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The BrightGauge Blog

Top 14 Support FAQs

Even though BrightGauge can be easy to use, data is a complicated matter, so we know there will be times when you need a helping hand. Our Support Team’s got your back.   Support is at the very core ...
Even though BrightGauge can be easy to use, data is a complicated matter, so we know there will be times when you need a helping hand. Our Support Team’s got your back.   Support is at the very core of what we do because our founders come from an IT Support background and they know how important it is to have a solid structure in place. In fact, it’s not all that uncommon for Brian, our CEO, to spend time in Support, responding to tickets himself.   We’ve got a lot of resources to help you when you’re in a bind, but we’ve rounded up our top Support FAQs to make things a bit easier.   Top 14 BrightGauge Support questions   Is BGS GDPR compliant? Yes. We’ve adhered to the compliance regulations set forth by the EU as of May 25th. Read more about our GDPR update here and by visiting our security page.   Why am I receiving a "No Access" error after logging in? This error can occur in two cases: You have tried logging into the wrong subdomain You have logged in directly to a dashboard that you don’t have access to within your account To address both scenarios, please ensure you log in directly to your company’s subdomain: “https://yourcompany.brightgauge.co”   Why is my statement missing from the billing portal? A statement may sometimes not generate within the billing portal if the payment was submitted late. In these cases, the payment will be reflected in the next statement cycle. But, if you need a copy before then, just reach out to our Support Team and we’ll send one over.   How often do gauges sync? When a gauge is placed on a dashboard, that sets off the dashboard sync frequency for the dataset that the gauge is built from. This will continue as long as that dashboard is up and active in a web browser. A dataset’s dashboard sync frequency can be viewed under the Dataset settings page, or by clicking the “vertical ellipsis” icon on the top left hand corner of any gauge up on a dashboard and selecting “Gauge Info”.   Gauges will also sync automatically when placed on a scheduled report. 1 HOUR prior to the report being generated, the datasets powering those gauges will be synced.   If you want to do an off schedule sync, you can go to the Dataset settings page, click on the dataset, and hit “Sync”. Read our Dataset Syncing doc for more info.   Why is my gauge showing incorrect data even though my datasets are syncing correctly? This is the most common question we receive via our Support Desk! The vast majority of the time, these data discrepancies are due to missing filters or incorrect filters being applied. BrightGauge pulls in raw information from your database and must be filtered down to represent the exact metrics you are looking for. For example: with PSA integrations, all boards/queues are pulled into BrightGauge by default. If you are specifically looking for a metric just from a ‘Support’ board/queue, you have to apply a filter stating that.     Filters exist for date, text, number, and boolean fields. Given the large number of fields and possible filter configurations for them, we understand it may be tricky to remember how to use them, so check out this Filters Explained doc that breaks it down.   Filters can be applied on all BrightGauge gauges, dashboards, reports, and goals.   Why am I receiving an error for my Agent/Datasource? One of the hiccups our users encounter when connecting to BrightGauge using an on-premise datasource is setting up our agent within their unique network environment. As all of us within this industry know, no two networks are identical. Due to this, there are a few common errors that tend to arise during this configuration process. We’ve put together and are constantly updating this Common Agent/Datasource Connectivity Issues doc to help you troubleshoot these common errors.   Are there different permissions that can be assigned for BrightGauge users? Certainly! Our 3 different user types are Admins, Analysts, and Viewers. Admins and Analysts are paid users with hands-on ability to create content within our app, while Viewers are essentially read-only users that are free and available with all subscriptions. Our User Accounts knowledge base article outlines the differences in more detail.   When setting up a client report, must one report be created per client/customer? One of the neatest and most convenient features of our client reports is the ability to create a “one to many” report for your clients. In just a few simple steps, you can create one report and select a desired list of clients who will receive a personalized email with a copy of the report filtered down to only their company’s data. Taking advantage of this feature not only saves time when creating/configuring the reports, but also when editing or tweaking them. Changes only need to be made in one spot, but it will be reflected on what all clients see on their individual report.   Check out our Client Reporting 101 doc or watch our free Client Reporting Best Practices webinar for more information.   Why are my client reports blank? If all the gauges pertaining to the same datasource are blank within a specific client report, chances are the Client Mapping for that customers datasource is incorrect. Client Mappings are what we use to automatically filter client reports, but they need to be configured correctly in order to work. When configuring a mapping, the client’s name must be entered EXACTLY as it appears in the corresponding datasource database (this includes spaces and icons). Any small difference will result in the gauge being filtered incorrectly.   To ensure the correct name is entered, we advise using the search function within the mapping. If you’d like to double check clients name in a database, you can check it directly within the datasource itself, or create a gauge within BrightGauge using a dataset for that datasource, and set the dimension to use the corresponding company name field.   Read more about Client Mapping here.   How are Feature Requests handled? Earlier this year, we removed our Feature Request Forum (for good reasons!). Here’s a detailed blog post all about it: https://blog.brightgauge.com/removing-our-feature-request-forum   What has just been released?  You may have noticed that we’ve recently added in-app messages highlighting our new and exciting releases. But we also cover them in much more detail in our Knowledge Base under Product Updates.  We release constantly (daily) so we just summarize the customer impacting features on a weekly and monthly basis.   What other datasources are being integrated into BrightGauge? ALL of them possible :)  Okay, that was a broad statement but 2018 is the year of massive integrations. We have already released 7 new ones and we are only halfway through the year. All the data that matters to your business is what we’re interested in integrating.   Check out our full list of integrations.   Can I speak with someone live about support? Yes, of course! We just ask that we schedule it ahead of time to allow us to fully assess the issue and gather as much information as possible via the ticket. We have a slim (but awesome) support team supporting 1,000s of users so we prefer to schedule something so that we’re all fully focused and prepped.   What are your typical response times for support? During normal business hours, which are 8:30am - 6pm EST on weekdays, we are usually pretty quick to respond because the team is actively monitoring the queue. But we know we have an awesome global user base working outside our support hours and when you average all ticket responses, even including nights and weekends, we’re still averaging 2.8 hours (significantly below the industry average of 20.3 hours).   Have a question we haven’t covered? Make sure you’re taking advantage of all our awesome support resources or reach out to our team for more!  

