There's no industry, across the globe, that's been unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic. With complete shutdowns and supply line obstacles, there have been a lot of challenges. One of the most notable changes has been companies being forced to shift to a fully remote workforce. However, technology has us uniquely positioned to enable a smoother transfer than many of us deemed possible. From IT infrastructure advancements to applications and software, many companies, with the help of service providers, are ready to meet the challenges of remote work head on. Quick links: Technology challenges caused by the shift to remote work How individual data dashboards can help your team overcome remote work challenges Create custom filters to monitor remote employee performance through BrightGauge's data dashboards Technology challenges caused by the shift to remote work Since March of 2020, a vast majority of organizations worldwide have shifted their workforces from a corporate office space to a remote setting, which often consists of working from home. With many business leaders and executives suggesting that remote work is likely here to stay, one of the primary challenges is ensuring that technology for remote workers is efficient. It should keep teams in communication and allow team leaders to monitor employee and team performance from a distance. One of the primary issues that many have already experienced is that simple technological needs of employees are not met. In fact, one study suggests that executives are already recognizing that employees need better hardware and equipment; items that were often provided in the office must now be shifted to the home office. Not only does hardware present an issue, but any industries that require monitoring of technology, teams, and individual performance through business data dashboards are running into very real challenges as well. For managers and leaders who supervise multiple teams or even multiple individuals across multiple clients, there is a lot of monitoring required. Typically, in-office workstations for those individuals included multiple screens and the ability to monitor each of those independently. However, having shifted to a home office, many do not have the equipment, nor the space to satisfy those needs. Even before COVID-19, technology issues were a problem in office, from connectivity to performance; these issues often result in productivity impacts that are avoidable. In fact, with workers more productive than ever in their new remote situations, more and more organizations are looking for ways to capitalize on these positive remote work trends and keep employee performance and efficiency levels high. How individual data dashboards can help your team overcome remote work challenges Whether you’re monitoring machines or employees, being able to monitor and measure work across segments, clients, and teams and analyze performance issues before they become client or team issues is significant. It’s one of the reasons that data dashboards are one of the most valuable assets during this workplace evolution. Not only do data dashboards help you monitor and visualize key performance indicators (KPIs) across departments or business units, but they assist in real-time remote management of all of these assets. Once you’ve set your team goals, your KPI dashboards help your team stay focused on those goals and allow you to monitor them remotely. Further, utilizing business data dashboards, you can set team and individual goals and communicate effectively with people as you monitor successes and areas of weakness. Again, real-time data and shared dashboards ensure you and your team members are aligned on performance, metrics, and goals. Create custom filters to monitor remote employee performance through BrightGauge's data dashboards Even before 2020 shifted the work landscape under our collective feet, BrightGauge’s technology was in place to help workers manage the challenges being thrust upon today’s workforce. What were once in-office tools designed to keep team leaders abreast of employee performance are now invaluable remote work tools for all organizations across a variety of industries. Data dashboards themselves are, as noted, helpful for visualizing and aligning teams, but BrightGauge’s dashboards allow custom filters that allow you to determine what data you want to see and how you want to see it. Not only does this help you monitor team performance, but those same filters allow you to see individual employee performance and develop strategies, goals, and plans that align with employee strengths and address performance shortfalls. If the past year has taught us anything, if the world of data teaches us anything, it's how quickly things can change. It's why one of the greatest tools of BrightGauge's dashboards is the ability not only to individualize and filter dashboards, but to also create a playlist. This enables you to choose which dashboards display, in rotation, on your screen. Set time increments anywhere from from 30 seconds to 5 minutes and you can conveniently monitor all your dashboards from one screen, as if watching a slideshow. 2020 has presented us all with challenges but it’s also shown us how to use the tools available to meet them and continue our successes moving forward. If you’d like to learn more about how BrightGauge’s dashboard can help you meet the challenges of remote work, sign up for our webinar today.
