With setting a standard for team performance meets client satisfaction, SLAs (Service Level Agreements) are the best first stop. For this month's dashboard of the month, we focused on highlighting this great action-forward help desk dashboard featured during November's User Showcase webinar with Daniel Gilbert, the COO at Kite Technology Group: Future-Proofing your Team with Goal Setting. The Help Desk SLA Scorecard is all about SLA's and giving the Help Desk team a tool to properly manage them. Kite Technology uses this dashboard to help the team prioritize tickets based on SLA's. Also, Kite Technologies ties this dashboard back to their executive leadership goals, allowing them to drive accountability and properly measure their success as an organization The Help Desk SLA Scorecard dashboard uses a simple and straight-forward design that is easy for the team to read and follow. They use color thresholds and a "manage to green" approach to help the team prioritize, and each section of the dashboard represents the different SLA stages. Help Desk SLA Scorecard dashboard - view here Dashboard details: In play - The ticket is pending the coinciding SLA action and needs to be acted upon today in order to hit their goals. Missed - The ticket did not hit their SLA goal and are still pending the coinciding action item. In the Goal - This provides some insight on how well they're doing overall with their SLA goals for the day. This section includes how many tickets and what percentage of tickets hit their SLA targets and what their averages are. Thank you, Daniel, for being our partner and collaborating with us! Recreate in your BrightGauge View the dashboard example here. Review how to recreate in your BrightGauge with this buildout key. Make sure to visit our library of more report and dashboard templates and please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
Running a business in the digital age requires using a wide array of technologies — hardware, software, cloud infrastructure, and cybersecurity, to name a few. And, because nothing really works in silos, it’s vital for each of these components to work seamlessly together. This is crucial to maximize efficiency and reduce the risk of errors. Thankfully, software integrations make this a reality. But what, exactly, are they? In what ways can they affect your business? And how do you know which type would work best for you? Quick Links What Are Software Integrations? 5 Reasons Why Software Integrations Are a Must Types of Software Integrations How Integrations Affect Business Operations Custom vs Out-of-the-Box Integrations The Software Integration Process How Do BrightGauge Integrations Work? What Are Software Integrations? Software integration means syncing different types of software so that your entire team can do their jobs effectively. It’s what allows you to pull all data together instead of having each piece of information isolated from each other. Imagine if your email weren’t connected to your calendar or project management system. Or if your cloud infrastructure couldn’t be enabled to be accessed by people outside of your organization — such as business partners and clients. While it seems like common sense, it’s actually a common challenge many businesses face; especially as they grow and their number of applications keep expanding: customer relationship management (CRM), content management system (CMS), inventory management software, etc. Fortunately, software companies are being proactive about solving this issue. And businesses who aren’t staying on top of this trend will undoubtedly see unfavorable consequences. 5 Reasons Why Software Integrations Are a Must Software integration should always be non-negotiable. When your tools are able to work together, your entire team — and your bottom line — reaps the benefits: 1. Improved Efficiency Think about all the job roles that overlap: sales and marketing, legal and compliance, finance and payroll. If everyone had to enter information manually and relay this data to other departments via other forms of communications, your operations would slow down significantly. Time would be wasted. Items would fall through the cracks. Fortunately, when you're integrating systems, your business data is shared across all your tools. 2. Improved Cost Effectiveness Having to find and export information can be time consuming — time that could be better used running the business, nurturing your leads, and closing sales. Time is money, and software integrations save you a lot of both. 3. Increased Productivity When all applications are communicating with each other, you remove delays caused by having to manually share information among departments. This type of information flow allows all members of your company to access files and know the status of projects within seconds. 4. Reduced Risk of Error Not having to rely on humans to input information sourced from elsewhere means a lower likelihood of mistakes, incomplete information, or duplicate work. This ensures reliability and better performance. 5. Better Customer Service Integrations improve customer service in a couple of ways: When a client calls, no matter to whom they’re speaking with, your team member will have all relevant information — regardless of whether it relates to sales, marketing, or support. Types of Software Integrations There are several types of software integrations. Which one would be the most ideal for your business depends on your circumstances — such as the size of your team, your number of applications, and the need for each department to collaborate. Specifically, you can look for any of the following: Star Integration Star integrations (also known as spaghetti integrations) refers to inter-departmental interconnection of all their applications. This method provides high functionality, but the higher the number of connected apps, the more complex it can become to manage it. Horizontal Integration Horizontal integration refers to having one main, central system that links to all other applications — yet the rest of the applications aren’t connected to each other. The central system is known as an enterprise service bus (ESB). Vertical Integration Vertical integration links applications based on how closely related they are within their job functions. This can be an efficient way to avoid confusion and unnecessary connections. However, each interconnected section works in silos; so you may still need to exchange communications manually should the need arise. Common Data Format If all your systems require different semantics to understand data, you would need an adapter to convert it every time it communicates with another application. This can be solved with common data format integration, which consolidates data from several sources and keeps it all stored in a single location. How Integrations Affect Business Operations If you’re old school, you may be tempted to think that if things have been working out fine with integrations, why change it? However, no person is an island. Your competitors are implementing them; and you don’t want to be the slowest business in the industry based on something as preventable as relying on outdated technology. Software integrations provide you with the right information exactly when you need it — so you can make data-driven decisions as fast as possible. In addition, software integrations enable you to run your business with a smaller team. By all means, hire as you scale; just not because your team feels short-staffed and overextended by the time and effort it takes to enter data manually across applications. Custom vs. Out-of-the-Box Integrations Ok. So you know you need software integrations to optimize your business operations. It also behooves you to be aware that there are two ways to purchase them: Custom Integrations Custom software integrations are specifically catered to your business needs. They are flexible, can integrate with all the other applications you use, and they can give you a competitive edge over other businesses who are still using standard software. Do keep in mind that they have a steeper learning curve and require a higher budget. That said, they are beneficial on a long-term basis, as they can be scaled and adjusted as your business grows. Out-of-the-Box Integrations Out-of-the-box software integrations are relatively easy to learn how to use, and are ideal for businesses with standard operations (CRM, marketing, sales, support). There’s minimal effort to set it up and there’s no technical experience required; so you can start using it soon after purchase. Some of them also allow for minor customization. The Software Integration Process If you’re ready to get the ball rolling on integrations, first develop a roadmap that can help you determine what you need. Follow along with these tips: Identify Your Business Needs Make a list of all the solutions you are currently seeking. Get feedback from your team — especially those right on the front lines — about which types of processes would enable them to do their jobs more efficiently. Analyze Feasibility Does what you need exist? If not, can it be designed? Can you compromise on anything? Will you need additional features in the near future? You need to take into account all of these questions to make a cost-effective decision. Otherwise you could end up making a purchase now, only to find out later that you’ll need to make another one a handful of months or years down the road. Design the Infrastructure Which apps need to be connected with which other ones? Which departments need to work together or have overlapping elements? This will help you determine whether you need a vertical, horizontal, or star integration, and optimize workflows. Leverage Testing If you opt for a customized solution, it needs to be tailored to your needs, and you should perform quality assurance. And even with a straight out-of-the-box solution, it needs to be tested once integrated with all of your required software and ensure all relevant data transfers are performed successfully. Provide Maintenance Once installed, remember to perform routine maintenance checks to detect and patch any bugs and/or install necessary upgrades. It is also during this stage that you can decide whether it’s time to install additional features as your business needs evolve. How Do BrightGauge Integrations Work? At BrightGauge, one of our northern stars is to provide excellent customer service. We understand that’s the backbone of any company — ours and yours. It’s because of this reason that all our products (dashboards, goal management, and client reporting) integrate with many of the tools you're already using. We also regularly listen to our customers’ wants and needs — providing solutions that address your specific challenges means giving you back hours of your time. Our integrations process goes through several steps: Look into the existing support for software to integrate. Determine which key performance indicators the software will allow our tools to track. See if the tools are hosted or cloud-based. Understand complexity of connecting into their API. Determine if their database supports third-party queries. We also take a good look into whether the trackable KPIs are relevant to your needs. This is because we always strive to provide you with useful data that can help you make better informed decisions. Choosing the Right Integration Tools Integrating software doesn’t have to be as time consuming as it sounds. With the right tools, like BrightGauge, you can have your business operations running as smoothly as possible. If you are looking to customize some of your own integrations, speaking with a product engineer is a great place to start. Some of our partners have reported that our tools have saved them 8 - 10 hours per week, which is time they can now spend focusing on revenue-generating tasks — or on doing some fun stuff with their loved ones after a long day at work. For an in-depth look at the BrightGauge integrations and other features, please contact us so we can set you up with a live demo.
