Persuading others is an integral part of a marketer's job. We often think about this in terms of persuading external audiences. Yet we spend more time convincing prospects that our solutions solve their day-to-day challenges than an equally important audience. I'm talking about the internal stakeholders who hold the resources necessary to deliver our programs to market at scale.

In my experience, even the most analytical thinkers (those who love the minutiae of granular data) can be persuaded with visual cues. Fortunately it's not difficult to build amazing dashboards to help you win any argument.

To pay or not to pay

Creating marketing analytics reports and dashboards is now an essential part of a marketer's life. The function is so complex and there's so much data that it would take hours, if not days or weeks, querying Excel and SQL tables to understand what's going on in your business.

With the proliferation of data it's no surprise that by early 2018 there were nearly 7,000 marketing technology providers trying to capture your attention and budget.

Yes, that many ...

There are some big players in what's known as the Business Intelligence space, including Tableau and Microsoft Power BI. But what if you don't have the budget for these platforms, let alone my best-kept secret: Klipfolio? If that's you I highly recommend Google Data Studio (GDS).

With GDS you can quickly create and maintain reports that aggregate a lot of Google Analytics data. It will save you a huge amount of time and GDS has the flexibility to pull data from a wide range of external sources, including Google Sheets. More importantly, it provides a simple way to graph the data ratios that underpin the majority of my marketing analysis.

If you're looking for a solution, this 5 minute explainer from the GDS team could save you hundreds of hours in the months ahead.

Where to start with so many options?

How does the saying go about eating an elephant? That when doing something difficult, we should proceed one step at a time. Please ignore this hokum advice, you need to dive right in.

I use Klipfolio and Data Studio quite a lot. While Klipfolio gives me excellent top level data and trend analysis, Data Studio provides a means to dissect data to prove/disprove hypothesis and better understand our business reality.

Assuming you use Google Analytics (as a minimum) to monitor and track site engagement and the success of your campaigns, hooking up GDS is GA is incredibly easy. And their onboarding is actually quite good too.

https://datastudio.google.com/

Not only will a tool like Google Data Studio help you maintain control of your workday in the face of an avalanche of data, it will help you create visual reports to win any argument. Good luck!