Exploring Business Dashboards

Doing some research around the net for business dashboards revealed some cool stuff.

The Cool

Great dashboard guy - get three free templates just for signing up for his newsletter!
http://www.enterprise-dashboard.com/
http://www.enterprise-dashboard.com/10-guidelines-for-kpi-dashboard-design/
http://dashboardsbyexample.com/ (same guy does this site)

This one looks pretty good - free 14-day trial (that I haven't done yet).
Deserves a deeper look:
http://www.klipfolio.com/
http://www.klipfolio.com/resources/operational-analytical-bi-dashboards

Another one that deserves a deeper look -- might be more focused on social-web, but does allow you to try *all* their widgets for free (but only 5 widgets at a time):
http://www.cyfe.com/

 

The Yet-To-Evaluate

For Excel users, here is an offer of kits that let you quickly build dashboards in Excel. Keep in mind, web & mobile access to these would be a problem.
http://www.exceluser.com/catalog2/special/bundle-offer2.htm

 

The Not-so-good

If you Google 'business dashboards', the top & paid results are companies that know how to SEO... which has no real bearing on the quality of their products/services. These sites all employed the same strategy: show some screen shots, get you to give them your contact information, and get a call from the sales department. No pricing, no demos, and one quoted a "deployment time of just weeks" -- hrmmm, doesn't sound like what I was thinking.

http://www.sisense.com
http://www.inetsoft.com/products/StyleScope/
http://www.idashboards.com

Not to say these aren't competent products, they well could be. They seem like they are probably pricey products, complicated products, and they are difficult to evaluate for any specific purpose from their web sites.

Here's one that offers free basic dashboards, but none of the widgets in the free plan are really business-tracking widgets... they are things like iTunes, Amazon, and Facebook. ?
http://metricly.com
I deleted my free-basic account there... it is of no use to me.

 

Explore on your own

Go on a clicks-pedition of your own using this long page of business dashboard images via Google: http://bit.ly/QHUwF0

Have fun!

 

What would you put on your dashboard?

This is an easy question to answer once you have done a lot of business systems analysis, modeling, and design. If you are still in that process (which is, in a way, a constant process, so we all are!) then asking/trying out what would go on your dashboard is a great way to help that analysis, modeling and design process.

Here are some ideas of what might be good to track on a business dashboard from a media & web company perspective:

Capacity Tracking

  • Open & active projects
  • Open requests & tasks
  • Weekly avg. capacity available (avail. work hours vs. mapped expected load)

Completed/Billing Tracking

  • billed hours completed
  • requests completed
  • completed requests customer ratings
  • projects completed
  • completed projects ratings: internal & customer
  • story points completed (agile Scrum)
  • total outstanding invoices
  • income (invoices paid)

Pipeline/new Business Tracking

  • New hours contracted
  • Pending possible hours (proposals out)
  • inquires received

Social/World

  • Social Network mentions
  • Direct messages
  • Follower counts
  • web traffic visitors

Team Actions

  • Opportunity sources checked - count & quality
  • blog post counts
  • Social network post counts
  • Social network direct replies

What else would you add?

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