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The BrightGauge Blog

New Integration: Sophos

Announcing the latest integration to launch at BrightGauge: Sophos. Sophos is a fully-synchronized, cloud-enabled cybersecurity solution that is now available to pair with BrightGauge.    With Sophos ...
Announcing the latest integration to launch at BrightGauge: Sophos. Sophos is a fully-synchronized, cloud-enabled cybersecurity solution that is now available to pair with BrightGauge.    With Sophos and BrightGauge, partners can expose metrics pertaining to endpoint health/threat status, identify problematic tenants, and categorize or review alerts.   By combining Sophos with BrightGauge, you can strengthen the power of your cybersecurity prevention measures by staying proactive and constantly on top of your data.    How to Connect to Sophos    It’s quite simple to start working with any of our datasources.    To connect to Sophos, click on the green ‘Add a new Datasource’ button, found on your BrightGauge overview page. Find Sophos under the ‘All’ or ‘Security’ categories, click on it, and follow all the prompts. Within a few minutes, you should be good to go.    If you need further instructions, check out our Sophos support doc.    Not yet a BrightGauge customer? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to schedule a live one-on-one demo.    What do I get out of the box?   We know how important it is that you get access to your data as soon as possible. After all, your business depends on it.    Because of that, we took the time to build out default gauges (KPIs), pre-built dashboards, and report templates, available to you the day you open a BrightGauge account.   With Sophos, you get 26 KPIs, 2 dashboards, and 1 report.   Gauges (KPIs)   The defaults that come with the Sophos integration relate to alerts, endpoints, and tenants.    Alerts are notifications generated in Sophos that require administrative action and come in categories such as ‘general’, ‘updating’, and ‘connectivity’. They are classified by severity.    Endpoints are defined as a server, computer, or other device protected and managed by Sophos.    A tenant is a collection of resources such as devices, events, policies, and people.    With these BrightGauge KPIs, track the status of your endpoints, the severity of your threats and alerts, and your total number of tenants.    Dashboards   Two default Sophos dashboards give you a bird’s-eye view of where you stand at any given time. Access these right off the bat so you don’t miss a beat when it comes to your important data.  Reports   Custom reports are powerful because they show a real sense of transparency between you and your team or you and your clients, which helps build important long-term relationships.    With BrightGauge, build your own reports, or get started with a report template. The Sophos report template shows Endpoint and Alert data for a given period of time.    Anytime you’ve got a question about Sophos + BrightGauge, please submit a support request or contact us and we’ll be ready to help!  
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8 Tips for Effective Dashboard Reporting