It’s traditional to set resolutions at the beginning of a new year. These are simply goals we’d like to see ourselves achieve over the next 12 months. Any life or business coach will tell you, setting goals without any mechanism in place to track them is a recipe for failure. It’s why the gyms clear out by March and savings accounts fail to grow. Not only do most folks struggle with setting specific goals, but they fail to establish a method for measuring them. Without metrics, there’s no way to celebrate success and keep you motivated and no way to realign and adapt when falling short. Quick Links How Can KPI Tracking Help Your Business Achieve its Goals? Key Performance Indicators Your Business Should be Tracking to Meet its 2021 Goals Set Your Business Up for Success in 2021 with BrightGauge! How can KPI tracking help your business achieve its goals? For many, goal setting is a struggle in itself. Arguably, one of the reasons it’s a struggle for individuals and businesses alike is because no one has identified the metrics associated with the goals they’ve set. Without understanding the best way to measure success, it’s hard to analyze the landscape; it’s difficult to figure out where to set your sights; it’s a struggle to determine what’s attainable and relevant. You have to understand where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’d like to head in order to set appropriate goals. The only real way to understand all of those elements is to determine what key performance indicators (KPIs) are the best measurements for your goal. These help you collect the right data, monitor it, and analyze it over time. The first real step is to determine the business objective, break it down into specific and time related goals, and then determine which KPIs will best help you measure your success on that path. Key performance indicators your business should be tracking to meet its 2021 goals The KPIs you choose to monitor will, of course, depend on the goals you set. That said, it’s important to identify and segment the key business areas where goal setting can help determine your path, grow your business, build your teams as units and as individuals, and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Some of these KPIs will obviously overlap as integral business systems interact with and depend on one another. For example, employee satisfaction will likely have a direct impact on customer satisfaction and retention. When analyzing the metrics over the year, it’s important to keep that in mind as you adapt strategies to meet your goals. Employee KPIs When we discuss employee KPIs, business minds naturally turn to employee productivity and performance. But before getting into those metrics, there’s one that’s more important as it is costly to your business in time, money, and productivity loss. Churn rate Perhaps one of the most important indicators is churn rate. While that rate is typically customer turnover, it can, equally, be applied to employee turnover. As noted, the two may be related so it’s a good idea to keep track of both. When factoring in the amount of time it takes to find a suitable candidate and get them trained and up to speed on business needs, your business has likely lost time, money, and work. If you’ve lost a lot of employees over the past year, it’s a good time to make some changes and track the success of those efforts. Revenue or profit per employee Depending on the structure of your workforce, both of these provide valuable information regarding just how much each employee is bringing in and ensures your company’s profitability. Your workforce should never be the reason you’re not making money. For businesses that rely on contractors or freelance workers, profit is a better indicator as it excludes expenses, something you likely have less of for those employees. Average task completion rate How long does it take your team to perform tasks they do often? Not only does this help you measure their efficiency and perhaps determine areas for improvement, but it is also incredibly helpful for project management by helping them determine how long tasks will take. Employee capacity By examining an employee’s weekly capacity and subtracting the hours they’ve logged, you can determine what an employee’s capacity is to better manage your team. Not only that, but by measuring this KPI, you can also see who on your team can handle more and who cannot. When employees are consistently overwhelmed and overburdened, satisfaction goes down. When satisfaction goes down, productivity is impacted as well. Keep your team running smoothly, efficiently, and happily by monitoring their capacity. Additional KPIs for this group might include sales quotas, production goals, and customer retention. Again, KPIs will largely be dependent on your organization’s business goals. Business growth KPIs For many organizations, growth is the goal, but what that growth looks like depends on where a business is in its own lifecycle, what goals are attainable in the market, and what strategies will be employed to hit those goals for the upcoming year. Still, there are a few very important metrics that may help an organization align those strategies. Cost of customer acquisition (COCA) How much does it cost your business to acquire new customers? How