Data tools for influencer marketing: Dash by Plotly

How we use data at This Here

We like to play around with data at This Here. Our creative team rely on it to make the right decisions quickly, and this means we need visualisation tools that are adaptable enough to answer their emerging questions immediately, often drawn from high velocity, real-time data.


We’ve been using Plotly for quite a while now. It is an online data analytics and visualisation tool. There is a graphical user interface that allows you to import data and create charts in a similar way to how you would in Excel or Google Sheets. But it really comes into its own when you use one of the API libraries to create charts automatically.

How do we use it?

We use Plotly to visualise the massive amounts of data we have on our ever-growing database of influencers. We collaborate with them on projects with widely varying objectives, and need to be able to decide quickly who’d be right for raising awareness vs. someone who’d drive a heap of traffic.

Why is it so handy?

Plotly charts are hosted online, so we can easily embed them as iFrames in the static HTML dashboards that we create for each influencer. We then update the charts via API whenever we want, without messing around with the HTML in the dashboard. Since we have 1,000s of these dashboards updated constantly, it‘s truly indispensable.

Live Example
We picked one of our faves, LeniPaperboats, for the below demo.

Click on the points on the scatter chart to open the Instagram in a new window.

If you get a message about DNT, click here to see the chart hosted on Plotly.

The chart shows the engagement totals for every post of hers in our database, and the trend-lines show that the average number of engagements she’s received from her followers has more than doubled over the last 2 years (at the time of writing).

We find that up-and-coming influencers tend to provide the greatest value for our clients, so it’s great to be able to visualise this so easily.


We were already pretty happy with what we could do with Plotly, but got really excited when they announced their new Python framework, Dash.

In their words, “Dash is ideal for building data visualisation apps with highly custom user interfaces in pure Python. It’s particularly suited for anyone who works with data in Python.”

Great! We love working with data in Python.

That’s Dave on the right, working with data in Python.

After getting over the excitement, we immediately started thinking how it could help us with up to the minute (OK, maybe up to the day) campaign reporting for our clients.

Why is it so handy?

Using Dash, we can now create custom reports that display all of our influencer’s posts, along with their statistics, as and when they come in. We are also a bit nosey, so we decided to take a peek at how other brands’ campaigns are doing (for benchmarking). The example below is an animation showing the basic functionality at the centre of these reports. It contains campaigns from several brands that we decided to do a little research into.

If you want to play around with this Dash, you can find it hosted on our sister blog here

You might have noticed Engagement Ratio in the metrics drop-down menu. It’s a metric we use to measure how a particular post by an influencer performed compared to the rest of their posts.

Engagement Ratio is the ratio between the total number of engagements (likes + comments) of a post, and the average number of engagements of the 40 (chronologically) surrounding posts.

So an Engagement Ratio of greater than 1 means that the post has performed above average for that influencer. If our influencers are consistently getting good Engagement Ratios on the posts they publish for our clients, then we know that that content is resonating well with their audience, and we can carry on working with them.

Thanks plotly!

If you’ve read this far, you’ll probably want to play around with the real Dash shown in the above animation, and perhaps you’ll be interested in how we made it. We thought of that, so created a sister blog, thisherelab, where you can delve a little deeper and see some actual code (Medium doesn’t like us embedding web applications).

Dave @ This Here

We’re a data-fuelled creative agency (of the digital & social persuasion) with a 🇪🇺 European capability, a particular taste for influencer marketing, and a love for emojis 🙋 if that floats your boat.


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