Once you’ve got your managed service provider (MSP) business up and running, you’ll probably start strategizing ways to grow that business. Something every business owner or manager wishes for is more time to do so. Imagine what could be accomplished with more hours in a day!    While we’ve all got to work with the 24 hours we have, there are ways to free up time to focus on revenue generating tasks. By automating parts of your business that already run like a well-oiled machine, you can buy some of your own time back and move forward with growth opportunities. This can help your business develop a valuable competitive advantage.   One smart and powerful way to practice business automation is to use dashboard reporting. Dashboard reporting can make the process of monitoring metrics and tracking data easier than ever before so you can stop manually crunching numbers and start focusing on your big-picture business strategy. What is the Purpose of Dashboard Reporting? Dashboard reporting allows you to track and take action on metrics and data that are imperative to your company’s bottom line.    We’ve heard from MSPs who spend too much time each week compiling their data into meaningful reports —sometimes, upwards of 8-10 hours per week. That’s one entire workday of logging into multiple accounts, toggling between windows, pulling data into an Excel spreadsheet, and analyzing that data to find any compelling trends or indicators that drive your decisions. Sound familiar? We thought it might. The good news? There’s a different way to do things.   With dashboard reporting, the process of gathering data is automated, making it an easy and efficient way to buy back a big chunk of time.    Perhaps an even stronger argument for dashboard reporting is the effect it can have on internal and external relationships.    Long-term, trustworthy relationships that result in employee loyalty and repeat business stem from being honest, unbiased, and transparent. Transparency means being open about the reality of your situation, whether it’s good or bad. When you act as an open book and report on actual data, you become a credible and reliable source of information, which everyone can appreciate.    A dashboard report is also a professional and easily digestible way to show a clear snapshot of your business. How?    Let’s say you’re responsible for your client’s 25 endpoints. Every week, you may share with your client a dashboard report that shows the patch status of each endpoint, which machines are set to expire soon, and how many threats you mitigated in the previous week. This is an excellent way to prove your value as a partner, while keeping your client looped in on their investments.    Other dashboard reporting examples are a sales dashboard showing your team’s active and won opportunities, a support dashboard reporting on ticket statistics, a customer satisfaction dashboard telling your clients how others are rating you, a finance dashboard providing a quick look at the health and profitability of your company, and so on.    Regardless of the metrics chosen for a dashboard report, its purpose will always lie in allowing you to refocus your priorities while strengthening the basis of your client and team relationships. This means dashboard reporting can add value to any business—no matter your location, size, or industry.  What Makes a Good KPI Dashboard? Understanding why to use dashboard reporting is only the first step. Next is determining what the right key performance indicators (KPI) are to make your dashboard a strong one. This will vary by department and by the overall goals of your company, but there are some consistencies across the board.    For effective dashboard reporting, think quality over quantity. With a dashboard, you have one screen to paint your picture. Anyone looking at that screen should be able to quickly and easily digest the information. Overloading your dashboard would muddy the message you’re trying to convey and lead to confusion and a lack of clarity.    You really want to prioritize the right KPIs for your dashboard report. Choose the ones that tell your data story in the most compelling way. What are the KPIs that are most meaningful to your bottom line? What would the person receiving the report care about seeing?    It’s easy to get attached to data and feel like it’s all important, especially when you’re trying to prove your value to your clients, but this really is a case when less is more!   KPIs should align with overall company goals and serve as a north star. Not only does this help guide a company towards success, but it gets everyone in the organization on the same page. Different teams have their own goals to work towards, but everyone’s ultimate mission is to see the organization succeed, and KPIs are a clear way to unify everybody.    In general, all businesses are looking to evaluate performance in the areas of finance, customers, sales, marketing, operations, and within their own internal teams. Knowing this, your dashboard reports will likely have a healthy mix of KPIs from those business segments.    Here are some KPI examples to include in dashboards:   Finance Debt-to-Asset Ratio Return on Investment (ROI) Net Profit Margin   Customers Customer Satisfaction Net Promoter Score   Sales Monthly Recurring Revenue Age of Opportunity Quote to Close   Marketing Cost Per Lead Market Growth Rate Conversion Rate   Operations Effective Hourly Rate Service Level Agreements (SLAs) Time to Resolution   Internal Teams Revenue Per Employee Employee Churn Rate Employee Satisfaction 8 Effective Dashboard Management Tips Regardless of the type of dashboard reports you’re producing, here are 8 tips you can follow to ensure you’re staying organized, productive, and efficient:   Make sure your data is relevant. Think about who is receiving your dashboard report or viewing your dashboard. Display only those metrics that would make the most sense for that recipient. Additionally, if you categorize your dashboards by team or topic, don’t include any metrics that may seem out of place.  Use strategic metrics. This goes back to what we discussed earlier. Be strategic in what you choose (quality over quantity) and make sure the metrics you’re tracking align with your strategy for success. Use compelling data that influences business decisions in a positive way so that you’re set up to succeed.  Choose metrics that are measurable. Ever heard of SMART goals? That is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. By creating SMART goals, you can effectively measure your performance against benchmarks you’ve set so that you objectively know whether you’re on or off track. After all, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.  Keep your dashboards clean. Do yourself a favor and stay organized. Just like cluttered workspaces can be detrimental to your productivity, so can a cluttered dashboard. If looking at your dashboards causes you any sort of anxiety, your recipients are probably feeling the same. Choose the least amount of metrics needed to completely tell your story and you should be in a good place.   Track data that you can take action on. Data is awesome and powerful, but it can only take you so far. What you choose to do with that data is what really matters. Focus on data that can influence your processes, hiring decisions, SLAs, annual goals, and so on. If you have a piece of data as an FYI, but can’t really act upon it, ask yourself if it’s worth tracking.  Take the ‘at-a-glance’ test. Once you’ve got your dashboard reporting template in place, take a quick glance and see what you’re able to glean from it in those couple minutes. Are you visually representing your data in a way that’s easy to digest? Are you using colors, bar graphs, and pie charts that get the message across pretty quickly and clearly? Avoid clumps of texts and numbers and use graphics when possible. Group your metrics into a nice grid. People like symmetry and organization and tend to gravitate towards clean lines that bring a sense of calm. Organize your dashboards as such. Different dashboard reporting tools allow you to modify and resize your buckets to your liking so that your dashboard is designed to your taste. Group relevant metrics together (like tickets closed beside tickets opened) so that your dashboard report is easy to read.  Use dashboard filters. BrightGauge is a dashboard reporting tool that allows you to add dashboard filters to your reports. This can save you a ton of time. For example, let’s say you’re a service desk manager who wants to send a report to each of your individual technicians, specific to their projects. You can create one dashboard reporting template and then create a dashboard filter that only returns data specific to that individual (so, Rick’s dashboard, Alex’s dashboard, Sam’s dashboard, etc.). In BrightGauge, you’d simply toggle on the dashboard filter for the individual you’re looking for and that’s it.  Experience Effective Dashboard Reporting with BrightGauge There are different dashboard reporting tools out there that can help you create meaningful reports. Whichever you use, remember to employ these dashboard reporting best practices so you can make the most out of the data you’re tracking.    Especially in these unprecedented times, when the entire globe is fighting COVID-19 and adapting to remote work, dashboard reports can help managers stay on top of teams and can make client-partner relationships even more united.    To learn more about how BrightGauge can help you make faster, stronger, more informed decisions based on data, schedule a live one-on-one demo with us today. 