much is being invested in marketing efforts? This business KPI, to be a useful, must be compared with lifetime customer value to help your team determine if you’re over spending. If you realize this cost is too high, one strategic goal may be to focus efforts on your customer service team and support them in hopes that improved customer satisfaction and retention can increase referrals from existing customers. This word of mouth can actually drive the COCA down. Simply put, this is a good metric for any business to analyze to determine marketing strategies. Lifetime customer value (LCV) How much will a single customer spend at your business over their lifetime? Ideally, you can keep this number growing through more product or service offerings, but at a minimum, organizations should be tracking this to ensure that customers come back. If they’re not returning customers, why not? It may be time to look at customer service metrics. Revenue growth rate This is the best way to measure whether your business is growing or not. Are you bringing in more revenue now than across a previous similar time period? You’ll want to make sure you’re comparing month to month or quarter to quarter to ensure accuracy. If you’re seeing this number slip, it’s a good idea to investigate why and analyze it with other metrics. While there are certainly other KPIs here to consider, such as conversion rates, customer attrition, cart abandonment (for online sales), average order value, number of subscriptions or subscribed users, number of active users etc., these are all largely dependent upon the type of business and industry. Ideally, business KPIs that focus on revenue, profits, and balance against costs and expenditures are going to be the best indicators of your organization’s health. Customer success KPIs The health of your organization depends not just on your team, or your leadership, but it also depends on the happiness of your customers. So, keeping track of business metrics associated with your customer satisfaction is just as essential as any other data you collect and analyze. As with many of the other metrics, there’s crossover here. Lifetime customer value is something you’ll want to keep track of in terms of customer success as well, not just for your business growth. Churn rate This metric shows up for key segments of your business. Across the board, you should be keeping track of where you’re losing leadership, team members, and, of course customers. Not only does this business metric include customers who leave, but it also includes customers who decrease their service level. It’s typically an indicator of service quality or value. Customer satisfaction This one is simple to measure: Survey your customers. How satisfied are they overall? Surveying your customers is one of the best ways to track how your team is doing. This number will impact several others down the line. Net promoter score When you survey your customers (not if, but when), how likely are they to recommend your product or service to others? When we look at decreasing COCA, your current customers become a very strong asset. This score ensures you’re keeping track of how they’re marketing for you. Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) While churn reveals how many customers are leaving, MRR is a good indicator of the health of your existing customer base. Growth in this area is a financial indicator of customer satisfaction and success. Revenue expansion A direct result of customer satisfaction and a key component of LCV, this metric reveals how existing customers are purchasing additional products and services from your company. Are your customer service and sales teams working together to upsell these customers on other offerings? Further, if they’re spending more, you can be certain that customer service satisfaction and product or service values are high for your existing customers. Much like other areas, KPIs for your customers will depend largely on your industry or business, but keeping track of these metrics will help you determine how to best address customer service needs and explore areas for business growth and improvement. Leadership KPIs A good number of the KPIs used to measure a leader’s success will depend on the success of their team and some of the KPI examples mentioned above. How effectively your organization is meeting sales, service, support, production, and growth goals is largely an indicator of how successful your leadership team is in seeing that your team delivers on larger strategic goals. However, there are certainly some other metrics worth investigating. Employee engagement and satisfaction How effectively is the leader managing their team, keeping them invested in team and business goals, and ensuring churn rate stays low? How satisfied are the employees with their jobs and understanding where they fit within an organization, and how does that translate to their job performance? You can determine this by measuring engagement and satisfaction rates throughout your staff. Team retention and training dollars While two separate metrics, they can be closely related. If training spending is high, it may suggest issues with quality of hires or retention. As noted above, is a team leader retaining top talent? That said, you’ll want to balance this number with any promotions that may suggest a leader is effectively mentoring