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How BrightGauge Can Help Your Business

Starting and running a business is hard. It can take years to launch your product or service and then more years before you can claim that your business is profitable. From the outside looking in, the tremendous effort you’ve put in may not be obvious, but we know the realities of running an organization. When there’s an opportunity to make your day-to-day more manageable yet effective, and that allows you to show just how hard you’re working to be successful, you should take that chance and run with it. And that’s exactly why BrightGauge was built: to simplify the lives of business owners like you. Why do I need BrightGauge? The simple answer is that BrightGauge can help you make smarter and better data-driven business decisions. BrightGauge was started by Brian and Eric Dosal, brothers who owned an MSP and wanted a better way to report on important metrics each week. Since they couldn’t find the right tool in the market, they built what they needed. While BrightGauge was created to make reporting more powerful, it’s since evolved into much more. It’s a way to see the data you care about - the data that helps you run your business - in one place. Constant visibility means less of a chance that anything will fall through the cracks.   With BrightGauge, you can integrate with business tools you’re already using, like ConnectWise, IT Glue, Webroot, and Quickbooks to name a few, and pull that data into one seamless dashboard, so you’re only ever a glance away from knowing your Ticket Response Time, your Past Due Invoices, your Device Statistics, or whatever matters to you. Our Client Reporting tool allows you to create custom, interactive reports with the data your clients will care about seeing. You can choose to start from scratch or from a pre-built template (still customizable). Once you’ve created a report, you can set it to automatically send out to whoever you want, whenever you want.   Finally, our Goals feature helps you and your team members work towards a specific outcome.  Through it, each team member is assigned a goal that ties in with overall company key performance indicators (KPIs) that they then track on a weekly basis.   How can BrightGauge help make my business better? There are many ways that BrightGauge can help you grow. Between managing client relationships, fostering a better team spirit, and creating a culture of accountability, you’ll find that simplifying things gives you more time to be productive. Impress your clients A key to business growth and success is having clients that stick around for the long run. And a way to foster long-lasting client relationships is to be transparent and trustworthy. By sending executive reports on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, you show that you’re reliable and good at keeping your word.   Beyond that, BrightGauge dashboards can make you look really good. Imagine that you have flat screen TVs posted up around your office that display BrightGauge dashboards all day, every day. Now imagine that an important client comes in for an impromptu visit. Do you know how good it makes you look that you and your entire team are keeping track of your client’s data in a really visible way? They’re going to think you’re proactive about addressing urgent issues and that you’re committed to providing top-notch service. Be more productive and efficient Speaking of being proactive, when you keep a vigilant eye on what’s going on with your client’s information, you’re way more prone to catching issues before they blow up into disasters. That ability to be ahead of problems gives you a reputation for productivity and you know that a good reputation means more clients. Having a way to easily keep track of really important metrics allows you to run a more efficient business because you’re not waiting around for things to happen. You can react quickly and in a smart way and make decisions that have a positive impact on your bottom line. With BrightGauge, you can set thresholds with an alarm that will ring if a metric falls below your desired number. So, for example, if your client’s devices become disconnected, you’ll be notified immediately.   Plus, because BrightGauge allows unlimited viewers to have access to dashboards and gauges, everyone will be on the same page. Have more constructive 1:1’s If you’re managing a service desk, it can get a little messy to keep track of all your technician’s billable hours, open projects, response times, etc. But with BrightGauge, you can easily create individual dashboards per team member that display the metrics you’re interested in. Or you can create leaderboards that show how employees are stacking up against one another.     Now, 1:1 meetings can be a heck of a lot more productive because you’ve got information at your fingertips that can drive valuable conversations about employee performance (or lack thereof), progress, and big-picture goals. When you’re this invested in your employees, they’ll be motivated to do their best work, which is good news for overall output. Encourage accountability and motivation All of our BrightGauge features make it easy to be transparent and highly-visible. This works wonders for encouraging employees to hold themselves accountable, especially in the case of goals, because there’s nowhere to hide. All your important data is out there in the open.   Knowing this drives motivation in a big way because, as humans, we feel really good when we accomplish something and are seen in a positive light around our peers and all of us naturally want to hit our goals. When we’re working hard, it has a halo effect on everything around us, so clients are going to take notice. Set yourself up for success Whatever your bottom line is, you can only achieve it through smart leadership, motivated employees, and the right KPIs. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is easy to do or that you can figure it all out on your own. In basketball, an assist can lead to a game-winning score. Why shouldn’t it be the same in business? BrightGauge is simply here to help you get a handle on all of your metrics, so you can spend more time on revenue-generating tasks that grow and scale your business. Want to see BrightGauge in action? Schedule a live one-on-one demo today.  