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Christopher Menendez Joins BrightGauge as Customer Support Specialist

We’re excited to welcome Christopher Menendez to the team as a Customer Support Specialist! Join us in learning more about the newest member of our growing BrightGauge family…   In the beginning   Christopher calls Miami his birthplace, but in reality he is a citizen of the world, thanks to his father who served in the military. Christopher feels lucky to have experienced a variety of cultures and lifestyles by living in Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Colorado, Washington, and even Spain.    While he initially started college in Washington, he ended up coming back to his roots and graduating from Florida International University with a BA in Psychology. Like many fellow BrightGaugers, Christopher also attended Wyncode, where he completed a Web Development bootcamp.    Before joining our BrightGauge fam, Christopher was a belay instructor at Magic City Rock Gym. In rock climbing, belaying is the technique of holding the climbing rope for a climber so that they are safe if they fall off the rock. As he explains it, the short of it is that he taught teamwork and rope management so people don’t drop their friends.    As a belay instructor, Christopher also administered practical exams and helped people become better climbers.    With his first-rate experience in teamwork, Christopher pursued the opportunity to join our own team.    Joining BrightGauge   Fun fact: Christopher is not the only Menendez at BrightGauge. Many of you know his cousin, Stephen, who is our Sales Team Lead.    Following his cousin’s footsteps, Christopher is really happy to be part of a supportive and welcoming team.    He was attracted to the fact that BrightGauge is Miami-grown and has an excellent company culture. In terms of fulfilling career goals, Christopher says he’s most excited about being able to grow his technical skills in such a pro-individual environment.    Out of office     Outside of work, you can most likely find Christopher doing one of three things: rock climbing, enjoying food, or playing Dungeons & Dragons and other video games.    He found a passion for rock climbing when he was a kid and picked it back up a few years ago. What keeps him so enamored with the sport? The absolute attention it requires to lead a route and set up the safety of your team, and the way it keeps your head cleared of clutter.    We’re happy to have you here, Christopher! 

Types of Key Performance Indicators for Strong Company Cultures

Ask any prospective employee what they’re looking for in a workplace and chances are that “a great company culture” will be at the top of their list.    According to research conducted by Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.    From employee recognition to investment in training and career advancement opportunities, and even flexible time policies, company culture can be defined in a myriad of ways.    Once you figure out what a strong company culture looks like for your organization, you need a plan for sustaining it.    This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) come in.    Different Types of Key Performance Indicators   Business leaders know that using and tracking KPIs is a powerful way to align team members with company goals, motivate them to be productive, and see what progress is or isn’t being made towards those goals.    KPIs should act as a north star, guiding decision-makers in the right direction.    Depending on the outcomes you want to achieve for your business, there are several different types of KPIs to consider.    Common types of key performance indicators are quantitative indicators and qualitative indicators (those that can be presented as a number versus those that can’t). Furthermore, lagging indicators tend to be output-oriented while leading indicators are more about input (or, outcome-based versus process-based).    All departments in a business can be assigned their own KPIs, which can drive the entire organization in the same direction. Like a puzzle, each department is one piece that contributes to the whole, completed set.    Just like there are different types of key performance indicators for employees, you may also set KPIs for your clients. This will help you ensure that you’re bringing on the right clients and providing them the right solutions for their needs.    Here are examples of key performance indicators for employees:   Finance Team KPIs: Cash in Bank EBITDA Gross Profit Margin   Sales Team KPIs: Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) Current Sales Pipeline Sales Activity   Service Team KPIs: Kill Rate Tickets per Endpoint Service Level Agreement (SLA) Missed   When it comes to your clients, you may look at KPIs like Activity Level/Health Score or Customer Lifetime Value versus Customer Acquisition Cost.    But, how do you gauge company culture? Here’s a look at some more key performance indicators for employees.    KPIs for Gauging Company Culture   A good way to understand whether or not your company culture is strong and influential enough to keep your employee turnover rate low is to measure an employee’s happiness and productivity level.    This can be assessed by looking at certain KPIs related to your employee performance:   Employee Satisfaction: You can gather this data through regular surveys and evaluations and it will help you see how happy your employees are and allow you to identify any potential problems. Employee Engagement: Again, this can be gathered through regular surveys and evaluations and will tell you how much effort your employees are willing to put towards their job and responsibilities.  Employee Churn: This is a really telling KPI and a must-track for all managers. A high churn rate might indicate that your company’s culture needs improvement or that you need to make better hiring decisions. You can calculate churn by dividing the employees who left during a certain period by your average number of employees.  Utilization Rate: Monitoring how your employees are utilizing their time can help paint a picture of their satisfaction with their job. The more productive they are (i.e., the more efficiently they are utilizing their time), the more likely they are to be happy. This rate is calculated by dividing the hours an employee spent on client work by their total hours worked.  Revenue per Employee: Like Utilization Rate, Revenue per Employee can tell you about the effort an employee is willing to put into their role and how efficiently you are using your resources. Calculate this by taking your total revenue and dividing it by total employees.    There may be more metrics that are specific and important to your organization, so keep in mind that your KPIs may look different from your peers.    Also take into consideration that life - personally, professionally - is fluid, so you should be, too. As things change, you may need to shift your KPIs to make sense of your new situation. Or, KPIs may look different from quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year.  For a deeper understanding of KPIs and how to use them in your business, download this resource now: How KPIs Can Improve Your Business. 