employees and ensuring business continuity and growth. Promotions may also impact training dollars spent as training may be better preparing team members for other roles within the organization. Of course, much of your leadership KPIs will be visible in other metrics, but perhaps it's most visible in company culture KPIs. How is your leadership team fostering a culture of growth, success, and engagement? Company culture KPIs Company culture KPIs are closely tied to your employee KPIs. Your organization is only as strong as your team, and your team’s satisfaction is reflected in their productivity, engagement, and happiness. Utilizing some of the top business KPIs above to get an overview of whether your company culture is indicative of growth and team investment, you’ll want to look at both employee KPIs and leadership KPIs. These metrics will provide valuable information. Another metric to measure your culture includes the following: Utilization rate This metric, not noted above, provides information about how your team is using its time. How productive are individual employees? Happy employees are productive employees. They're not feeling overwhelmed or underutilized, either of which can impact overall job satisfaction and performance. Ultimately, the more satisfied employees are, the more likely they are to buy in to company culture and objectives. Set your business up for success in 2021 with BrightGauge! For many organizations, yearly goal setting is reliant upon the data from these important business KPIs. Without this information, it’s hard to set goals that are specific, relevant, and attainable. These are, of course, the tools that make progress measurable, but they’re also how you adapt and ensure alignment across the organization throughout the year. It’s a lot to manage, no doubt. As you probably noted as well, it requires being able to customize and segment metrics across teams or departments as well as individual employees. Further, it requires the ability to compare different KPIs to one another to get a better understanding and complete picture of your business. BrightGauge’s customizable dashboards allow you to keep all of your KPIs in one place and visualize them as you set strategic goals for the future. No more switching applications or monitoring tools – all your data is accessible with robust reporting tools and visualizations of that data tailored to your needs. BrightGauge’s dashboard provides the ideal solution for your tracking so you can focus on growing.
2020 was a banner year for dashboards. As workers shifted from the office to home, having access to vital information, valuable data, and important metrics at their fingertips was more important than ever. Across multiple industries, many platforms, and varied job roles and responsibilities, dashboards were invaluable for keeping tabs on systems and KPIs. While good dashboard design is meant to keep things simple, they should improve efficiency, save time, and still provide all the data a user needs. For some users, particularly in the age of big data and with an intense focus on tracking metrics, that’s a lot of information. For that reason, knowing how to design a dashboard with the end-user in mind is key. The bottom line is a properly executed dashboard has to be both useful and usable. Quick Links 2020 Data Dashboards Roundup Top Data Dashboard Best Practices Effective Data Dashboard Examples Transform Your Use of Data Dashboards in 2021 with BrightGauge! 2020 data dashboards roundup In much the same way as radio stations, tv stations, fashion influencers, restaurants, and even individuals reflect on the year that has passed to make a plan to look forward, our blog is doing a bit of the same. Why do we all participate in this time honored tradition? Because reflection is good. Because analyzing what we’ve done right, where we’ve been successful, allows us to recreate those wins. There’s no reason why, as businesses, as managers, as strategists, we shouldn't do the same. And, if our dashboards would do it on their own, we’d let them. Instead, let’s take a look at what went right this year. Top data dashboard best practices As noted above, the goal of any dashboard is to be both useful and usable. Keeping that in mind there are a few best practices, some familiar, some new, to consider when designing dashboards for business use. 1. Consider the end-user- First and foremost, any dashboard should be designed with the user in mind. What information is relevant to these specific user or user group? What information are they monitoring regularly and what’s the best way to deliver that information? Should it focus on operations (what’s happening now)? Analytics (performance trends)? Or strategy (KPIs)? Always design with the end-user in mind. 2. Keep it high level- On first glance, your user should see the data they need. If they need to drill down and dig deeper to get more specific information, provide an easy way to do so, but avoid cluttering a dashboard with too many cards. 3. Consider data representation elements- Not all data needs a number. Some data, particularly as you move into performance analytics and KPIs, may be better represented by a chart or a graph or a meter. For example, when considering network performance, a meter that shows a slow down in red rather than a number which measures user traffic may be more useful. 