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How to get Quick Insights into Your Company’s Performance

Having comprehensive insights into your company’s performance is a basic necessity for any organization. However, gathering these “company insights” quickly can be quite the challenge. This is ...
Having comprehensive insights into your company’s performance is a basic necessity for any organization. However, gathering these “company insights” quickly can be quite the challenge. This is especially true if the organization doesn’t have the structures in place to collect quick insights and report them easily.   What performance insights does your organization need? What are the challenges to gathering performance data? More importantly, how can you leverage performance insights to optimize your organization and build long-term success?   What performance data should you monitor? When planning to gather quick insights into company performance, it’s important to establish what performance data you need to track first. Choosing the wrong metrics to track can end up wasting precious time and effort. However, different organizations and departments within an organization may need to track different things.    So, when choosing the performance metrics you’ll use to garner company insights, it’s important to:   Consider your organization’s primary goals. What is it that your organization most needs to do to meet its goals? Any key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with those goals should probably be the first ones you consider when looking to create performance insights. Be sure to periodically reevaluate which metrics you track. Because your organization’s priorities may change, it’s important to take some time to evaluate which metrics you’re using to generate quick insights and reevaluate them against the organization’s current needs. Make getting quick insights easier by limiting your KPI list. There comes a point where, in trying to track everything to get more comprehensive performance insights, an organization ends up tracking too much information. This data bloat can actually end up causing leaders to miss important insights into their company. To avoid data bloat and get fast insights into company performance, it’s important to prune the KPI list to a manageable level—such as what can fit onto a single screen of a data dashboard.   Top challenges to consider when gathering quick insights There are a few obstacles that may prevent an organization from gathering performance insights in a timely fashion. Clearing these obstacles is a must for gathering actionable business intelligence that benefits the organization as a whole:   A lack of data collection methods. To fill a data dashboard or other performance reporting tool, it’s necessary to have a data source that is accurate, reliable, and timely. Manual data collection is often inefficient and unreliable (though it may be your only option sometimes), so having a data source that you can pull performance data from whenever you need can be helpful. When such data sources are lacking, it can be hard to gather reliable information when you need it. An overload of information. As mentioned earlier, it’s possible to try to collect too much information all at once. Keeping track of too many data sources and performance metrics can lead to decision paralysis as people struggle to make sense of all the information presented. Knowing how to narrow down the data feeds and KPIs you track is crucial for gaining fast insights that are still useful. Turning data into reliable company insights. Simply having access to performance data doesn’t mean that you have reliable company insights. It takes some time and effort to translate raw data into actionable performance insights that can be used to improve business processes and employee performance. This often requires looking at multiple data sets and correlating events with specific causes or taking a look at patterns within data (such as historical drops or increases in certain metrics at specific times of the year). The ability to turn raw data into an accurate insight into the organization’s performance and needs is one that should come with practice. Creating quick insights. Timeliness is important for leveraging insights while they’re relevant. If collecting, organizing, and interpreting data takes too long, the insights generated from that data may not be as impactful. For example, say that an employee’s performance is lagging, but it takes a full financial quarter to address the issue with him or her. At this point, whatever was causing the performance drop may have become a bad habit that is hard to correct (or resolved itself without the employee receiving any support). This exposes the organization to more loss from reduced productivity—potentially creating excessive expenses due to lack of action.   Data dashboards are one tool that can help organizations gather quick insights into employee, team, and company performance with ease. How can you use data dashboards to gather fast insights into performance? How to use data dashboards The basic idea behind a data dashboard is that it is a dedicated report that displays only the most crucial employee or company insights into a single overview. By distilling KPIs into a data dashboard view, it is easy to avoid data bloat and quickly check on company performance (or employee performance).   There are a few ways that you can use data dashboards. One of the most important is as a live feed for monitoring employee and company performance. Using live data feeds, a data dashboard can display information in real time, helping provide early warnings of potential dips in key performance areas.   Data dashboards can also prove to be a vital employee assessment tool, allowing managers to identify both high- and low-performing employees. This way, top performers can be rewarded for their achievements, while underperformers can be given the opportunity to improve with training that is geared towards their specific needs.   Another use for data dashboards is to monitor the financial health of a company. By tracking important information such as past due receivables, earnings, and accounts payable, an organization’s leadership can verify whether they’re in the red or in the black, and make changes accordingly.   How to use client reports to assess services Sometimes, it isn’t just the organization that needs insight into how it is performing—the organization’s customers/clients may also need some quick insights so they can understand the value that they get from being a customer/client. This is where client reports can be useful.   A client report is a great opportunity to share important performance metrics with a client, showcasing how the organization is meeting or exceeding its service obligations and providing value. When creating a client report (or a report template in BrightGauge for automatic updates and sends), it’s important to consider:   Who the report should be sent to; What the report should include to provide quick insight without wasting the client’s time; When the report should be sent to avoid inconvenience or delay; and Why the report should be sent.   Need help with gathering quick insights into your company’s performance or setting up data dashboards and client reports? Reach out to the BrightGauge team to learn how you can gather fast insights into key areas of your business.
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September Dashboard of the Month -  Sales Management View

