One of the most critical tasks of any small business owner is keeping an eye on the business’ vital signs such as sales and leads numbers, marketing campaign performance, inventory levels and so on. Unfortunately, gathering and analyzing this data is a time consuming task and time is something that’s always in short supply.
Enter the business dashboard. Dashboard solutions will gather your business data automatically , merge the data from all your sources into one solid whole and then present very useful, easy-to-understand reports. What a time saver!
Time was definitely the driver behind the creation of the latest dashboard to arrive on the scene, Dasheroo .
“I was working with a team that needed a unified view of the business’ vitals,” Dasheroo co-founder John Hingley tells Small Business Trends. “We found that the required data gathering and analysis was eating into more and more of the team’s time. We had to find a better way to get the reports we needed.”
Hingley soon realized that the answer lay in a business dashboard, but he wasn’t satisfied with the solutions available.
“I discovered that there was a big learning curve for each solution,” says Hingley. “In addition, you often had to wait a full day for your data to update.” Thus Dasheroo was born.
This Dasheroo review explains more.
Providing Valuable Insights
From the start, the team at Dasheroo wanted to create an easy-to-use solution that added value above and beyond simply reporting the numbers. The value they focused on became “insights”.
Hingley explains, “Out of the box, other dashboard solutions present one or at most two data points per widget. This led to an overwhelming amount of widgets that became noise rather than insights. We offer insights right from the start.”
The first step in providing insight was to consolidate different data into one useful view. You can see an example of this in Dasheroo’s Facebook insight shown below.
As you can see, all relevant data from Facebook is shown within one preconfigured dashboard insight. This allows you to look at your data across several days to identify trends. Note the handy “Day” and “Week” values. They provide a quick view of how your results are trending.
But that’s not where the insights end. Dasheroo enables you to drill down into each data point by simply clicking on its name. For example, when clicking on “Reach”, the following screen appears showing not only the data in more detail, but also explaining what data is being looked at:
This is just the tip of the insights iceberg for Dasheroo. Future plans include curated sets of pre-created insights within and across apps. (One example might be how many leads in Salesforce.com resulted from a traffic spike on your blog?) These prefab insights will be created by Dasheroo and shared with the Dasheroo community by fellow users.
Another future plan calls for prefab dashboards based on role of the person using them (e.g. CEO, CFO, Social Media Manger). These template set-ups are supposed to both save time and help dashboard novices get up to speed more quickly on the insights that would be most useful to them.
Also coming, the company says, are alerts that are expected to take action when specific thresholds are reached. The feature, if it lives up to claims, could be real lifesaver in some situations.
Lastly, a big priority of Dasheroo’s are recommendations — a feature that is expected to take insights to a whole different level by offering real business advice when your data takes a turn for the worse.
Team Collaboration Adds to Insights
Another outstanding feature of Dasheroo is the team discussion feature. As you can see below, collaboration is enabled both within and across teams, leading to a more nimble and effective organization.
Seeing this functionality may bring security to mind, but Dasheroo has got you covered there as well. Today, you can show or hide dashboards based on organization. This could make Dasheroo a great tool for agencies or consultants that want to provide access to their different clients, but not necessarily let everyone see everything. In the future, the company says there are plans to add access control at the insight level both within and outside of a business.
The downside of Dasheroo is that it’s just so new. Existing dashboard solutions offer connectivity with a lot more online apps and solutions, making Dasheroo’s stable of eight connections feel mighty lonely.
Of course, no company can avoid the “toddler” stage, and Dasheroo seems to be growing up as quickly as it can. Their public launch is slated for Q1, 2015 by which time the team behind Dasheroo says they hope to have a much larger set of connections in place.
For a newbie company, they have a fairly active community already, a good sign for the future. Of course, it helps that Dasheroo listens and acts on the community’s suggestions, and the ability to shape the tool according to your needs is one plus to getting on the Dasheroo bandwagon early.
The Bottom Line
Growing pains aside, the real value of Dasheroo lies not in what it lacks, but in what it has built and continues to build: a curated dashboard chock full of prefab insights that will do more than just show your business’ vitals. It helps you figure out what those numbers mean and how to make the best use of what you learn.
That’s just the thing for small business owners in need of more actionable information.