Theory – Pulse Dashboard

Topic Progress:

The Problem

The problem with having all your data in one app is the temptation to look at all that data.

In reality, it probably doesn’t matter what exact amount you spent on Facebook in the last 7 days.

What matters most is your Return On Ad Spend, and maybe trends in your Return On Ad Spend over time.

The purpose of the Dashboard is not to keep you completely informed about all parts of your business, but rather to show you what parts of your business you ought to pay more attention to.

The Solution

Instead of showing the value, show just the ratio.

That way you can quickly tell the difference between good:


And bad:


You can apply this approach to almost any data set where there is a clear difference between “good and bad.”

The Even Simpler Solution

Even simpler than looking at a few numbers is calculating the difference between them and assigning it a “good” or “bad” value.

Use Conditional Formatting to highlight when things are going well:


Or when things are going poorly:


Now that you have a simple number (and color coded at that!) on your Dashboard, you don’t really need the ‘Adwords Return On Ad Spend’ line on this sheet at all.


If you see green, all is well. If you see red, things are bad.

You can also change the conditional formatting to whatever targets you have. If your target growth rate in ROAS is 10% per month, you could have anything below 1 be red, 1 to 1.1 be yellow, and over 1.1 be green.


Again, the goal is to have as little information on the Dashboard sheet as you can while still getting the data you need to know where to focus on your business.

Note that I am not subtracting 1 from these values, so 68% means just “This value is 68% of the value for the previous time period.” You may wish to subtract 1 in these formulas so you see negative numbers when trends are down and positive numbers when trends are up. It’s totally up to you and how you like to see data.