We talk to hundreds of MSPs each month and when we ask “What is your current organizational objective or focus?” one answer reigns supreme: Growth!      Growth is obviously a great goal but how do you plan to achieve it? Are you tracking the right KPIs to ensure you hit your targets? Does your Sales team have easy access to the data they need to stay on top of opportunities and close more deals? The surprising answer in many of these conversations is “No”. This month’s Dashboard of the Month will help you change that.   September's Dashboard was submitted by Jonathan Hollingshead, President of Business Communications Inc, an IT solutions provider serving Mississippi and Arkansas for over 25 years.  BCI has been using BrightGauge since August of 2018 and Jonathan says access to real-time data & dashboards have changed how they’ve managed their entire operation. Perhaps no area of BCI’s business has benefited more from BrightGauge than their Sales arm.   Screen Recording 2019-09-19 at 10.49 AM.mov Jonathan created this Dashboard for his two Sales VPs.  Each account manager also has a very similar dashboard filtered for their personal accounts, opportunities, and territory.  These dashboards were created “to provide a quick glimpse of their funnel and business – and was intended as an. entry point directly into the opportunities that they are working on now (or should be). It highlights what they are chasing and/or closing – and it highlights potential issues.”    Metrics like “Opps Not Under a Sales Person” and “No Expected Close Date” quickly give management insight to holes into data entry, ensuring nothing invoice and/or commision related slips through the cracks.   Jonathan goes on to say “Every single employee now has a customized dashboard to not only see Key Performance Indicators for their role but also for their group... and even for the company as a whole.   It has allowed our employees to clearly see their contribution to the company’s success – which is leading to more success! We expected to get better insight into our business, but we did not anticipate the increase in productivity!”   If growth is your goal we strongly encourage you to take a cue from BCI and leverage the Opportunity and Agreement Data datasets to build-out Sales-focused dashboards.     Think this dashboard will be helpful for your team? See our Dashboard Recreation Key below or reach out to success@brightgauge.com and we’ll be happy to help.   Thanks again to Jonathan and BCI for sharing your Sales Management Dashboard with the community.  Keep up the amazing work!   Link to Public Dashboard Link to Dashboard Recreation Key Video Overview  

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4 Benefits of Using Employee Dashboards as an Assessment Tool