Modern life runs on data. Even if you don’t track anything in your personal life, search engines and social media do it for you. You understand it’s by design, to show you content you would be interested in, or to try to persuade you that yes, you indeed need yet another pair of running shoes. And when it comes to your professional life, you’re aware that collecting business intelligence is the only sound way of tracking progress and making decisions. The reasons can be endless — getting an overview of website visitors, conversion rates, or customer support tickets, to name a few. But what’s the most efficient way of doing so? With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to look into what would be the ideal solution for your needs. Enter data warehousing and snapshots. Up until this point, you may not have been aware of how much you need them. But need them, you do. Quick Links What is Data Warehousing? How a Data Warehouse Works 5 Benefits of BrightGauge Snapshots, a Data Warehousing Solution How To Set Up Snapshot Gauges BrightGauge Provides Effective Data Warehousing With Snapshots What is Data Warehousing? Data warehousing refers to the electronic storage of business information. It facilitates data management by allowing users to organize, categorize, and analyze large amounts of data. They are different from traditional databases because data warehouses are specifically designed to perform analytics from large quantities of information. Data warehouses can extract information from a wide array of sources, including: Relational databases Data software Business applications Processing systems Marketing and sales departments Finance And many more They are beneficial because they collect information consistently, make it easily accessible, allow collaboration, and enable data-driven decision making. And just like servers, infrastructure is available to keep on-site or cloud-based. Another benefit is that you can compare up-to-date data with historical information so that you can have reference points, track progress, and identify trends. How a Data Warehouse Works Data warehouses source information at regular intervals — or cadence. You can then create dashboards so that you can identify insights from the collected information. This process involves three layers of data: The first layer contains the extracted information. The second layer transforms/formats the information. The third layer organizes it and displays it on dashboards. This process is known as ETL (for extract, transform, and load); and it’s an invaluable tool to analyze business intelligence, since not only does it integrate information from multiple sources, it also provides an in-depth historical context. 5 Benefits of BrightGauge Snapshots, a Data Warehousing Solution At BrightGauge, we offer data warehousing, as well as an upgraded version for our customers on our enterprise plan, Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). This upgraded version includes a Snapshots feature, which captures even more in-depth, complex data and performs calculations. There are several clear advantages to using our Snapshots solution: 1. Use Automatic Compilation of Metrics Data can come from so many different sources, in so many different formats. And while there are many tools that help businesses compile data, our Snapshots feature does so automatically and displays it all in one custom-made chart. 2. Track End-of-Day Tickets Customer service is the backbone of any business — and it’s something every company should consistently work on improving. Since Snapshots collect data automatically, you’ll be able to easily identify whether your support services are efficient or whether you have an expanding backlog of tickets. 3. Keep Track of Pipeline Health By the same token, Snapshots can provide you a detailed view of your sales pipeline, as well as whether you’re on track to meeting your sales goals. And it’s not just a matter of how many sales qualified leads are present at any given moment. You also want to be able to track performance at each stage of the buyer’s journey, as well as the costs associated with getting people to the bottom of that funnel. 4. See Your Sales Cycle Timeline How long does it take you to close a sale? How much time do you have to spend nurturing leads before they become so enamored with your services, they choose you over your competitors? It can take months for B2B marketing to work its magic — maybe a slightly shorter timeframe for SaaS businesses. But you want to keep track of the entire process to see whether you can identify any areas for improvement. 5. Remote Monitoring and Management Tracking If you're managing your company's network through an RMM tool — such as ConnectWise Automate — Snapshots can gather information regarding space usage, server patch status, operating systems, or anything regarding your infrastructure, so that you can identify trending endpoints. How To Set Up Snapshot Gauges The Snapshots feature is only available on the Enterprise Plan; and you can turn any gauge in your account into a snapshot. Find a metric that you want to track. Select the timeframe you want to take the snapshots — daily, weekly, or monthly. You can do this by clicking on Design on the top left navigation bar, then scrolling down to the Schedule green button on the left side of the screen. If you choose weekly or monthly, you can choose on the dropdown menus which day of the week or month you want to take the snapshots. Select the number of data points you want to include on the graph from the drop down menu that’s located under the scheduled dates and times. Remove the dimensions on the gauges by clicking on Dimensions on the navigation bar at the top of the screen. Select the gauge you’re tracking from the icons at the top of the page. Select the camera icon at the top of the page. The most recent data will always appear on the top right corner of the snapshot. As you continue selecting the camera icon for the different gauges you want to track, you’ll see each section appearing in the middle of the snapshot’s graph. If you need visual instructions for how to do this step-by-step, you can watch the video tutorial on our website. BrightGauge Provides Effective Data Warehousing with Snapshots If you are toggling between many tools, pulling data from each of them, inputting it into an Excel spreadsheet, and then spending hours analyzing it to draw conclusions, you could be eating into many valuable hours of your time. BrightGauge gives you back that time. Some of our partners have said that our tools have saved them eight to 10 hours per week, which is time they can now spend focusing on revenue-generating tasks. For an in-depth look at the BrightGauge Snapshots and other features, please contact us so we can set you up with a live demo.