A New Approach to Service Level Agreements

How do you go about managing expectations for new and existing clients? Have you changed your processes as your company has evolved? How often do you review and revise service level agreements (SLAs), proposals, and contracts with your clients?    These are the types of questions managed service providers (MSPs) of today need to be asking themselves to ensure that they’re providing clients with an expected level of service.    Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you think your clients have unrealistic expectations? How did that mismatch come to be?    In this post, we will cover how to approach your proposals and SLAs and why it’s more important than ever.    Having the right conversations with clients   When expectations aren’t managed, it’s usually because there’s a difference between what clients think they’re paying for versus what they are actually buying from you.    Transparency is key here. Clients need to know exactly what they are getting out of your arrangement. On the other hand, as an MSP, you aren’t responsible for fixing every single problem your client comes across, and they need to understand that as well.    Now is the time to have open, honest, and sometimes tough conversations with clients. Gone are the days where an MSP sold a technology solution to a client and called it a day. Today, there’s more to it. Security and data are a major part of the picture.    Clients don’t just need a tech service. They need an MSP to help them solve a business issue. These issues are typically resolved by focusing on data and understanding how to use data to affect certain outcomes.    The problem is, clients expect data services to be automatically baked into contracts and SLAs but they aren’t taking the time to truly understand what their specific data needs are.    So, today’s conversations and value propositions need to be centered around data. All roads should lead back to data.    Help prospects and clients by leading discovery conversations about what data they need, how they need to use their data, and what data can do for their business.    From there, as an expert service provider, you can advise your clients on what and how much they need from your end.    As a trusted MSP who wants to continue being a trustworthy partner, we can’t stress enough how abundantly clear you need to make your SLA, proposal, or contract.  This is the time to spell things out for them. If you’re presenting your client with various packages at different price points, make sure they are clear on the specifics of each package. Lead with outcomes versus a list of good and services. And make sure to answer all their questions up  front.    The triangle of data   Both you and your client need to play your part in making sure each point in the triangle of data is getting attention. Data needs to be: Secure - be clear on what security means from your end. As an MSP, you are providing technology and services to help a client keep their data secure. However, there are measures your client needs to take on their end to keep themselves protected.  Accessible - how and when can data be accessed on personal devices; do employees work from home and need to secure their home computers? Recoverable - can a client access data after someone leaves their company?    All three points on the triangle are connected and work in tandem. One cannot be changed without changing the other two. Work through various scenarios where changes would need to happen and what that would look like so that clients know what they can expect from you.    In your SLAs, highlight how the technology and services you provide solve the needs of each point on that triangle.    For more on how to sell services centered around data and how to work security into the conversation, watch the ConnectWise webinar ‘The New Way to Look at Managed Services’. See a sneak peek below:    

70+ Metrics for MSPs

Key metrics and accompanying formulas to help MSPs skyrocket growth and success!