Employee assessments can be crucial for motivating workers and helping them realize their full potential. During these assessments, managers have an opportunity to point out an employee’s successes as well as potential areas for improvement—and then collaborate with the employee to create a performance improvement plan (PIP) to help the employee meet future goals.   However, many managers struggle with these employee performance reviews. For some, they simply lack the appropriate assessment tools to accurately gauge employee performance. Without the right information at hand, an employee assessment can flounder—and even prove to be counterproductive.   Employee dashboards can be an incredibly useful tool for these assessments. What’s an employee dashboard? How does it help during an employee assessment? Before explaining employee dashboards, let’s take a look at some reasons an organization might need to conduct employee assessments.   Why employee assessments are necessary  First things first—why do companies need to conduct employee assessments in the first place? Why not just terminate underperformers without spending time (for both employees and their managers) on performance reviews?   There are several reasons to conduct employee assessments with both high- and low-performing workers instead of simply punishing or rewarding specific people:   To provide visibility to employees. Employee assessments help to give employees some insight into the company’s decision-making processes. This helps to make staffing decisions seem less arbitrary so they know they’re being dealt with fairly. It also helps to show employees where they can make improvements so they can be more successful in the future. To increase employee engagement. Employees who understand what’s expected of them are more likely to be engaged with their work (assuming said expectations are reasonable, of course). By having employee performance assessment sessions, employers can lay out what their expectations are and how employees can meet them. When done well, this can increase employee engagement and performance. To help employees fix performance issues. If there is a specific metric or task in which the employee’s performance is lacking, the assessment can be a great opportunity to make him or her aware of it. By bringing this issue up, and providing a plan for improvement, managers can help their teams to excel at their work. Alternatively, the manager can propose a change of job role to something that better matches the employee’s strengths—giving them a chance to exercise some lateral movement within the organization. To recognize top performers and show appreciation. Even the best employees can get burned out if their efforts go unrecognized. Holding employee assessments and congratulating top performers in them can help keep these high-value individuals motivated to keep working. Of course, other incentives are also important for keeping a high-performing employee motivated in the long term. To enable fair staffing decisions. There may be a time where the organization needs to scale back a team or department because of changes in demand for a product/service or a shift in company focus. Without detailed data on employee performance, it can be hard to make the best decision regarding who to keep and who to let go. However, with data from employee performance reviews on hand, it’s easier to identify top performers and those willing to make improvements.   What’s an employee dashboard? An employee dashboard is a performance management tool that displays all of an employee’s most important performance metrics into a single, easy-to-read display. The specific key performance indicators (KPIs) that are tracked in an employee dashboard will vary from one organization (or department in an organization) to the next.   For example, a sales team member’s employee dashboard might highlight the team member’s total number of closed deals, the average value of each deal processed, and other sales-oriented KPIs. Meanwhile, a service team member’s employee dashboard might display things like tickets opened/closed, average response time to a service request, and other service-focused employee performance metrics.   By collecting this data and putting into a single-screen display, managers can review their team members’ most important performance metrics at-a-glance and provide live feedback when necessary. It’s a convenient performance management tool for any organization to use.   What are the benefits of using employee dashboards for employee assessments?  There are many benefits to using an employee dashboard during an assessment/performance review. Some examples include:   Having important information at your fingertips. Having an employee dashboard on the computer or a large display puts important information front and center where the manager can see it. This avoids delays as managers sift through pages of notes or individual data feeds to find important information for the performance review—helping make the assessment process just a little bit faster and easier.   Improving objectivity for the assessment. Employees are much more likely to accept feedback as being objective when there are clear performance metrics on display. Without relevant performance data to review, assessments can feel subjective to the employee—especially if they haven’t been able to track their progress towards goals prior to the meeting. Having clear metrics the employee can see can serve as a “wake-up” call to improve employee engagement.   Creating a basis for better decisions in the performance review. Another benefit of having accurate data on hand is that it can be used to help the manager make better decisions regarding the employee’s performance. For example, the manager can see exactly which metrics the employee needs to improve, and focus on those specific items in their performance improvement plan.   Helping highlight employee strengths. Aside from improving on weaknesses, another goal of employee assessments is to identify top performers. With an employee dashboard showcasing how well people are doing on certain metrics, it’s easy to provide praise for employees who are doing exceptionally well in one or more metrics. From there, managers can even ask top performers to share their strategies with others in the same department—which can help improve overall team performance.   Overall, employee dashboards can be an easy-to-use and convenient tool for employee assessments. However, their utility goes beyond a quarterly or yearly assessment. By tracking performance metrics in real time, managers can identify trends outside of the company’s traditional assessment period and help their teams make course corrections as needed.   By tracking historical data in an employee dashboard, managers can also identify patterns in employee performance. For example, is there a company-wide dip in sales the week after Thanksgiving? That could be because of consumer burnout from Black Friday. Keeping track of such patterns helps managers make fairer assessments of employee performance.   Need help assembling an employee dashboard for your teams? Get started by contacting BrightGauge for tips on selecting data feeds and choosing metrics that matter to your teams!