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Top Finance Team KPIs

Knowing where your company stands financially can give you a whole lot of insight into your business. It’ll tell you whether you’re profitable, whether you can hire additional resources, if you’re growing or not, which areas of your business you need to invest in, how much debt you are in, and so on. Obviously, this is incredibly important and useful data to know, and it’s not just about having the right numbers, but also interpreting those numbers in the right way. Every department in an organization is going to have a set of unique metrics that relate to their goals and efforts. We’ve recommended top key performance indicators (KPIs) for your Project Team, Service Team, and Sales Team.     When it comes to your Finance Team, we believe there are four KPIs you should be keeping track of. Top Finance Team KPIs It’s true that our list of metrics to track is not a complete list. You’re going to want to have a holistic view of your finances, which may include several additional metrics other than the ones listed below. However, we think these four should never be left out. Cash in Bank     This number quite simply tells you how much cash flow you have on hand. It’s important to know that because if you ever find yourself in an unexpected situation, you’ll know how to handle it without getting into deep financial trouble. Past Due Receivables Amount   Accounts Receivable is an important one because it tells you how much payment you’re expecting to receive from clients within the next 30 days (or other given time period). Being aware of which accounts are past due will help you reconcile with your clients and ensure that you’re getting the payment you’re due for. Client Efficiency Index (CEI) The CEI is actually a metric that we created internally to give our teams an idea of overall company performance as it relates to each customer base. You can set an internal benchmark for your CEI (ours is 60%) and it will give you an idea of which customer accounts need to be addressed versus which are in your normal threshold. To calculate CEI, you’ll need to gather your total revenue by client, all direct costs (like licenses, software costs, etc), and your fully loaded labor cost per account. The formula for each client account is broken into two parts: (Total Revenue - Direct Costs - Fully Loaded Labor Cost) / Total Revenue = Gross Margin Per Client Gross Margin Per Client + 40% = CEI (adding 40 percentage points normalizes the metric to 100%) EBITDA   You likely know this one, but this metric gives you a clear idea of your organization’s profitability and financial health. EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. Lots of companies use this metric to determine employee bonuses and raises for the year, so keep an eye on it. An easy way to view your metrics Wouldn’t it be great if you could have visibility into your financial picture at any given time instead of waiting for your accounting team to send you a report once a month? BrightGauge makes it really easy to do just that. Our software integrates with many popular tools on the market, like Quickbooks and Xero, and it pulls important data from those tools and puts it on a dashboard for everybody to see. Your dashboards are comprised of various gauges, so you have the freedom to create one dashboard that shows your cash flow, CEI, EBITDA, and any other metrics you care about.   BrightGauge dashboards sync often, so you’ll be looking at real-time data anytime you glance at your screen. We like to recommend that you display your dashboards on flat TV screens around your office so that all employees have visibility into your key KPIs at all times.   Other BrightGauge features include the ability to send custom, interactive reports to your clients or your internal teams as a way to build trust and transparency, and the functionality to set and track individual employee goals, which sets a precedent for accountability and motivation. If you’re ready to see how BrightGauge can help you run a better and more efficient business, schedule a live one-on-one demo today.

