In 1967’s The Graduate, McGuire pulls Benjamin aside and offers one word of advice, “Plastics.” Even considering the symbolic meaning of the advice, were the same film made in 2021, the one word would, without a doubt, be “data.” More than most people know, data, and big data, has a huge impact on everything we do from our daily lives to our businesses. Often, the ability to leverage the data collected, to analyze it effectively and turn it into business strategies and successes, is the difference between winning and losing in a competitive marketplace. Therefore, the applications we use to gather, report, and analyze that data are the essential tools of the workplace. Quick Links What is business intelligence & why is it important? What are business intelligence tools? 5 benefits of using business intelligence tools What is business intelligence and why is it important? In short, business intelligence is the collection, reporting, presentation, and analysis of data from various sources (software, applications, services) that informs a business. The end goal is strategic and data-driven decisions. How a business makes decisions is fundamental to its success. Data driven decision making allows an organization to view data as it comes in, compare it to historical and market data as well as other data sources, and make decisions that can: Identify friction points for customers, clients, or team members Prepare for and predict historical market fluctuations Assess market competition Track employee performance Monitor SLA benchmarks Improve processes and operations Identify potential revenue streams or opportunities What are business intelligence tools? If business intelligence is the data collected, reported, presented, or analyzed, business intelligence tools are the method by which those actions happen. This includes the applications, software, and services that provide and present the aggregated data in a structured and useful way. There are a variety of ways these tools present the data including: Dashboards Gauges Visualizations (like maps) Reporting Data Mining OLAP (online analytical processing) ETL (extract-transfer-load) Of these tools, dashboards and visualizations are the most popular and most easily used. As we are visual creatures, these tools are most popular as they provide the data quickly (literally at a glance) and allow users to leverage other visual tools (like design and layout) to facilitate fast identification of needed data. In fact, these tools are so important that Business Intelligence Analyst is a career with considerable growth expected in the next few years. Part of the reason for that growth is that many BI tools require statistical and analytical skills as well as programming, coding, and advanced software skills. As a result, some business intelligence tools can be complex and difficult to use without specialized knowledge. In contrast, BrightGauge’s business intelligence solution allow end users to work “out-of-the-box” with pre-built gauges and automated reporting features that make your business intelligence efforts...well..effortless. In fact, BrightGauge's tools require no coding, no SQL knowledge, and can be used by anyone on your team. That kind of versatility means your team is ready to make insightful data-driven decisions, the kind that strategically grow your business, right away. 5 benefits of using business intelligence tools By this point, hopefully it’s clear that there are benefits to using business intelligence tools to help drive tactical and strategic business decisions. But, let’s take a closer look at what those benefits are. 1.Data-driven decisions Having real data on customer, client, or even employee responses to initiatives lets your organization gauge their success, respond in an agile way, and determine whether similar initiatives will help meet business goals. For example, if data suggests that, historically, sales of a particular item increase during a specific month and then wane in another, you can strategically respond to those fluctuations with offers and pricing adjustments to increase sales or revenue. 2. Improved customer experiences By tracking KPIs related to customer satisfaction or success, or for an MSP tracking response time of technicians, your organization can improve customer experiences. This kind of data is also what we see on major e-commerce sites that recommend products and services similar to what we’ve already purchased or been perusing. In that way, the benefits of business intelligence tools can benefit you whether your organization sells a product or a service. 3. Improved employee experiences There’s no big secret to employee satisfaction. Employees want to feel seen, heard, and connected. A great way to do that is to use BrightGauge’s goals tool and share dashboards with employees to allow them to track progress and successes. You can even send automated reports to your team to keep them engaged and interested. There’s a direct correlation between employee engagement and employee satisfaction and business intelligence tools can help you strengthen that connection! 4. Competitive advantage As noted briefly above, one of the best advantages of business intelligence tools is the access to historical and competitor data. Analyzing both of these allows you to prepare for market forecasts, recognize service or product gaps, and present solutions to the market when needed. Similarly, in the case of individual customers or clients, use your business experience to proactively recognize patterns or trends and offer services to your clients before they even know they need it. 5. Improved efficiency on multiple levels Gone are the days of account managers jumping from program to program to gather data to report to a client, a superior, or even their team. Business intelligence tools like BrightGauge’s offer robust reporting capabilities, often with automation, and are a time saving measure for any team member who needs to report. Further, the ability to share dashboards with teams or individuals, means everyone can stay in alignment on goals and objectives. This kind of transparency on teams can drive productivity as all team members can gauge progress and share in the wins. If your team isn’t currently using a business intelligence tool to reap all these amazing advantages, what are you waiting for? Using business intelligence doesn't have to be intimidating. BrightGauge was specifically designed so anybody could use it. Once you get your BrightGauge KPIs and dashboards set up, you'll be on your way to deeper data insights that could truly have a positive impact on your business. Get in touch with the BrightGauge team to talk about how our solution can benefit you.