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Best Practices for New Users Taking Over a BrightGauge Account

While it’s always hard to see someone leave a team or move on, it can be a harsh reality once you jump into what they’ve left behind. Often, you’re left with tasks left undone or a lack of documentation to follow. When planned right, platform and process handoffs should come with a clear overview and instructions for each use case across teams and individuals.  Keeping tidy documentation can be tough, especially when you’re a small shop running single team members in multiple roles. We’ve put together this checklist to help any new or existing BrightGauge partners get up to speed on where to begin with organizing and working within an existing BrightGauge buildout.  Taking over an existing BrightGauge account If you are new to BrightGauge or have just been assigned as the primary account user on an existing account, follow these tips and steps to get started.    Overview video - This quick video gives a great high-level overview of what BrightGauge offers. Watch the video - only 4 minutes! Share with any team members you may want to onboard as well. Attend an in-depth training webinar - Sign up for one of our weekly training webinars OR watch a recorded version here. These weekly sessions offer you the opportunity to attend a one hour deep-dive into all areas of BrightGauge. You’ll learn about datasources available, data syncing, dashboards, automated reports, goals, and more! Create an inventory of what’s already in your BrightGauge - Get organized by creating a log of all users, including viewers, and take note of the dashboards, scheduled reports, and gauges you have built and are actively using. You may reference what comes standard with each datasource through looking it up in our Knowledge Base, and scrolling to the end of the corresponding article.  We recommend creating a spreadsheet or using your internal documentation tool to get organized. Be sure to note which team or process would reference that item, frequency of use, definition, and how often it should be updated or referenced. For a great example of organizational bliss, check out this user showcase webinar with Justin Bryant of CSpire on Starting a Service Library: watch the video here. Pro tip: If the account is just too much of a mess, with many of the default dashboards and reports modified from their original version, reach out to We'll be happy to push out a new set of defaults to your account. Delete what’s not in use - Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of hoarding something seemingly valuable to us. If it was created more than 6 months ago and you’re not using it, get rid of it!  Pro tip: On the left-hand side of your gauges overview page, click ‘Unused Gauges’ to get a sense of what you can delete. Read more cleanup tips here.  Meet with stakeholders to align on objectives, discuss use cases, and come up with actions you'd like to see as a result of your BrightGauge use.  We're here to help! Setup a one-on-one training with a BrightGauge Success team rep. Book your new admin training here. After you’ve organized and cleaned your account and have a general idea of how you’d like to use BrightGauge, it’s time to get formal about your objectives. Map out what is actionable and where you would like to make organizational change and improvements. Turn to “IDEAS”, then keep it “SMART”. IDEAS is a framework for setting key performance indicators (KPIs).  Identify the problem What is the problem that you want to solve? Or what do you want to prevent from happening? By starting here, you can tie metrics directly to your desired outcomes. Determine what solves the problem Now that you’ve identified your issues, what are the indicators that might mean progress towards a solution? For example, if you’re looking to improve Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores, maybe Average Time to Response is a metric that’ll help you make progress. Establish your KPIs  Knowing your issues and what can help you solve them is how you’ll determine the KPIs that are right for your business. At this point, consider where you’ll find the data you need (i.e. what tools can help you track your data?).  Analyze the results  Now that your data is in, it’s time for a gap analysis. How do your actual results compare against benchmarks you’ve set? Where can you fill in the gaps? Perhaps you need a change in processes or to invest in additional training for your team members.  Start from the beginning The process of setting and tracking KPIs is ongoing. On a regular basis, you should assess your results, see what you can learn, and then start the process over.   With this framework in mind, you can begin to determine the KPIs that are going to drive each department, and your organization as a whole, towards success. To reach those KPIs, it’s important to set SMART goals. Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based) so that it’s easier to track the progress of meeting that goal. If you’re in sales, it’s not enough to say, “next quarter, I want to close more accounts”. Instead, a SMART goal will be something like, “by the end of next quarter, I want to bring in 10 new accounts that will result in a higher commission for myself and will contribute to the overall revenue goals of our company; I’ll do this by increasing the amount of calls I make from 100 to 150”.    When you’re ready to start building By now, you’re probably ready to start building. By all means, go for it! But do keep in mind these last few tips so you can keep your account clean and tidy. Map out the key metrics you’d like to measure by team and individual, and how to make them actionable. Check out this great user webinar that goes into setting expectations with baseline metrics and naming conventions. Plan for your data. List out what you’d like to see on one or multiple dashboards, reports, and goal lists. Think short term and long term, and proactive versus reactive KPIs. Use what’s already built. All integrations in BrightGauge come with pre-built dashboards and gauges and report templates. Check out what’s automatically available to you before trying to build something that may already be there. Pro tip: If the data doesn’t look quite right, you may just need to apply a filter. Always apply a filter at the dashboard or report level before cloning a gauge. This will help keep your account accurate, clean, and organized. All dashboard and report filters override what you have set at the gauge level; keep this in mind as you work with date ranges. Check data accuracy. Make sure you’re using the right dataset. If you’re looking at ticket stats for the last 30 days, check to see that you’re not working with one of our lighter datasets. When in the gauge builder, reference the right-hand column for a review of the time range you’re working within, sync frequency, and description. Click on the name of the dataset there to see the raw data coming in. Always be iterating. Consistently review where you are. It’s never too early, or too late, to evaluate and change course accordingly. This is especially the case with goal setting. If 3 weeks in you find that you’re far exceeding or falling short, adjust and keep a realistic view of where your team and you are at. Show off your work. You’re spending valuable time, effort, and money into building these gauges, dashboards, and reports, so put them to use! Incorporate your data into meetings, presentations, discussions with stakeholders, client visits, and more.   For more help, check out these go-to videos, webinars, and articles: How-to Videos Dashboard examples and keys User Showcase Webinars Support queue - we trade tickets for how-to videos Weekly general training webinars In-person workshops Knowledge base documentation This post was written by Danielle, Partner Success Team Lead to BrightGauge. The Partner Success Team is focused on getting you the training and resources you need to help grow your business through team alignment and showing your value to clients. Still not sure of where to begin? Email success @