Product Update! Exclude Filters in Dashboards and Reports

Announcing the latest updates to your BrightGauge: the ability to exclude filters from gauges in both dashboards and reports! We heard a lot from users, and team members, that they would like to exclude filters on reports and dashboards. After much discussion we decided to split this into 2 releases -  dashboards & reports!    Excluded report filters When a user is building out a report and applies a filter we show a filter icon on the gauge.   The user can click on this icon to exclude certain gauges from being filtered.  We added some simple tooltips to guide users.      Next up! The ability to exclude filters from dashboards.   Similar to the ability to exclude filters from reports, users now can ensure certain gauges don't get filtered on dashboards too. Before, if you were to apply a filter to a dashboard, the filter would be applied to all the gauges there.    Exclude Filters Just like with reports, users can choose to exclude filters by toggling the filter icon.   Excluded Filter Indicator If the gauge has a filter that is excluded, you'll see the gauge has a gray overlay instead of the green one.   Export CSV Data that gets exported as a .CSV will show the correct data that is on the dashboard, even when those gauges are excluding filters.   Drilldown Same as when going to export a CSV, your drilldown will show consistent data when filters are excluded.   Excluded filters will also carry over if converted to a report. For more info on excluding filters from reports, read this recent update.

Welcome Roarke Suarez!

We’re excited to welcome Roarke “Rocky” Suarez to our team as a Customer Support Specialist! Join us in learning more about the newest member of our growing BrightGauge team… In the beginning Rocky, like so many of his fellow BrightGaugers, says he’s been a born-and-bred Miamian since day 0! After growing up in sunny South Florida, he decided to stick around for college and earned his degrees from Miami Dade College and the Computing School of Florida International University. Post-college, Rocky set out to see the world. He spent six months traveling through Thailand, Australia and New Zealand and picked up some career experience along the way, working as an IT intern in the Circular Quay area of Sydney. Most recently, Rocky worked as a Customer Support Specialist for a business management software company called HHA Exchange. There, he updated internal software and made medicare compliance changes in accordance to national and state regulations for at-home healthcare. Joining BrightGauge The Customer Support team is happy to have snagged Rocky as our latest Customer Support Specialist. Prior to joining, Rocky was intrigued by our podcasts and by a conversation with founder and CEO, Brian Dosal. He says that those things made the BrightGauge office environment very apparent to him before interviews even started. “One of the most important things for me is the work-life balance and environment at work,” says Rocky. “So much of my life is dedicated to my work and we spend so much time in the office, so a good environment is priority number one.” We think he’ll fit right in. Rocky is looking forward to being a part of the “best and well-designed support environment I have seen to date” (his words) and to learn more about the MSP industry. Out of office     When not in the office, Rocky enjoys exploring his newfound interest in working out and healthier eating, but also makes time for watching anything on Netflix, especially comedy specials. When it comes to reading, Rocky has a passion for science fiction novels and deciphering their philosophical implications. Perhaps you’ll find him doing this on a beach thousands of miles away from Miami, as traveling is always high on his list.

79 Metrics to Make MSPs More Successful

Want to skyrocket your MSP’s growth and success? This list of 79 metrics will help you choose the data to do so!

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How Reports Drive Accountability

