What we learned visualizing our data
Posted On 29/09/2017
At Cumul.io, we strive to set a good example for our customers. To monitor our business performance on a daily basis, we make use of multiple dashboards. Dashboarding is a continuous learning process, so here’s what we learned visualizing our own data through time.
The KPIs we visualized
We keep track of many KPIs. For example, we examine sales by visualizing sales targets, our deal pipeline, customer retention,… We monitor our platform performance: speed of the queries, usage of the platform, amount of data handled, etcetera. Marketing efforts and website traffic are tracked in different dashboards as well. And the list goes on!
To clarify, we’ve highlighted two examples here below. It will give you a better idea of how these dashboards help us in our daily routines:
Our three most important targets appear on our TV screen every 15 minutes. Setting sales targets is a way to monitor & guarantee continuous growth. What it taught us:
- Seasonality. Some months are harder to close deals.
- Motivation. Seeing our progress every day motivates us to keep up the good work or step up the pace.
It’s important we get to know our leads and customers. To help them move forward, we need to know how they are using our platform. We measure different usage statistics, which taught us the following:
- Customer support. How certain features are or aren’t used, shows us where (potential) customers are struggling. It helps us support them in the way they need it.
- Hot leads. Usage shows which leads have a high need and are ready to work with Cumul.io.
What we learned during the process
1. Keep it simple
With a flood of data, it can be hard to choose what you want to monitor. What helps us is to determine the goal of our dashboard beforehand. Make it as concrete as possible: don’t go for a “sales data overview”, but rather split up in “pipeline of deals”, “attainment of sales target”, and so on.
We learned that it’s better to keep focus on 3 to 4 main KPIs. If there’s too much information in 1 dashboard, it’s better to split in two. It makes sense to build multiple visualizations on that set of KPIs – e.g. the evolution over time, or visualize against different measures – but our graphs should always contribute to the goal we’ve set.
2. Adapt along the way
Dashboarding is a process of trial and error. We use our dashboards on a daily basis, which helps us grasp which information is useful, useless, or missing. You can add & delete elements in seconds, so why not try it? We learned to treat our dashboards as a working instrument, not a static piece of art.
Over time, the needs and priorities can change in your company. We revise our dashboards once in a while, and adapt them to make sure they still meet our business needs.
3. Put your dashboards on a monitor
We really gained efficiency from displaying our dashboards on a TV screen in our office. This is how all of our employees stay on top of things. It motivates them to see how they contribute to growth. Pro tip: put it in a central place for more visibility. At Cumul.io, we spot and discuss insights over coffee!
Additionally, we put all our dashboards on a loop. Throughout the day, you’ll see each dashboard at least once thanks to the cycle, so we don’t miss out on any information.