agency/ Resource list: https://linktr.ee/ampagency We encourage our industry peers to join us in taking on the challenge!

In the world of social media, trends, features, and even platforms can seemingly become a phenomenon overnight. One night, you go to bed after scrolling your Instagram feed, and the next morning you wake up to a brand new, intriguing yet unfamiliar app called TikTok. It doesn't take long for this app to surpass all others as the most downloaded app of all time with over 1 billion active users across the world.  Flash forward to the present day where Instagram - and almost every other popular social platform, for that matter - are scrambling to keep up with this new app. So, what makes TikTok so attractive, and can Instagram compete with their look-a-like competitive feature, IG Reels? Well, let’s dive in!    Why is short-form video so popular all of the sudden?  Before we talk about Reels and TikTok, let’s first address why the short-form video nature of both platforms caught on so quickly. For a long while, social media marketers have strategized their content around the fact that the attention span of our followers is short- and we mean short. According to Facebook, marketers only have 0.25 seconds to capture a user’s attention before they keep scrolling.  With that in mind, snackable video content became the name of the game for brands and content creators and opened the door to a scrappier style of content - especially for brands who had typically seen video content as an expensive, high-production-value ordeal.  The lower production value required for a high-performing Reels or TikTok video was key for brands. That, paired with the fact that these platforms became widely popular during a pandemic when creative teams were developing content out of their own homes. Additionally, it opened up a new door for brands and content creators to turn out quick-hit, entertaining content.    What’s the difference between Reels and TikTok?  Now that we’ve covered why short-form video content is so popular across both Reels and TikTok, let’s discuss the key differences between these platforms that have affected how they’ve been adopted by social users.    Reels TikTok The Takeaway The User Experience To navigate to Reels, users must first open the Instagram app, where they will be shown their regular feed from accounts they follow. Then, they will select the Reels icon from the bottom menu to start viewing Reels in a TikTok-esque feed of content that’s been curated for the user by Instagram’s algorithm.  When a user opens the TikTok app, they are immediately shown a curated feed of TikToks the platform’s algorithm has chosen - AKA the “FYP” (for you page). The full screen and vertical swipe feed create a frictionless user experience that makes it as easy as possible to enjoy the app.  TikTok’s unique user experience puts short-form video content curated just for you at the center stage, creating a seamless and simple way to enjoy content. On the other hand, Reels is only a feature of Instagram among many others.  Music & Video Editing Tools Due to copyright concerns, Instagram business accounts only have access to Reels’ library of royalty-free tracks, while content creators have access to a larger library full of popular copyrighted music. While Reels does offer video editing tools, they can be tricky to navigate and their filters and effects are not very extensive.  Music and sound are the cornerstones of a TikTok video, and the app has nailed this feature with its extensive library of music and user-generated sounds available to content creators and brands alike. On top of that, TikTok’s video editing features are user-friendly, and they offer a wide variety of filters and video effects.  TikTok is the clear winner when it comes to music and video editing tools given their extensive music and sound library and editing capabilities.  Platform Purpose   Instagram, home of Reels, is a network-oriented app, where users are used to seeing content from people they are familiar with and have chosen to follow. However, in the Reels section of the app, it takes on a content-oriented approach, serving users content from people they don’t know.  At its core, TikTok is a content-oriented app. It normalized the experience of seeing content from people you don’t know in your feed based on your usage history and learned preference.  While both platforms' short-form video features are content-oriented, Instagram is known for being a network-oriented app. Instagram has offered a similar user experience through their “Explore” page since 2012, so this balance between content and network orientation is something they’ve been teetering for a while.  The Algorithm  Instagram has been less transparent about the Reels algorithm, however, it has provided a few best practices for success. For example, Instagram recommends that Reels content is entertaining, fun, and inspiring, uses the app’s creative editing tools, and leverages the music or sounds provided. Instagram has also shared that content that is visibly recycled from other apps (e.g. contains a TikTok watermark) will also be deprioritized by the algorithm.  Beyond all of the features listed above, TikTok’s arguably largest advantage is its algorithm. The platform’s parent company, ByteDance, has been very transparent about the large investment they made to design the app’s algorithm that picks up on users' personalized interests in record time, contributing to the effortless and enjoyable nature of consuming content on the app.  Overall, TikTok’s algorithm is the first of its kind and unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the social space, which ultimately contributes to its success. We don’t know as much about Instagram’s Reels algorithm, but we can assume it attempts to mimic the TikTok experience while staying true to the app and attempting to keep Reels content unique.     How Brands Can Be Successful on Reels and TikTok To be successful on Reels and TikTok, brand content shouldn’t feel like brand content. Brands need to get scrappy and creative to grab user’s attention and not stand out like a sore thumb among the style of content shared by individual creators. With that in mind, both Reels and TikTok require a unique content strategy within the brand’s larger social strategy. However, that inevitably requires extra time and effort. To decide which of these platforms to begin focusing your efforts on, ask yourself these two questions:  Which platform is your audience on currently?  Which one can you commit to doing consistently?  While there are many benefits of TikTok as discussed above in our comparison of the two platforms, many brands have already established themselves and have grown a following on Instagram, and therefore beginning to utilize Reels has a low barrier to entry. While cross-posting between the two platforms is an option we’ve seen numerous brands take, a carefully thought out strategy for each channel your brand has a presence on is more important than simply having content out there. When it comes to a brand’s social presence, quality is always preferred over quantity.  The social world is ever-evolving - and at the end of the day, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to which platform is best - the answer is unique to your brand’s priorities and your team’s bandwidth to thoughtfully manage the channels on which your brand appears.