5 KPI Examples You Can Learn From

Key performance indicators (KPIs) can be invaluable for learning about your organization’s internal processes and identifying opportunities for improvement. However, many leaders wonder what specific KPIs they need to track to achieve better performance. The answer is: “It depends on what your goals are.” There are many different types of performance metrics that you can track—and what you want to track should change depending on what your goals are. It helps if you know what kinds of goals you have, and what KPIs are useful for those goals. With that in mind, here are a few KPI examples you can learn from, as well as a quick explanation of what performance metrics are. Here are a few different KPI examples that you might find interesting for setting your own goals: KPI example #1: Past due schedules Being able to stay on schedule is critical for service delivery. Tracking process metrics such as past due schedules helps you assess how effectively you’re meeting your time-based service level agreements (SLAs). The easiest way to do this is to take a look at your open schedules and see how many of them are past due vs the total amount. If there is an excessive amount of past due schedules, then you know there is a problem with your processes that needs fixing so that you can: Complete tasks more efficiently to avoid running late; or Revise schedule estimates to make them more realistic. This process metric helps your organization meet its SLA obligations more consistently by identifying opportunities for improvement. KPI example 2: Profit margin percentage Financial metrics are important to any organization. In a for-profit business, a KPI like profit margin percentage is almost always indispensable information. Profit margin percentage is frequently used by business owners and managers to assess the overall health of the business and establish whether current efforts are generating a worthwhile return on investment. Gross profit margin percentage can be calculated by taking your profits compared to your total expenses for generating that profit. For example, if a team has profits of $100,000 in a month, and their total expenses for salary, office/retail space, fuel, etc. was $50,000 for the same period of time, their gross profit margin would be 200% (100,000 / 50,000 = 2). If financial metrics like profit margin percentage are too slim (or are negative), then that’s a strong indication that changes need to be made. KPI example 3: Kill rate percentage For a service-oriented organization, performance metrics such as kill rate percentage are a great tool for monitoring how productive employees are. Kill rate percentage is an employee performance metric that measures how many tickets are opened vs the number of tickets that have been closed for a given employee or team during a set time period. Ideally, kill rate percentage should be at 100% or more. How can you have a kill rate percentage that is over 100%? By closing leftover tickets from a previous period. For example, say Shift A (9 am – 5 pm) opens 250 tickets, and closes 200 of them. Then Shift B (5 pm – 12:00 am), opens another 200 tickets, but closes 250 (completing the tickets left over from Shift A). Shift A’s kill rate percentage would be 80%, while Shift B’s kill rate would be 125%. What does this employee performance metric teach you? It could help you identify when a person or team is underperforming compared to their peers. In the above example, one shift is completing roughly 25% more work while being an hour shorter. This could be because of a number of reasons, such as disparities in team size, task complexity, and overall team motivation or skill. Using kill rate percentage to identify the discrepancy and investigate its cause could help you find ways to increase team productivity in the future. KPI example 4: Lead attrition In any sales process, there will be a certain amount of attrition as leads drop out. Tracking sales metrics such as lead attrition is crucial for ensuring a healthy sales process. For example, say your sales funnel has a 90% rate of lead attrition from initial contact to qualifying a lead. Such a high rate of attrition so early in the sales process could be an indication of a problem with the process. This could be caused by issues such as misaligned lead generation efforts (drawing in potential clients/customers who are a poor fit for your products and/or services) or sales team members making critical errors during their lead nurturing efforts (such as actively offending potential customers). By tracking lead attrition and identifying the cause, it is possible to improve your sales process and increase revenue generation. KPI example 5: Customer acquisition cost Marketing is a key activity for any business to attract customers. However, it’s important to balance the money spent on acquiring customers against their lifetime value to ensure that marketing efforts aren’t cutting into profits. This is where tracking marketing metrics such as customer acquisition cost becomes important. Marketing department leads can track spending for all of their efforts and compare that to the number of new customers generated by said marketing to determine their customer acquisition cost. For example, if the total spend for the marketing department is $100,000 dollars per year, and the department generates 100 leads during that time, then the customer acquisition cost would be $100 per customer. However, this alone doesn’t tell us whether the expenditure is sustainable or not. If the total value of a customer is less than $100, then the company is losing money on its marketing. If the lifetime value of a customer is significantly higher than $100, on the other hand, then spending $100,000 dollars to get 100 customers makes sense. Tracking customer acquisition cost and other marketing metrics can be immensely useful for optimizing your marketing and improving your return on investment for marketing spend. What are performance metrics/KPIs? Performance metrics, also known as KPIs, are a method of tracking or benchmarking specific activities and outcomes. They record a specific statistic so it can be used to measure progress. There are countless different KPIs you could potentially use to measure performance for your organization—far too many for any one person to track them all. Some performance metrics are simple to track (with the right tools, at least), while others can be harder to quantify accurately and objectively. The best KPIs tend to be ones that are: Easy to track; Possible to improve with effort; Relevant to your business’ goals; Simple to explain to employees; and Able to be completed in a timely fashion. Need help tracking performance metrics or want to learn more about KPIs? Reach out to the BrightGauge team for help and insights.