Every business owner and manager knows that maintaining a strong relationship with a solid base of clients is non-negotiable in setting an organization up for success. This takes a lot of work. Clients tend to stick around when business owners and agencies prove themselves to be trustworthy and reliable. Long-term clients mean a positive impact on your bottom line, so transparency should really be a priority for any business manager. This isn’t the first time we’ve said this and it won’t be the last time, but we are big believers in sending consistent client reports to remain transparent and build that trust we’re all looking for. Client reports show that your word is credible and that you are dependable, plus they are great at driving accountability within your own team. Why reports are so impactful When a client hires you to provide a service, both parties agree upon and set forth a service level agreement (SLA) with certain benchmarks that will define success. How well or not you adhere to said SLA tells a client a whole lot: whether you’re experienced and knowledgeable, if you’re good at keeping your word, if you’re providing fair and honest service, and (most importantly) if you should be trusted with repeat business. Since customers are investing a lot of their resources into you, it serves you well to consistently show them the work you’re doing for them. Reports are a powerful way to exercise this level of transparency because they pull in metrics that are based on hard data, and numbers don’t lie. Factual data leaves no room to be subjective - it allows one to draw objective conclusions, which leads to wiser business decisions. Basically, you can’t bs your way through a report. If your SLA states that your Ticket Response Time should never go past 5 minutes, you’re going to have to report that number whether it’s 1 minute or 10 (talk about motivation to hit your goals). Reports also pack a punch because they allow you to show a client exactly what they want to see. You don’t need to fluff up a report. Provide clients with straightforward, honest data that gives a comprehensive snapshot into the work you’re doing so they are not left wondering, “what am I paying you for?” Motivation to do your best work By sending frequent, regular reports - let’s say on a daily basis - your clients come to depend on you for consistency. They’re going to see your team’s actual output and knowing this drives an inherent sense of accountability. Therefore, your team members will be motivated to do their best, most productive work on a consistent basis. As humans, we like to feel good. When you take actions that the brain perceives as good, it releases feel-good chemicals that bring on even more happy feelings (the opposite of a vicious cycle). Conversely, when you have feelings of stress, which are likely brought on when you have to report less-than-ideal metrics, your cortisol levels increase, which is bad news for overall health. It’s literally good for your health to do valuable work and remain accountable. This may seem like a stretch, but when you consider the portion of our days and lives that are spent working, it only helps us to take actions that are positive. In the case of client reports, it’s realistic to assume that there will be times when your performance is not up to par, but if you’re persistently trying your best and showing your value to your clients, you’re walking down the right path. BrightGauge makes reporting a no-brainer If you’re using BrightGauge dashboards to view your important key performance indicators in one place, then everything you need to send client reports is at your fingertips. BrightGauge provides insights through many popular datasources, like ConnectWise, IT Glue, Webroot, Quickbooks, and Customer Thermometer, just to name a few. Regardless of the integration you want to connect with, we take the time to pre-build default gauges and dashboards so you can get started right out of the box. Same goes for reports. The insights that you’re already measuring on a daily basis are likely what your client cares to see as well. When you visit the Client Reporting section of BrightGauge, you’ll be prompted to create an internal report or one for your clients. Then, you can opt to start from scratch or choose from our pre-built templates. From there, it’ll take just a few minutes to customize your reports with the exact info you want - including your logo and any contextual copy - and then schedule it to go out on a recurring basis to whoever you want, whenever you want. It takes such little effort on your part to create these reports, but the payoff is huge. When thinking about scaling or growing your business, repeat business can do so much in terms of profitability. Hold yourself accountable to your company’s success by taking actions - such as sending client reports - that, at the very least, make you look good. Wondering who to send reports to, what to include, how to send them, and why you should even bother? We dive deeper into the subject in our free webinar, Client Reporting Best Practices.

