Before researching which metric platforms may work for your company, it is critical to determine the exact types of information your organization needs to collect to improve processes.
The metrics that matter
The following are some key performance metrics that every small business should be looking at:
- Sales. It is essential to track a few key performance indicators (KPI) for sales metrics, such as leads coming in, the ratio of turnover, and the sales funnel as a whole. Other metrics to consider can include return on sales or return on assets. It is important to correlate all sales data with advertising campaigns and changes in pricing.
- Finance. One of the most important financial metrics for a small business to track is the cost of customer acquisition. This includes everything it costs to acquire a new customer including all aspects of marketing and sales. As a company experiences growth and its brand image develops, this cost should go down.
- Operations. There are many ways in which a small business can follow the productivity of staff. For example, a sales productivity ratio can be calculated by actual revenue divided by the number of salespeople. You can check for continuous improvement by accumulating your own statistics, or you can compare your organization's productivity to industry norms.
- Digital footprint. It is critical for a business to also monitor its online processes. This can include metrics on web presence, click-through, content, marketing, social media, trending topics, etc. Having your thumb on a few digital metrics is the key to working smarter.
Once a small business has decided what information is actionable, it is time to select the best-fit tool for managing the data.
Putting all your data in one place
The search should begin with a simplified dashboard that has intuitive visuals and customized reporting. While there are several types of software on the market, we have identified the following four programs as some of the most user-friendly and effective dashboard tools on the web:
- Cyfe. This all-in-one dashboard allows the user to pull data from pre-built or custom widgets into a set of central dashboards. Small business owners can monitor individual departments like marketing, social media, finance, and sales (to name a few). It also allows for real-time reporting, complete customization, and data exports.
- iDashboards. Broken down by industry and department, this dashboard tool combines compelling interactivity with stunning graphics and effective reporting. iDashboards is a great platform for small business owners because it does not require a programmer, and it can be accessed from a desktop, tablet, or mobile device. Additionally, the program can consolidate data from multiple platforms, including Facebook, Salesforce, QuickBooks, and Oracle.
- Grow. Just as the name implies, this dashboard tool is especially effective for small businesses looking to expand rapidly. Data can be consolidated and accessed in a real-time scoreboard, which can be built in three easy steps. Metrics and KPIs can also be customized and tracked with ease.
- Qlik. This free and user-friendly application allows a business to adapt its dashboard with drag-and-drop ease. Personalized and interactive data visualizations can be created, along with a variety of custom reporting. With multi-data source integration, this tool can also be easily installed in Windows.
For a small business to manage its metrics, it needs a comprehensive dashboard that can consolidate all of its most useful information into interactive visualizations. Simplifying your metrics game through a customizable and user-friendly dashboard is the key to making better business decisions.