How to Use KPIs to Improve Service Level Management

Service level agreements, or SLAs, are the cornerstone of service-oriented businesses—whether they deliver services to individuals or to other companies. A core part of managing SLAs is the tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor compliance with SLAs and identify opportunities for improvement. This task is often referred to as service level management. What is service level management? How can tracking KPIs improve your service level management? Which KPIs should you use for monitoring service level agreements? What is service level management? Service level management is the practice of monitoring and controlling key performance indicators related to the organization’s SLAs. This is usually done with an eye towards improving quality of service and customer satisfaction. Being able to consistently meet service level agreements and deliver results is a must for building a strong industry reputation and keeping clients. By keeping track of key performance indicators for service level management, organizations can monitor their success at meeting their SLA targets and investigate any shortcomings. Which KPIs should you track for service level management? There are many key performance indicators for service level management that you could track. Some examples of SLA KPIs that you may want to track include: 1: SLA success and failure rates How often does your organization meet or fail to deliver services within the bounds of its SLAs? Naturally, this can be hard to track, considering how different individual SLAs can be from one organization to the next. For example, an SLA could be “99% Uptime year-round” for a cloud computing service, while a cybersecurity company might have SLAs like “identify and resolve security breaches within two hours.” If your number of breached SLAs is high, that might indicate that your SLAs are too strict, or that a critical tool or resource is missing. This could be a good opportunity to revisit your SLAs and processes and reevaluate them to improve service delivery. 2: SLA cost metrics In any business management strategy, analyzing costs against profits is a basic necessity. Setting up performance metrics that track the cost of meeting SLA targets can be crucial for monitoring the sustainability of a service level agreement. If costs are running high, it may be necessary to revisit either the SLA itself or the means used to meet it. For example, if you have an SLA of “resolving security breaches within two hours” as a managed security service provider (MSSP) and were maintaining the SLA by having on-duty staff monitoring the client network at all hours, odds are your costs would be high. Here, applying an automated threat detection solution or even an intrusion prevention system would reduce the need to dedicate labor to the task and reduce costs. By tracking cost metrics for your SLAs, you can more effectively manage your budget and make adjustments to improve the long-term viability of your services. 3: Time to response Many SLAs are time-sensitive, promising certain actions or outcomes within a given period of time. Because of this, one critical performance metric to monitor is the time it takes to respond to an incident. The shorter the wait between event and action, the better. If you notice that your time to response is too long, it may be a good idea to take a look at your notification processes and workflows for delivering services. This helps you improve your service level management by identifying ways to optimize response times. Using KPIs to improve service level management The examples listed above are just a few potential KPIs that you could use to improve your service level management. When selecting performance metrics for your service level agreements, consider: How closely the KPI reflects the intent of the SLA; How the information the KPI provides could be used to improve the SLA; Whether you need multiple KPIs to thoroughly assess SLA performance; and Whether you or your employees can control the performance metric for the SLA. Ideally, the metrics you choose should have a strong correlation to the SLA, be useful for tweaking how you approach service delivery, and be something you can improve. Need help to improve your KPI tracking so you can use your performance metrics to optimize your service level management? Reach out to the BrightGauge team to learn more!

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Easy Ways MSPs Can Expand Their Services

For MSPs, breaking into new markets can boost revenue and cultivate more opportunities to scale. But challenges such as upfront time and dollar costs often keep MSPs siloed into their specialties; meaning exploring new markets to break into can be a challenge. Every MSP wants to expand the services they offer to clients, but if you mainly focus on backup and recovery, dipping into a new market such as leasing hardware or phone management can be a considerable time investment.   While there may be a significant need from your customer base, your business shouldn’t invest a large amount of time and money in becoming experts in another product or service when there is an easier solution.   The key to adding new services only involves mastering one skill, and that skill is building partnerships with other vendors. Cultivating relationships with other businesses where you can recommend one another to customers can lead to increased profits without the same risks of your business learning a new market.   Here are some easy ways MSPs can partner with other vendors to offer more services to clients and break into new markets.    Resell equipment through a leasing company   Almost every client you work with is going to need help acquiring hardware. Be it phones, computers, printers, or routers; the hardware is essential to any office environment. Every business needs these vital pieces of equipment to operate; even your own com   To learn about the right tools to use, read more here.       Ryan Goodman is one of the Founders of ConnectBooster and serves as its President. He primarily focuses on working with the sales team to develop their process and partners with MSPs to help them with their cash flow issues.

Do You Know How to Choose Metrics That Matter?

