In today’s saturated technology market, proving the worth of your digital investment can be an undertaking. How is your system different than other systems that your organization also utilizes? Being able to prove that your system is qualitatively and quantifiably justified to senior leadership and capital committees is an expected (and sometimes unspoken) job requirement for digital asset managers and system administrators.
There are two primary ways that you can demonstrate an investment return:
Both are important. Staying on track and within budget shows responsibility and accountability, and time savings / efficiency gains demonstrate that you understand time is the most valuable commodity to an employer and an employee. Both categories of measurement will help you establish a data record for your investment that can be repeatedly compared against year over year. They are often referred to as KPIs, or “Key Performance Indicators.” KPIs give you not only baseline, historical data points to refer to for tracking overall progress, but they also help to document and visualize incremental improvements to a Digital Asset Management system implementation.
In a system where every click and action is tracked, it is important to hone your focus on key performance indicators that you will measure on a consistent basis. What are the most important data touch points to watch and what are their implications for ROI, system use and adoption, marketing capabilities, brand awareness, sales, and more? If you can tie the statistic directly to a business function, it is worthy of repeated measurement.
Understanding people, process and technology is imperative for understanding and tracking the right KPIs. For example, if you know how long a digital asset's workflow took place before a DAM system implementation, then that is a metric worth examining. Efficiency gains in workflows, specifically in time spent on completely manual tasks, is an easy target for measurement. A few ideas that might be worthy of tracking:
There are many important types of data that can be mined from DAM systems. For example, there is out of the box/built-in analytics in some DAM systems, server analytics, and web analytics. Perhaps one of the most important questions you can answer with all these data points is a simple one: Are people using the system? And are you making incremental improvements in usage over time? You can keep your KPIs super simple by tying them to a goal. For example, maybe you'd like to increase your users by 20% each year, or maybe you’d like to get your user adoption of the system to over 60% of users that are signed up for the system. One reason you might want to track number of users in the system, beyond general insights, is that each seat in a digital asset management system costs money. Are you utilizing all of your available seats? If not, then why should a capital committee continue to finance that seat allotment?
So, how do you gather all of this fantastic data? There are many ways to do so, below are some data-gathering tools to get you started.
Additional tools that may be helpful, depending on what type of system you are using
Once you have this data, you are ready to start massaging it into some type of easily digestible, bite-sized graphic for presentation purposes. We are visual creatures to the point that we “eat” with our eyes before even consuming anything. Your report should pop visually and highlight the most edible and easily digestible data. If you manage a digital asset library for a recipe site, why not include some of that imagery in your report to tell a more compelling story to the decision makers?
You should also have some visualization tools on your toolbelt. Some tools for organizing these data sets into reports/infographics include web-based platforms like:
Proving your DAM return on investment is a smart move for system administrators and digital asset managers who wish to stay in the good graces of capital committees and senior leadership. Just as DAM is never done, advocating for your system’s worth, especially in this very saturated technology market, is also never done. Establish your KPIs, gather the data, build the reports and let the data prove your DAM ROI.