If you remember back to high school geometry, you might recall the axiom that all squares are parallelograms, but not all parallelograms are squares. Why does this matter? Because, essentially, KPIs and metrics have a similar relationship. All KPIs are metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs. While the terms are often tossed about interchangeably, failure to understand KPIs vs. metrics might mean you’re focused on the wrong measurement, creating confusion around your goals and impacting decisions the real data may not support. If you’re hoping to base your business decisions on data, then understanding the difference between KPIs and metrics is vital. Quick Links What are KPIs? What are metrics? KPIs vs metrics: How data driven businesses use both How dashboards can help you track KPIs and Metrics What are KPIs? KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are the metrics by which you gauge business critical initiatives, objectives, or goals. The operative word in the phrase is “key,” meaning they have special or significant meaning. KPIs act as measurable benchmarks against defined goals. For example, if your business goal is to increase sales by 15% over the next two quarters, the KPIs to gauge that may include, but not be limited to: new customer acquisition, customer churn, and upselling success rate. In short, a KPI can be made up of multiple metrics. What are metrics? While KPIs measure progress toward specific goals, metrics are measurements of overall business health. While they may be loosely tied to specific targeted objectives, they are not the most important metrics and may not be good guides as to whether you’re on track. In fact, some of them may be what are referred to as vanity metrics, the ones that just make you feel good, but don’t mean much, such as the number of likes a post gets on social media. However, metrics can still provide valuable data about your business. For example, you might track website visitors as a metric, but unless it’s tied to a specific key business objective, it’s a metric, not a KPI. More on that below! KPIs vs. metrics: How data driven businesses use both Why does all of this matter? You may think because you’re not a data analyst metrics and KPIs don’t matter much. But these days, with the way we work and the data-driven nature of many businesses (particularly because we have so many ways to collect data), it’s a mistake to not use the information we readily have at our disposal. Let’s start with a basic tenet: metrics support KPIs. KPIs may be made up of a variety of different metrics that give you a full picture of you or your team’s progress toward a goal. If we return to the example of website visitors, simply tracking that information isn’t a KPI — it’s a metric. But if we add a little more information to that example, we can see how it could become a KPI. If the business goal is to create 20% more sales qualified leads (SQL) over the next year, original/new website visits alone may not provide you with the data you need. However, understanding how that metric translates into other site interactions, like form completions and downloads, is vital. If analysis has created a correlation between downloads and SQLs, then website visitors and new downloads become KPIs rather than just metrics. Given that example, if new website visitors don’t translate into downloads, if the majority of downloads are coming from an email campaign, then website visits isn’t a KPI; it’s just a metric. That doesn’t mean it’s not important, as visitors might be signing up for your emails via the website, but contacts may come from a wide variety of sources. In short, you will likely still monitor website visits, but it’s not tied directly to an objective as a KPI would be. How dashboards can help you track KPIs and metrics For a data driven business, metrics are essential, whether KPIs or not. It’s how your business plans and prepares for next steps, additional goals, as well as identifying lagging performance. While the difference between KPIs and metrics is objective, there is, essentially, no change in how you should be looking at that data. It’s why dashboards can be such an effective tool for businesses. In fact, BrightGauge’s KPI dashboards empower you to choose the metrics you want to monitor and create customized dashboards. The customization process enables you to check your business’s pulse, at a glance, and share that data with individuals or entire teams, keeping everyone aligned and motivated. Further, use of the snapshot tool to create charts that measure your progress day-to-day or month-to-month allow you and your team to easily identify patterns among your metrics. That means you can proactively address friction points or build on existing successes. Again, instead of moving between multiple programs, multiple screens, and creating complex spreadsheets, BrightGauge’s tools allow you to do it all in one place, saving you time and effort. If you’d like to talk to our team about how our dashboard tools can help you monitor business metrics for your data driven efforts, get in touch with us today!
We’re excited to welcome Shagun Jain to the team as a Software Engineer! Join us in learning more about the newest member of our growing BrightGauge family. In the beginning Shagun grew up in Meerut, India - a city in the National capital region, close to New Delhi. While in high school and secondary school, Shagun developed an interest in Information Technology and, upon finishing school, was shortlisted for a renowned computer program in India. For the first time in his life, he left his comfort zone and got to broaden his horizons in Bengaluru, India - or as Shagun puts it, the Silicon Valley of Asia. While in this program, Shagun was exposed to the IT world and all the fun that comes with it, like working in big IT parks and seeing a supercomputer up close and personal. Throughout his professional career, Shagun has done it all. He's worked as a developer, quality analyst, business analyst, and product manager in service-based companies, product-based companies, and start-up environments. This diversified experience has well-prepared him to take on the BrightGauge world. Joining BrightGauge When Shagun got the opportunity to join ConnectWise, he learned that he'd be working on the BrightGauge side of the business. Reading up on our business intelligence domain, and visualization and reporting capabilities got Shagun amped up about joining the team. He's most excited to be a part of a team that is continuing to unleash the potential of our product and positively impact the MSP community. Plus, he has felt welcomed by his colleagues from the start. As he says, "A diversified culture and a global team is something you strive for anywhere you work - at BrightGauge and ConnectWise, it comes as a default." Out of office When Shagun isn't busy being a master of our product, you can find him outdoors and constantly working for a social cause in order to become a better person and to give back to society. We love how humble Shagun is, but what truly makes him a perfect fit at BrightGauge? His sense of humor! We're learning a thing or two from his GIF game!