How BrightGauge Can Help Remote Teams Work Efficiently

The global workforce as we know it is undergoing a major shift. More employees than ever before are working remotely or looking for that option from their employer.    In fact, a survey conducted by Global Workplace Analytics found that over the last 10 years, remote work has grown more than 90%, a figure that will undoubtedly continue to increase.    There’s no denying that telecommuting is here to stay - it’s better for the environment, it is said to have a positive impact on productivity, and it makes people happy given the work-life balance we’re always chasing.    For any number of reasons, including COVID-19, you may currently be shifting to a remote work state, but may be wondering how it will affect company goals or the ability to manage individual team members.    BrightGauge is a tool that can help your remote teams be successful and remain on the same page.   Managing data is critical for remote teams   The best way to align team members, whether they are remote or in a traditional workspace, is to keep your eye on data. How do numbers paint a picture of what’s going on in your organization?    You can’t manipulate or hide numbers. Data is rooted in truth, so it’s a powerful way to build transparency and trust in business relationships. Data shows exactly what is going on with anything from ticket statistics, sales opportunities, customer satisfaction, revenue, and more and takes the guesswork out of whether or not you’re on track to hit goals.    And the best way to manage data is to choose the metrics and KPIs that matter most to your bottom line and then automate how you’re consuming that information.    With BrightGauge dashboards and reports, you’ll pull in data from tools you’re already using (like ConnectWise, Autotask, QuickBooks, Customer Thermometer, and more) and view it all on a single pane of glass, keeping things organized and more visible to all team members. BrightGauge data updates in real-time, so there’s no need to worry about being misinformed or out of the loop.    Let’s put this in a real-world example.    Suppose you’re managing a remote service desk. This is a critical team, as customers interact with your support department probably more than anybody else in your company. On one BrightGauge dashboard, you might view: How many tickets were opened versus closed today Average response time for tickets  Support team leaderboard This shows a ranking of your team members based on parameters you set - perhaps most tickets closed today  Customer satisfaction scores  Stale tickets  Tickets opened versus Negative reactions    As this data constantly updates throughout the day, you’ll never find yourself wondering what your different technicians are up to. Take it one step further by setting thresholds for certain KPIs - for example, be alerted anytime average response time goes above 30 minutes - so that you can take course corrective action immediately.    BrightGauge partner Josh Weiss of LA Creative Technologies has been managing a remote support team for quite some time now and finds that BrightGauge helps his service desk run seamlessly. Though his support team is based in Mumbai, a BrightGauge ticket processing dashboard allows his techs to triage and resolve tickets placed by clients all the way in Los Angeles, with no disruption in response time.    Eric Hoffmeister of Innovative Computing Systems already works with a mostly remote engineering team. Given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the helpdesk is now 100% remote and managers are learning how to cover work as normal. Through BrightGauge dashboards, admin time per tech is being tracked on an automated, real-time basis. A daily dashboard lets Eric keep a pulse on the team by showing who’s on vacation, whether or not projects are on track, what each engineer’s workload is, and so on, which means time is being utilized properly and efficiently.  General tips for remote teams    - Use tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to keep the lines of communication open  - Managers and employees should have regular check-ins to talk about progress, roadblocks, and strategy - Follow a structured workday that keeps you in a productive groove  - Manage expectations - over communicate what is expected from one another - Stick to deadlines  - Be honest with yourself and your team about what can get done    To learn more about how BrightGauge can improve visibility for your remote teams, schedule a live one-on-one demo with us today.   

