The DataHero Blog

The Three Phases of Dashboard Software for Growing Companies

October 26th, 2018

You’re at a growing company.

You know because customers are starting to talk about your business. Your sales team is excited and their calendars are full of meetings and demos. Your product is really starting to resonate with the market and you’re beginning to differentiate yourself from the crowd of competitors. You have a list of job openings that you are trying to fill with excited, driven individuals to help you continue to grow.

But in order to maintain that growth, you need to make sure that your team has the right set of tools to analyze the business and focus on the areas that will continue to move the business forward. And that usually means having business dashboard software to track key performance metrics to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

And while every growing company knows they need to invest in better reporting and dashboarding tools, the mistake that is often made is to choose the wrong tool for your stage of business.

In the business intelligence world, there is no such thing as one size fits all. Instead, there are different reporting and data analysis tools for different stages of business, depth of analytics, and sophistication of operations to consider.

 

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Here, we’ll analyze and recommend three dashboard software tools and what you should focus on for different stages of your business:

SMB and Growing Startups

For SMBs and growing startups, the focus of a dashboard software solution should be primarily focused on ease of use and ability to easily share insights with other team members. Growing operations that have smaller teams typically don’t have dedicated Business Intelligence teams or data analysts to provide requisite analytics to sales, marketing, customer success, and executive teams. More likely, SMBs rely on scrappy teams that wear lots of hats to dive into the details themselves.

As a result, it’s critical to choose easy to use, simple reporting and dashboard software tools like DataHero in order to ensure that anyone on the team can create charts, reports, and dashboards quickly and easily — no SQL queries or technical knowledge required.

It’s also helpful here to be able to easily share those reports and dashboards whether it’s by email or embedded directly into a team wiki.

Medium Size Companies with more advanced requirements

As SMB companies grow and evolve into more established medium sized businesses, typically the data requirements and sources increase. You may at this point have large proprietary databases of information that you want to cross reference or perform calculations on in order to dive deeper into your data. You may also begin to use more niche or dedicated products that require custom data connectors or separate ETL processes in order to ensure they’re correctly pulled into your data warehouse.

At this point, it makes sense to upgrade to a more advanced (and more expensive) dashboard software platform like Domo. Domo allows you to bring together data and systems with more advanced administrative and company-wide functions that are supportive of larger organizations.

Large Enterprises with complex big data operations

As businesses continue to grow into large enterprises with complex operations and increasingly large datasets, it again becomes necessary to upgrade to the next phase of business dashboard software. Often times large enterprises will rely on a variety of different solutions –  either investing in in-house solutions based on big data warehouses and custom built dashboards, or leveraging more developer-driven solutions like Looker or Tableau which plug into large SQL databases for advanced queries by dedicated BI teams.

Interestingly enough, we often see that Line of Business (LOB) users within large enterprises will return back to easy to use, self-service tools given the complexity of these tools and the bottlenecks that often occur as departments are waiting for shared data services teams for the business dashboards they require to run their teams and departments. As a result, many Line of Business managers come back to DataHero within large enterprises so they can take direct ownership over their cloud services data and perform their own analysis and visualizations of their sales, marketing, or customer success data.

 

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Overall, different phases of a company’s growth require different business dashboard software solutions in order to ensure that teams continue to focus on the key metrics and insights that will ensure continued growth and success.

By Alex Hsi

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