Choosing key performance indicators (KPIs, performance metrics) for your organization is crucial if you’re going to optimize performance over time. Choosing metrics that matter to your organization is necessary for finding opportunities for improving employee performance and making progress towards your goals.   However, not just any random set of KPIs will work for your organization. To achieve the best results from KPI tracking, it’s important to choose metrics that matter. To help you out with this task, here are a few guidelines for choosing metrics and tips for analyzing them. Guidelines for choosing metrics that matter: Setting too many and too few metrics One of the first challenges you need to overcome when setting performance metrics is choosing how many metrics you want to track. Having too many or too few metrics can create problems for your performance management. Having too many performance metrics. If you choose to try to incorporate every possible KPI into all of your workflows and decision-making processes, you run the risk of data bloat. This can negatively impact workflows by obfuscating important data and increasing time spent on data management versus time spent using that data to make decisions. Having too few performance metrics. If you don’t track enough performance metrics, then you’ll have an incomplete picture of your organization’s (and employees’) performance. You may miss important insights that you could use to make significant improvements.   When assessing what would be too many and too few metrics, consider your overall capacity for managing metrics and how hard each one is to quantify. For some organizations, tracking two or three metrics in relation to a particular goal is just fine. Other organizations, however, may need to track a couple of dozen metrics for different initiatives.   It may help to try tracking a set of performance metrics for a while, and then assess how much time you’re spending on KPI management versus the results generated. If you find you’re spending too much time for little results, it may be a good idea to prune your KPI list a bit.   Guidelines for choosing metrics that matter: Consider your overall goals  When choosing key performance indicators to track, it is important to consider how the KPIs you choose align with your organization’s goals—both for the short and long term. If a performance indicator doesn’t align with your goals in some way, then it is most likely a waste of time and effort to track it.   So, before you start setting KPIs, carefully consider what your organization’s goals are. As you choose KPIs to track, consider whether each one is useful for tracking progress towards a goal and/or how it can be used to meet goals.   For example, if your goal is to increase sales by 10% year over year, then sales-focused KPIs such as closed deals, monthly recurring revenue, or total revenue in the sales pipeline would all be great to track.   Guidelines for choosing metrics that matter: Periodically analyzing metrics as needs change  Times change, and so too do your organization’s needs. While some basic KPIs will always be a good fit for your needs, you may find that there are times where a metric that was once worthwhile no longer helps you meet your goals.   For example, say you started tracking a KPI because it aligned with a temporary initiative. Once the initiative is completed, does the KPI still serve a purpose? If not, then it may be time to clean your KPI list so you can avoid data bloat.   Analyzing your metrics from time to time to reevaluate their value to your organization is a must for keeping a list of valuable KPIs while avoiding wasted time and energy.   Guidelines for choosing metrics that matter: Consider how metrics interact There are times where a single data point doesn’t convey all of the information you need, but it can be combined with another bit of information to provide a valuable insight. Creating such data mashups and putting the results into an easy-to-read chart or graph can help you get the best results from your KPI tracking efforts.   For example, say you wanted to track customer growth. A simple “total customers” KPI wouldn’t be a good measure of this, since it wouldn’t take into account actual activity. Instead, taking data points for total customers, total sign ups over the last 30 days, and customer attrition over the last 30 days would provide a far more accurate assessment of your overall customer growth or loss rate.   Using this data, you could then investigate any recent changes or trends that may be contributing to attrition or growth. Also, comparing numbers for year-over-year can help you identify trends that may be seasonal in nature—such as an HVAC business noting a major increase in A/C repair requests during the midsummer months.   Need more help choosing performance metrics that matter? Reach out to the BrightGauge team for more information and advice!

Get Hands-On BrightGauge Training at the Next Data Driven Workshop!

Once you get access to your data, it can be hard to know what to do with it. With so many KPIs and industry benchmarks, you may have a hard time figuring out exactly how these may apply to your bottom line. Join us for an in-person training session To ease the learning curve and provide you with hands-on, in-person training, we're hosting another Data Driven Workshop! This time, two in one month - a Pittsburgh session from September 29th thru 30th and another in Las Vegas from October 13th thru 14th. Find out more information here: https://www.brightgauge.com/data-driven-workshop/   All attendees will also be given a promo-link for a discounted hotel plus a special offer to attend our partner event with Continuum's leading MSP industry event Navigate, and which runs from Monday night through Wednesday.   Each Data Driven Workshop, we spend a few sessions going over the basics of how to use BrightGauge -- from getting set up with dashboards for your team and creating automated reports for clients, to building advanced KPIs using multiple points of data to see how your techs time and effort are being spread or how much that ticket-happy customer is truly costing your business. We want you to walk away a BrightGauge pro and master of KPIs.   As part of these workshops, you'll also get to learn about business best practices for growth through interactive peer sessions and a goal setting review. Plus, you'll get to hear from another power-user as they share how they've built out their account.    These sessions are great for those just getting started or looking for insight into tricks for mastering BrightGauge. We'll give you the tools needed to better manage your data and team, while showing value to customers.    "The BrightGauge Data Driven workshop had a ton of content for me and my colleague to learn and network. I highly recommend this for anyone looking to get more out of the software and get to know this vendor a little bit better. I left excited to build some advanced gauges for my company." -- NTM, workshop attendee   How to sign up  If you'd like to attend an upcoming workshop or inquire for more information, please fill out the form found at the bottom of this page: https://www.brightgauge.com/data-driven-workshop/    