Dashboard of the Month - Client Success Overview

We say this over and over - when it comes to building long-term client relationships, transparency is key. You need to show your client the value that you’re bringing to their business so that they understand what their investment is worth and are never left to question why they are paying you.    A great way to do this is by sending consistent reports to key stakeholders. Another option made possible by BrightGauge is to share a real-time dashboard with your client.    That’s exactly what Peter Kardel, co-founder of Clever Ducks, puts into practice.    Clever Ducks is an MSP out of San Luis Obispo, California, focused on serving clients who see tech as a strategic weapon, or something central to their success. Their clients want to cut costs with IT, not on IT.    As part of their client retention strategy, Peter and team share a Client Success Overview dashboard that allows them to manage relationships in a proactive way.    For example, when it comes to a planning and QBR process, a lifecycle of client’s hardware and software all up and down the stack is established. That way, Clever Ducks can proactively replace gear once it reaches the end of its lifecycle rather than waiting for that equipment to fail.    “Something like this makes our operations much less reactive and it’s a much better outcome for the client because, as we all know, downtime is expensive,” says Peter.    Peter has found that setting color-coded thresholds on the Client Success Overview dashboard makes the data more compelling and more likely for a client to take notice.    “People just know that green is go, yellow means you may want to hit the brakes, and red is bad,” says Peter. “After a while, a client looks at a dashboard, sees red, and wants to take immediate action. It’s an amazing way to support their success and help them prioritize.”    In general, the Client Success Overview is a good way to ensure that everyone is on the same page.    *View this sample Client Success Overview Dashboard here   Included is the client’s ticket trend, which is a nice visual way to tell a story of what’s going on without hiding anything. It provides an opportunity to look at trends and understand what changes need to be made to influence the direction of that trend.    With this dashboard, Peter and team avoid bogging clients down with nitty gritty details. Instead, they get right to the point of showing clients that their business is safe and can show where there are opportunities to take advantage of in order to be successful.    An interesting KPI they include in the overview is how the clients are rating Clever Ducks. The dashboard is often being seen by C-suites, so these CSAT scores show how team members are (or are not) happy with Clever Ducks’ service. It’s a nice boost for that C-suite person to know that their people are confident in their technology.    These days, your workforce won’t tolerate IT that’s confused or unreliable, so having confidence in leadership is becoming ever more important.    Finally, a Client Success Overview dashboard makes meeting with clients way more efficient. Instead of bringing a stale report that was printed out before the account manager meets with a client, Peter and team can literally open the dashboard in front of the client during the meeting and look at real-time information, allowing them to get down to business and problem-solving right away.    For instances when team meetings are not occurring face-to-face, clients still have access to their important data, day or night.    Check out the links below to replicate this type of dashboard for your own clients.   Link to Client Success Overview Dashboard   Link to Dashboard Recreation Key   Please feel free to reach out to with any questions you have!

