In This Chapter:

  1. Defining key performance indicators
  2. Developing data reports
  3. Embracing analytics

Your DAM needs to quickly demonstrate its worth. Managers must show that any system they bring into the organization can produce a return on investment (ROI). To do this, you need to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that collect the right data to present reports that show a return. (KPIs are measures that determine how well your company is succeeding in reaching its goals.)

In this chapter, we examine how using data from KPIs can help your organization determine its ROI and prove that your DAM has ongoing value.

Demonstrating DAM value

Many DAM system vendors promise to deliver an ROI upon implementation. Typically, this is explained by using a simple ROI calculator to look at the time saved multiplied by users across the organization, multiplied by their salaries. This is a gross measure that does show savings, but not all systems are created equal. Some DAM systems demonstrate an even greater value over a longer period of time. Your use and adoption of the system can also have a huge impact on the bottom line for ROI.

This section discusses an approach that can help you capitalize on all that DAM has to offer by frequently measuring the right bits of data that your management is interested in.

Establishing KPIs

To assess the ongoing value of your DAM, you need to select what types of measures you’ll use to determine ROI. There are some different ways to demonstrate ROI:

  • Revenue generation: This is the increased sale of products and services as a result of the use of rich media assets that the DAM helped you create to generate sales. You can look at such measures as lead generation, brand awareness, lead nurturing, web engagement, and so on. This is really only possible for advanced digital asset management, where the DAM is the invisible glue between all of your digital systems.
  • Productivity savings: This is the time and money that you save by using your DAM to be more productive. KPIs that measure productivity savings include system adoption, efficient use of assets, and effective repurposing of assets.
  • Increased brand consistency and brand value: This may be difficult to measure, but it’s important nonetheless. A simple way to quantify this is to compare the number of branding inconsistencies from past projects to current projects.

Some good examples of KPIs for your DAM system might be the following:

  • The percentage of people who are using the system throughout the organization versus the non‐users: Usage should increase as time passes.
  • The number of assets that can be approved weekly before and after the implementation of the DAM: The number of approvals or turnaround time should increase as time passes.
  • The number of photos that can be reused because they’re easier to find: Previously, people may not even have known about having these resources available to them. An example is internally produced stock photography that the company owns. It can be used again and again and possibly even licensed out for external use.

Collecting data using analytics

You will want to know if your DAM has an analytics tool that you can use to measure and optimize the life cycle of your content. To this end, ask your vendor if its DAM offering includes the following:

  • Ability to quickly visualize metrics inside the DAM system: Accessing analytics without having to export it or wait a long time to view all the uploads or downloads for a specific period of time allows you to quickly see trends over time.
  • Availability of a wide variety of metrics: The analytics tool should have the ability to show analytics for things like number of logins, downloads, approvals, new workflows generated, and asset usage in integrated systems.
  • Ability to export data: For advanced reporting, you may want to export data to either combine with other data sources or to integrate with other analytics tools for new insights into your data.
  • Ability to track assets, users, and metadata: Every action inside a DAM system should be tracked. Ensure that your analytics includes all three of these types of data.
  • Integration with an outside Analytics programs (such as Google Analytics): You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Organizations prefer to use certain analytics programs. Integrating with the analytics tools that you prefer to work with that tracks page views and allows you to set goals for actions inside your system can save a lot of time and effort, and also allow you to capture data that traditional DAM analytics programs may or may not capture.

Using a return on investment calculator

If you need help quantifying hard costs for senior leadership to jump on board or are just curious to see how much a DAM solution might save your company, a return on investment calculator is a good place to start.


The calculator takes into consideration many things, including hourly rate for your employees, number of employees, number of tasks or jobs per week, the number of publications, and orders of advertising materials per week. You can use these metrics to compare time spent per week with and without a DAM solution.

Some DAM vendors have ROI calculators available that you can simply plug in your metrics and they’ll do the calculations for you. One thing to note is that although ROI calculators are handy for getting rough estimates or ball-parks of where you can see efficiency gains across activities, they are only a crude measure of returns. Using your own KPIs that apply to your unique business can help you quantify return on investment to senior leadership even further.

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