4. User design and information architecture principles- When structuring the layout of your dashboard, remember design principles and consider the importance of information. If design principles say lead with the top left corner and move in a “Z” direction, the most important data/metric should go in the top left corner and lead from there. Similarly, the temptation exists to fit as much as possible on a single screen and to use bright colors, and a lot of them, to help differentiate data sets. However, this actually runs contrary to design principles. To make a dashboard most useful, keep it simple. 5. Create context- It’s great to have charts and graphs, but label them or consider allowing a user to drill down to comparison through a simple click. Some data isn’t nearly as useful if there’s no framework around. Consider again a user traffic metric. If a dashboard reports 54 current users, that information is data and might seem useful on the surface. However, if it’s noted that bottlenecks occur at 56 users and traffic is heavy, then the context of 54/56 becomes important. 6. Consider multiple layouts- Your main dashboard should have a different appearance than dashboards that drill down or represent different users or systems. You want your user to be able to, at a quick glance, determine which “view” they’re looking at. It doesn’t have to be complex, but simple layout changes will indicate where in the dashboard a user finds themself. Applying filters to your dashboard which you can toggle on and off can help you achieve the view you're going for. 7. Optimize for accessibility- If your workers are remote or there may be need to view dashboards on a mobile device, make sure you’ve designed with that layout in mind. This may have been a tough lesson learned in 2020, but moving forward in 2021 and beyond, remote workers will need those dashboards and desktops or laptops may not be their device of choice. 8. Measure performance- We likely spend a lot of time talking about metrics, KPIs, and data regarding our businesses, we should be doing the same when it comes to a dashboard. Is it functional? Is it working? How are the end-users actually using it? As with any tool we use, we should regularly be evaluating if it’s the right tool for the job. Dashboards are no different. Effective data dashboard examples Over the course of 2020, we highlighted a few standout dashboards to share with you. Clever Ducks, an MSP out of San Luis Obispo, California focuses on clients who want to strategically use IT to cut their costs. They built a client success overview dashboard that allows them to effectively manage their customer relationships. Blending visual and informational architecture design strategies, they achieved a clean and clear dashboard that not only simplified their CRM duties, but also improved the efficiency of client meetings. Check out their dashboard view here. If like many companies, you’re managing a remote workforce, then you likely understand the struggle of keeping track of where team members are on important objectives. At the start of the pandemic, in April, we shared our Managing to Green and Managing to Zero dashboards. As discussions of remote work continue, these are still incredibly valuable. Further, in BrightGauge, you can filter those dashboards for individual team members and share with them to ensure alignment on key objectives. Another remote work management dashboard, this time from Network Doctor based in the Northern U.S., demonstrates how a dashboard can manage a team members workload and time utilization as well as how that fits into a larger strategic picture. Not only are they managing team members and utilization, but it’s helping them handle trouble tickets in a way that fits into current team availabilities and needs. Check out their dashboard view here. While BrightGauge dashboards are great for team management, they’re also versatile enough to give a high level overview of essential KPIs and financial insights for a CEO. As demonstrated by Premier One, a dashboard like this keeps all important data in one place providing enough data for an assessment of what’s impacting a businesses revenue and what strategies will be best moving forward. Check out their dashboard view here. The final dashboard we shared with you in 2020, the Agreements Dashboard, is a great way to assess whether your Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is hitting the mark. It’s a great tool for sharing a lot of key data points with executive team members regarding that MRRs as well as customer value. If your executive team and even CRO need a quick look at the customer landscape, this is a great option. Check out that dashboard view here. Transform your use of data dashboards in 2021 with BrightGauge! 2020 was full of challenges and, for some, being able to adapt your business to meet them head on may have been one of them. For many, it just meant finding the right tools, like BrightGauge dashboards, which allowed managers to keep remote teams working together and achieving team objectives. As you move into 2021, and as we adjust to this new work landscape that no doubt will continue to include remote work, stay on top of your business and team member needs with digital dashboards. To talk to someone about how we can help you inform, analyze, and strategize with BrightGauge’s customizable dashboards, get in touch today.