The IT Nation: A Professional Community That Helps You Grow

Have you ever been a part of a professional community or peer group or considered joining one? In such groups, many business leaders turn to their peers for advice on how to grow, both professionally and personally.   You’ve likely heard of The IT Nation, ConnectWise’s professional community, but maybe are not familiar with the various events offered by The IT Nation and how they may be useful to you.    Here, we’ll introduce you to The IT Nation and all that it encompasses, as well as guidance on which events may be best suited to your specific needs.     What is The IT Nation? What does being a member of The IT Nation actually mean? Who’s included in The IT Nation? What’s the difference between The IT Nation and IT Nation Connect?   The IT Nation is a global community of technology professionals working to push each other and the industry to new heights. By working collaboratively, sharing best practices, and listening to thought leaders, members can make this industry better and stronger.    Members of The IT Nation live all around the world and have different business models and technology stacks to run their companies. The IT Nation is open to any technology solution provider, whether they use ConnectWise solutions or not. By fostering a sense of ‘co-opetition’, all can learn from and alongside each other to navigate the ever-change technology landscape.    So how do you get involved in The IT Nation? With events throughout the year and advice from the community available on demand, there are several ways to maximize your experience within The IT Nation.    Listen WHO THIS IS FOR: Anybody looking to gain more business insights! With the Stories from The IT Nation podcast series, you’ll hear members of The IT Nation community share advice based on personal experiences running their businesses. Learn how to attract top talent to your organization (including how to appeal to the millennial crowd), identify when it’s time to fire customers, stay relevant to your customers and more.  Share WHO THIS IS FOR: ConnectWise partners who want to learn to use the products even better. IT Nation Share user groups are regional, one-day product trainings offered free of charge to ConnectWise partners. Meet other technology providers in your area and get answers directly from ConnectWise product experts on to help you learn how to better use your ConnectWise solutions.     Explore WHO THIS IS FOR: ConnectWise partners seeking deeper, in-depth training on all products.  Need more than one day of product training? Want training on the full ConnectWise platform, including BrightGauge, Continuum, and IT Boost? Join us in Orlando this summer for IT Nation Explore. This annual three-day product conference will feature over 100 breakout sessions, labs, and panels so every member of your organization can get the training they need to increase efficiency in their daily operations.     Connect WHO THIS IS FOR: Business leaders wanting to make their organizations better and stronger. For business owners and leaders who need to know what’s coming next in the industry—and how to prepare their business for the changes that lie ahead—IT Nation Connect offers thought leadership and business building content over three days. Learn from experts in the industry on how to navigate M&A conversations, cybersecurity challenges, how to find and retain top talent, and more. As the largest and longest-running IT conference in the channel, it’s a can’t-miss event every year. This year’s event takes place in Orlando November 11-13.    Evolve WHO THIS IS FOR: Specifically for members who have applied and been accepted who want to have honest conversations about work and building legacy.  At IT Nation Evolve, business owners can share experiences, engage with peers, and get the resources they need to build their legacy. Members attend events each quarter where they meet with their peers and share progress—as well as hold each other accountable to work toward personal and professional goals.   Want to be in the loop on everything that’s happening in The IT Nation? Stay connected through social media to get updates on our events, podcast opportunities, and more. 

[WEBINAR] Using Dashboard Playlists to Track Team Activity

As a team or business manager, how are you keeping an eye on what your various departments or team members are doing? While no one likes to micromanage, it does make sense to have an awareness of what's going on across the board and how it's impacting the organization's bottom line.    With BrightGauge dashboards, it's easy to automate this and kind of take a hands-off approach to monitoring your team's activity.    Dashboards give a 10,000 foot view of what's going on in your business, so taking a quick glance at your boards can give you all in the info you need in just a moment's time. Basically, no need to go around asking your team what they're working on, because that information will be accessible to you whenever you want it.    Join our webinar to learn more  In our experience, it always helps to see how others are putting dashboards and other features to practice, so please join us for the next installment of our User Showcase webinar series.   Benjamin Pearce, president and CEO of ACP Technologies will share how he has set up dashboard playlists that inform on team activity across departments. Each day, 5 different dashboards rotate on his screens, so he can easily see what sales and support are working on.   Benjamin will give you a live overview of these boards and will also cover important KPIs, like: Activities Ahead vs Overdue Long-term Revenue Opportunities Service Activity   This webinar takes place on Wednesday, March 11th, at 3:00pm EST. Save your seat now! Even if you can't make it, be sure to RSVP so we can send you a recording of the webinar. 

New Integration: OneDrive

Announcing the latest integration to launch at BrightGauge: OneDrive. OneDrive, a Microsoft product, is a cloud storage solution that allows you to save your files and photos and access them from anywhere that suits you.    You may be familiar with Dropbox as an integration option with BrightGauge, but perhaps you prefer using OneDrive. No worries! You now have both options available to you.    The basic premise of this integration is that if you have a .CSV file uploaded into OneDrive, you will be able to visualize the data on BrightGauge dashboards and reports.    How to Connect to OneDrive   To connect to OneDrive, click on the green ‘Add a new Datasource’ button, found on your BrightGauge overview page. Find OneDrive under the ‘All’ category, click on it, and follow all the prompts. Within a few minutes, you should be good to go.    If you need further instructions, check out our OneDrive support doc.    Not yet a BrightGauge customer? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to schedule a live one-on-one demo.    What do I get out of the box?   If you’re a BrightGauge partner, you know that when you connect to our datasources, your account will be pre-loaded with KPIs and dashboard and report templates, so you can get right to your data.    OneDrive (and Dropbox) are unique integrations in this respect. Since this integration relies on custom data, there aren’t any pre-built dashboards, gauges, or reports included.   Basically, as long as you’ve got a .CSV file with data, you can display it within BrightGauge, so your possibilities here are plentiful.    For more details on how to create a dataset from a CSV, including some CSV requirements, read this.   We love hearing from you, so let us know how you’re using OneDrive + BrightGauge to view your data!   Anytime you’ve got a question about OneDrive + BrightGauge, please submit a support request or contact us and we’ll be ready to help.   

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