Top Project Team KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) help everyone in your company feel aligned and motivated to work towards a specific outcome. While each individual team member should have personal goals to aim towards, all work should be tied to overall company KPIs. Knowing which KPIs are most important is the tricky part. As a company owner or manager, you have the best idea of where you want to see growth and how you want to track it, and this applies to every team within your organization. Different departments are responsible for multiple areas of growth, so it makes sense that your Service Team KPIs will vary from your Project Team KPIs. We’ve been in this business for a long time and have spoken to plenty of executives along the way and have discovered common threads across the board. When it comes to your Project Team, we’ve found two KPIs that almost always make it to the top of managers’ lists. First, let’s get one thing clear We can’t stress enough that just because we’re listing these top two KPIs, by no means do we believe that other KPIs are less important. Your discretion is what matters most. When you created your company or started working there, you developed a vision for success and you know best how to carve a path for getting there. We’re simply here to offer up suggestions and knowledge based on our own experiences. Our goal for BrightGauge is to make your day-to-day life a bit easier, and we hope the guidance we provide here adds to that. Project Team KPIs Your Project Team is incredibly important because it’s the team that keeps your work moving and flowing. Adhering to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) you and your client created at the onset of your relationship is critical, and your Project Team is going to play a major role in that. Specifically, the number of hours your Project Team members bill and how efficiently they stay in line with your budget will show whether or not you’re on track with your SLA. Therefore, two KPIs we recommend when it comes to your Project Team are Billable Project Hours and Over Budget Projects. Billable Project Hours Some business owners or team leads require their team members to bill a certain number of hours per week, as it ties into recurring revenue, so keeping track of this metric is pretty important. It’s also a good idea to see how many hours are being billed to a specific project because it gives you an idea of whether or not you have adequate resources assigned to that project. This also gives you insight into how well your company and team can handle various scopes. If your team is over-billing on a project, it’s possible that you did not forecast an appropriate number of hours for the required amount of work. As you can imagine, these insights come in handy for future projects. BrightGauge dashboards make it so easy to see every team member’s billable hours in real-time and at a glance. More than likely, we connect with the integration you’re using to input hours (like Harvest, for example), and all our integrations come with pre-built gauges, dashboards, and reports based on the metrics people like you care about the most. This means you’ll be able to get started as soon as you open an account! Over Budget Projects Any project manager knows how important it is to stay on budget. Dealing with finances is a sensitive matter and impacts your bottom line, so you really can’t scrutinize it enough. When you budget a project, you’re setting forth guidelines, just as an SLA does. Abiding by those guidelines makes you reliable and trustworthy and keeps your business running efficiently. You shouldn’t wait until an accountant or financial manager crunches numbers for you to see if anything is falling through the cracks. It’s much more optimal and productive to know where you stand on a regular and frequent basis. Tracking projects that have gone over budget will help you course correct and make data-driven decisions that ensure you’re still on a path to success. Just like the insights you gain when looking at billable hours, Over Budget Projects will tell you if you have enough resources on a task or if there are any missing gaps. Keeping tabs of Over Budget Projects on a real-time dashboard makes it easy to see if you’ve got any glaring issues and it helps prevent problems from turning into full-blown disasters. With BrightGauge, you can drilldown further into the Over Budget Projects gauge to get more information. BrightGauge helps you keep your team motivated With BrightGauge dashboards, you’re able to see your important KPIs in one place and use the metrics displayed to drive impactful business decisions. Beyond that, you can use dashboards to motivate your team. When it comes to billable hours or open projects, put your team members on a leaderboard to inspire a little fun, healthy competition between them. Or, use our Goals feature to keep everyone accountable and striving for results that impact your bottom line and your overall company KPIs in a good way. There’s a whole lot you can do with BrightGauge to make your daily operations more manageable and productive. To learn more about KPIs that make a positive impact, check out our free whitepaper, How to Improve Your Business With KPIs.

We've Got a New Look!

If you’ve logged into your BrightGauge in the last week or if you’ve just been browsing on our site, you may have noticed that things look a bit different. We’ve gotten a bit of a makeover and we hope you’re digging our new look. Why the change? Well, if you’re a customer or frequent visitor, you know that we’re constantly thinking of ways to improve our product and make your life a bit easier. That doesn’t only apply to new product features. We want to create a more pleasant and user-friendly experience across the entire BrightGauge platform. Because we’re ever-evolving, we think our design should evolve with the times, so nothing ever feels outdated. We also want to give you a design that’s intuitive, informative, and valuable, and we think our new changes reflect that. So, what’s new? Our login page got quite the facelift. If you remember, this is what it used to look like:     It quite simply prompted you to enter your credentials and be on your way. Our new login gives you a bit more:   You’ll still be prompted to enter your credentials, of course, but we’ve shifted that over to the right and have left space for any important announcements, updates, or features that we’d like to notify you about. Pretty cool, right? We don’t want you to miss out on all that BrightGauge has to offer, so refer to your login page often. We haven’t changed any of the functionality that you’re used to, so don’t fret, everything is still in place. Now, our website has got a whole new look! We’ve pretty much changed everything in regards to the design. Here’s the BrightGauge site of past days: Today, you’ll notice colorful shapes and patterns (which we also brought into our login page), a cleaner look overall, and an easier way to find the resources you need. Two of our favorite upgrades are super easy access to our support page and the search functionality within our blog. You’ll see a section titled Support in our top navigation. Click on it and head straight to the help zone - submit a ticket, access our knowledge base, watch our training videos, basically do whatever you need to find answers to your lingering questions. We know how critical our Support Team can be in getting you past a road block, so we want to make sure you have quick access to their resources whenever you may need them. Visiting our blog just got more user-friendly, too. When you land on the blog’s homepage, you’ll notice a search bar in the top right corner. Go ahead and type in a keyword or two based on what you’re looking for, and you’ll be directed to all relevant blog posts. Sweet! Take a look around and explore the changes we’ve made. You know how we feel about feedback, so please drop us a line and let us know what you think! Happy navigating :)