Dashboard of the Month - Quarterly Business Review

  Quarterly Business Reviews or Technical Business Reviews are a vital part of any MSP-client relationship.  These scheduled reviews are an excellent opportunity to connect with clients, highlight the services you provide, and create a strategic agenda moving forward.  With BrightGauge, creating a QBR is simple. This month, we show you how to construct a shareable and completely customizable QBR Dashboard for each of your clients.   Before applying a client filter, the dashboard serves as a high-level overview of your operation.  This allows you to standardize metrics and establish trends which you can compare each individual client thereafter.  It also gives you the opportunity to identify areas in which you can improve processes via automation, updated documentation, providing additional training, or simply making better use of the fields within in your PSA, RMM, and CSAT solutions.   When it comes to individual client-views, adding a filter takes seconds.  Once a client filter is applied, you have a few options on how to get your QBR Dashboard in front of your clients: Clone and share with key stakeholders via Viewer User licenses Add/remove specific gauges depending on what you want to present to each client Convert the Dashboard to a Report Save as a template Create a schedule for automated delivery either as one-off or quarterly    Pro Tip: Add gauges from each of your Datasources, especially the proactive work you do for your clients!   August’s Dashboard is built from ConnectWise Manage, ConnectWise Automate, and Smileback but you can recreate it using any combination of PSA, RMM, & CSAT tools.       Want more information on QBRs? See our Complete Guide to QBRs for MSPs blog post    Think this dashboard will be helpful for your team? Reach out to success@brightgauge.com if you’d like to recreate this dashboard for yourself and we’ll be happy to provide the guidance you’ll need.    If you want your dashboard to be featured in an upcoming post, please send a screenshot of your Dashboard to Success@BrightGauge.com. We’d love to see your work!

What Are the WORST KPIs to Track for Your Business?

Most readers probably know what key performance indicators (KPIs) are by now, but just in case: KPIs are performance metrics that you can use to measure the performance of an employee, a team, or a business as a whole. Using KPI tracking, companies can benchmark their performance and progress towards important business goals. KPI tracking can be invaluable for identifying your biggest opportunities for improvement, motivating employees, and driving long-term success for the business. However, that’s only if you’re tracking the right business KPIs. Relying on poorly-chosen key performance indicators can cause more harm than good. One question that some business managers and owners have about KPIs is: “What are the worst KPIs to track for my company?” There are a lot of bad KPIs out there that, if used, can actually have a negative effect on employee engagement and overall business performance. Here’s a short list of some of the worst KPIs to track by type, which can help you spot a bad KPI in general. When reviewing this list, it’s important to remember that not all KPIs are equally good or bad for all businesses—some KPIs might work for one company but not another because of inherent differences in how the two operate and what their goals are. Worst KPIs to track: KPIs that are too easy to manipulate Most people want to have their performance recognized and KPI tracking makes for an easy way to get recognition. However, when a KPI is too easy to manipulate, it can lead to people abusing the KPI to artificially inflate their performance. For example, say your business has a call center that dials out to people to make cold sales calls or to follow up with customers who recently made a major purchase. One employee performance metric such a call center might track could be their number of outgoing calls. While this sounds like a good way to track call center activity, it may lead to some employees trying to inflate their numbers by making quick “dial and drop” calls that would never make an actual impact on the business’ goals. This scenario can be mitigated somewhat by tracking related employee KPIs for call centers, such as average time spent on the phone, successful close rate, and revenue per deal. Using these secondary employee performance indicators can help contextualize even a “bad” KPI that could be easily manipulated on its own. Worst KPIs to track: KPIs that are too vague Every KPI used in a business should have an objectively measurable value to go with it. If an employee performance indicator is too vague, employee engagement can easily suffer as your people struggle to meet their goals. For example, say your business had a KPI along the lines of “make the workplace neater” or something else similarly vague. In this instance, employees might clean up their desks and make their workspaces nicer, but still fall short of the goal because there’s no measurable standard. Worse yet, because the criteria for meeting or missing the goal is purely subjective, there’s the risk that some employees might see the evaluation as discriminatory, leading to reduced employee engagement and a whole mess of other problems. Instead, it’s better to set employee performance metrics that have a specific and measurable outcome that creates a clear pass or fail assessment that everyone can understand. This makes KPI tracking easier and more effective in the long run. Worst KPIs to track: KPIs that aren’t relevant to your business or industry Tracking business KPIs should never be a waste of time and effort. In most cases, even a “bad” KPI can at least provide some type of insight into your business operations, even when the data isn’t super useful—though it’s better to focus on better performance metrics whenever possible. However, one of the worst KPI tracking mistakes that a business can make is tracking metrics that aren’t relevant to its operations or industry. This is a mistake that can be easier to make than you might assume. For example, a team leader may accidentally add a KPI to a list without noticing, or decide they want to test out a metric, only to forget about it later. When you’re tracking numerous data sources across multiple dashboards, it’s easy for an irrelevant KPI to slip through the proverbial cracks. One or two of these won’t do much to slow operations. But, over time, they can lead to unnecessary data bloat that makes it harder to track your most important business KPIs. The best solution is to periodically check your KPI lists to identify irrelevant employee performance metrics and remove them. How can I spot bad KPIs? When you’re creating or cleaning your KPI lists, it can help to ask yourself the following questions: Is the KPI relevant to my team or business’ goals? Is the KPI necessary for some kind of regulatory compliance standard? Do my employees have any control over the employee performance metric? Can I easily measure the KPI? Could the KPI be easily abused to twist performance evaluations? Does the KPI establish a specific and easy to understand performance goal? Does this business metric indicate what I really want to know better than other related KPIs? Can I set goals with this KPI that can be met in a reasonable amount of time? If the answer to most of these questions is “yes,” then odds are it’s a good KPI. If the answer to all of these questions is “no,” then you may want to reconsider using that performance metric. Need help optimizing and tracking your KPIs to improve employee motivation, engagement, and productivity? Reach out to the BrightGauge team today to learn more!