Recommended Hardware for Displaying Dashboards in Office

We get asked all of the time which devices are best for displaying dashboards and while we can recommend safe choices, some of the most creative and unique setups come from our customers. We put together some of their most popular recommendations to help answer your questions and get you started. We’ll start by getting the easy stuff out of the way first: Selecting the Best TV for Displays Ultimately, you can choose any TV to display your dashboard around the office, but there are some considerations to take into account: Reflections from lighting Viewing Angles Size You’ll obviously want the TV you display your dashboard on to be visible to your team, so you need to consider the viewing conditions at your office. For example, if your office would produce a lot of reflections you need to get a bright TV with an antiglare coating. We recommend heading to a store and viewing the TVs from a distance and odd viewing angles. This will give you a good idea of which TV will perform best when displaying dashboards. The only thing we caution customers against when choosing a TV is to avoid smartTVs. The built in browsers don’t work well for displaying dashboards, so we recommend using a computer instead. Which, brings us to our next piece of hardware: Computer Options for Displaying Your Dashboards There are many different options when it comes to the type of computer you use, and I’m sure we are missing some options, because we continue to be surprised by the ways our customers set up their computer hardware for dashboard viewing. Here are the methods we know and recommend: Stick to PCs that Run Windows We are big fans of stick PCs because they allow you to remote into them and they tend to be pretty powerful and easy to setup and use. The downside to using these is that they are expensive.   A great example, that we are looking to use in our own office, is the Intel Compute Stick. The model we recommend comes with an m3 processor clocked at .9 ghz, 4GBs of RAM and 64GB of storage space. It also comes at a cost: $324.99. Chromebit Due to the lower cost and decent performance, the Chrombit (CS10) makes a great alternative to Windows stick PCs. It costs just $85 and comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage space.   We use the Chromebits in many of our dashboards and our only complaint is that we have to switch the USB keyboard and mouse to each dashboard when we want to interact with them (in other words, we don’t have the ability to remote into them.) Raspberry Pi If you’re into DIY projects, you’ve probably already heard of the Raspberry Pi. It can be a powerful and relatively cheap setup, and if you’ve got the know-how it makes for a great computer to view dashboards on.   1 Machine, VMs and Chromecast This is the cheapest way to set up a dashboard display around the office, and it’s the perfect example of one of our customer’s creative setups! Start by setting up Virtual Machines (VMs) on a single machine. You’ll want the same number of VMs as displays in the office. Then, open up a Google chrome tab on each VM and use chromecast to stream that to the correct displays around the office. The downside for this technique is that you need a computer that will always be on and at the office - so you’d need to set up a machine dedicated to this task. As an alternative to the VMs and Chromecast you could use HDMI cables, but that adds to the cost. Want to learn more? Make sure you're practicing dashboard best practices by downloading this free webinar recording:

Customer Stories: Andromeda & their unique team dashboards

Illinois-based Andromeda Technology Solutions may have been around since 1994, but they're always looking out for ways to better serve their customers. The key to their continued growth stems from their push for transparency, both internally and with their customers.   Growing a business For this interview, I sat down with Jeffrey Borello, the owner & CEO of Andromeda Technology Solutions, an IT-turned- communications and security group. Now in business for over 20 years, Andromeda grew from a small web development firm into a business with growing monthly recurring revenue through the hardwork of Jeffrey and his two partners. Before Andromeda came to be, they all worked at the same company, focused on getting better at their own respective professions. One day it clicked for all of them to start a business of their own. They wrote a plan, stating that 50% of their income would come from residential work done in the evenings and on weekends. After slow, but steady growth and their individual hardwork, they hired their first technician and set out on their own. “All centered around making technology easy for the customer - make life better, not be a source of frustration.“  .     Dashboards for everyone! As one of the first BrightGauge users, it’s no surprise that they average around 980 gauges and 144 dashboards! That’s a lot to work with though. You may be wondering, “What could they possibly need all of those dashboards and gauges for?” These are a result of getting the whole team in on the data sharing fun. Taking advantage of their free unlimited viewer licenses, Andromeda has a total of 41 viewers from their team, including a couple just for their tv-based dashboards. Scaling Up When it came time to examine their growth more closely, Andromeda turned to EOS. They didn’t quite find the traction they expected though. After spending a year and half trying to implement it, they didn’t get far. They’ve since found success with the Scaling Up Model, one that’s focused around larger businesses.   To them, this felt bigger and fit better. Now it felt like the whole company was rowing with the same oar. Still, it’s an ongoing challenge for all leaders to keep focused and afloat in the day-to-day wearing multiple hats. Jeffrey keeps a big BHAG poster on wall with the number that they want to hit in 10 years, plus an eye on the opportunity to open up multiple offices in multiple states. “I love the team. I love how responsive everyone is. I request something at 10 at night and Brian was there. You guys are there to really help us try to succeed.” Working with BrightGauge Like a few of our customers, Andromeda has built up their software stack based around what’s available to integrate with in BrightGauge. They’re taking full advantage of what’s available to them with a total of 8 datasources connected: Dropbox to cover their call data and Google Analytics needs NAble and datto for covering endpoints Customer Thermometer to ensure they’re providing their customers with great service Webroot for extra layers of security Infusionsoft to cover their CRM needs Quickbooks for their financial needs Tigerpaw to streamline their PSA opps   With a client base made up mainly of legal, financial, and medical-based businesses, it’s important to Andromeda that they keep the most important numbers up for all to see.

Building Transparency Through Internal Documentation

The work world is changing. Gone are the days - if ever they existed - of a one-size-fits-all approach to building an organization. Entrepreneurs today are going beyond creating the product or service of their dreams - they’re also inclined to design their own version of the ideal work culture. Whether that means hiring virtual employees from around the world, outfitting employee workspaces with treadmill desks, or adopting a Summer Fridays policy, it’s safe to say we’re in a new generation of corporate culture. However, no matter how much things change in the workplace, our values and commitment to professionalism should always remain in place. It’s still incredibly important to foster client relationships and create a work environment that your employees are proud of, and we believe the practice of transparency is the way to do that. At BrightGauge, we try to be open and adopt habits that encourage transparency, and we’ve picked up a few tips along the way. Being transparent means being reliable   We often talk about how important it is to build a foundation of trust with clients and how essential this is to long-term relationships. There are many ways to build a trustworthy relationship and being like an open book is, in our opinion, really effective. Being transparent means you have nothing to hide. You share what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, how it stacks up against promises you made, and where you have room for improvement. With clients, we love sending regular reports that show both the good and the bad in terms of work being done. Fortunately,  BrightGauge makes it easy to customize and automatically send interactive reports as often as you want. Clients will love that they can rely on you to show them how their dollars are being put to use. Of course, you can share reports with internal teams, too. This keeps everyone in check and in the loop on key performance indicators, project statuses, and more. But, transparency doesn’t stop there. Be transparent by putting everything in writing Part of the shift towards a new work culture is a new practice of doing away with unnecessary emails, meetings, and other unproductive work distractions. We’re all about being more focused and less attached to emails, but we’re not okay with documentation going down the drain. Have you ever had an important face-to-face conversation that ended with clear (in your opinion) next steps, only to follow up with your colleague some time later to hear them say, “I never said I’d do that.”? Suddenly you’re caught up in a game of he-said, she-said and the important task at hand gets neglected. Know how you could have avoided that? By keeping a paper trail. Written communication is absolutely critical for transparency and keeping everyone aligned. This isn’t about pointing fingers or being a tattletale. It’s about keeping everyone accountable and being transparent with work. And guess what? Email is not the only way to put things in writing. In fact, at BrightGauge, we barely use our email addresses (writer’s note: when I started working here, this absolutely shocked me). What we do use, and strongly believe in, is a business organization tool. Our solution of choice: Basecamp. Much like BrightGauge simplifies work by putting data in one place, Basecamp puts communication all in one place. Relevant messages are threaded together so that all communication surrounding a particular topic is easy to track. To put this into context, imagine a team of developers are working on a complicated piece of code that would add a necessary new feature to your product. There’s a lot of back and forth on the right process, answers to a lot of questions, and approvals on important decisions.    Now, first off, this is clearly a situation where documentation is essential, otherwise things can get messy or unravel quickly. If all communication were done via email, it’s possible that something would fall through the cracks. But, in Basecamp, everything is neatly saved in chronological order so it’s really easy to find. To take it one step further, should a lead developer leave your company, his replacement will quickly be able to get up to speed on pending projects by finding the relevant messages within Basecamp. Tools like Basecamp also help everyone to remain meticulously organized, since it allows you to create to-do lists, notes, documents, pitches, specific project folders, and team folders. Literally anything you need to communicate about can be done right in there. What we’re trying to say is, make smart choices This is less about pushing Basecamp and more about stressing the importance of communicating, practicing transparency, and being organized. You can have the most laid-back work environment in existence, but there’s really no excuse for sloppiness. The reality is that employees don’t last forever, but projects have to go on, and once a decision has been made and executed upon, it’s going to live in the interwebs. It’s just smart to document your choices and be transparent about the journey your organization has been on. However you choose to document, be diligent about it, make sure everyone understands your process, and be a stickler about getting it done. Seriously, at BrightGauge, we’re known to have side conversations on Slack that end in “put this in Basecamp.” We’re cool with being accountable for our work, and you should be, too.  

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