Create and Use Data Mashups for Actionable Dashboards

As a BrightGauge user, you probably have multiple datasources you connect with. Many MSPs use a PSA like ConnectWise, an RMM like Datto, and a financial tool like Quickbooks to stay on top of all their important metrics. BrightGauge simplifies the way you monitor your data by putting all these metrics in one easy-to-access place. But did you know that, with BrightGauge, you can actually combine data from your different integrations into one super-powered gauge? It’s called data mashup and it’s pretty good if we do say so ourselves. What is a data mashup? The data mashup feature allows you to combine multiple sets of information and display them together for easy comparison. The first thing you should know is that this feature is only available to our users on the Enterprise Plan (if you want to upgrade your plan, here’s how to do it).  The second thing to note is that there are two types of mashups: dataset and datasource. How do I create data mashups? The method for making a data mashup varies depending on whether you're mashing up datasets or datasources.   Dataset mashups let you combine two or more datasets into a single gauge by layering the datasets together. For example, perhaps you’d like to see how many tickets each technician is resolving and how much time is being entered by that technician. That’s a dataset mashup that puts those metrics side by side.   Here's an example of a dataset mashup:   Datasource mashups are really similar to dataset mashups, but are pulled from two or more sources. Let’s say you use ConnectWise Manage and SmileBack. The data mashup feature would allow you to pull in metrics from both of those tools into one seamless gauge. When monitoring something like Tickets Resolved and CSAT by Tech, this feature is essential.   Here's an example of a datasource mashup:   BrightGauge makes it easy to create both dataset and datasource mashups by allowing you to easily define different datasets and/or datasources to combine. Simply select the datasets or datasources you want to use and plug them into a single data dashboard.   The bar charts shown above are only one type of data mashup display. Depending on your needs or preferences, you can also create funnel charts, dials, circle graphs, or many more displays. What are the benefits of the data mashup feature? Combining your datasets or datasources will allow you to gain more powerful insights than if you were to track each piece of data separately. In some instances, it can even give you insights that you would not have seen without mashing up your data. Anything that makes your dashboards even stronger is going to help you make better business decisions that impact your bottom line. Above, we showed you what it would look like to see tickets resolved versus hours entered by technician. As a business manager, imagine using this gauge to make decisions about your team’s performance. You could use it to track multiple aspects of an employee's performance, then use that information to help them improve their productivity. For example, you could pull some ticket statistics and member data to create a technician utilization chart:  An example of how to use a data mashup You may discover that one technician’s ratio of hours entered to tickets resolved isn’t adding up. They’re entering way too much time but not resolving many tickets within that time frame. Armed with this insight, you could approach that technician to see if something is going on that’s preventing them from answering more tickets. Or, if this is a pattern that’s developed over time, you may discover that this technician is no longer a right fit for your team. Or, you may even find that your team is overloaded and you need to add another member to your team. It's possible that this particular employee is being made to handle extra-complicated issues because that's their field of expertise and others can't handle it—leaving them to handle more time-consuming tasks than their peers. These are insights that you simply may have missed had you been tracking the data separately. By combining data in a data mashup, you can more easily identify these kinds of issues. This allows you to take the appropriate action to improve your team's efficiency, productivity, and results. BrightGauge data dashboards were designed to help you make sense of your KPIs and to help you make better and faster business decisions. Data mashups are like a dashboard superpower that make you an even stronger business leader.   You can upgrade your plan today to gain access to this great feature.  

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