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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 ...
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.

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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:   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:    

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 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 We’d love to see your work!

70+ Metrics for MSPs

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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.  

What Kinds of Business Management Software Do You Need?

Modern enterprises need modern solutions to their business process workflow challenges—at least if they want to remain competitive. Business management software represents a major opportunity for enterprises to smooth out their process workflows. However, what is business management software, really? There are many kinds of business software programs out there for managing different types of processes, such as: Sales Finance Human Resources (HR) Service Supply Chain These broad categories of business processes can be broken down into hundreds of different specific items, and some functions can even have a bit of overlap. This, in turn, means that the list of business management software that a company can use is virtually endless. So, which types of business management software should your organization use? Here are a few examples that you can start with, though this is not a comprehensive list by any stretch of the imagination. 1: Business Invoicing Programs Being able to effectively manage billing/collections is a necessity for any business. After all, if your business doesn’t get paid, the budget for funding projects, payroll, and maintenance is going to run dry fairly quickly. Business invoicing programs help companies with this basic financial task. While the specific capabilities of these bookkeeping solutions will vary from one vendor to the next, some common ones include: The ability to create new invoices—sometimes even automating the billing process. Online payment portals that can accept credit cards or other online payment platforms such as PayPal. Customer recordkeeping to help verify what amount of money is owed on each account. Tax data collection to automate filing processes for the business so customer payments are accurately reported. These are just a few of the potential features a business invoicing program might have. The big benefit of this software is that it helps to minimize late or missed payments while increasing the accuracy of financial records and projections. 2: Asset Management Software Managing the supply chain is an enormous task—one that only gets more difficult as the organization grows. Asset management software programs help to track and manage inventory, automate ordering processes, and provide critical insights into spending patterns. Of these capabilities, tracking spending patterns and invoices can be surprisingly important. Largely because it: Makes it easier to identify wasteful spending; and Helps to spot anomalous orders and invoices that indicate fraud. With asset management software, businesses can ensure that their supply chains operate efficiently by minimizing waste while avoiding shortages of critical resources. 3: Project and Task Management Software Keeping employees on task and helping them prioritize their efforts is crucial for ensuring efficiency and productivity. Project and task management software solutions, like Basecamp, JIRA, or Teamwork help companies do just that. The capabilities of these project and task management software programs do vary, but some of the basics include: Tracking total time spent on specific tasks; Logging which tasks are waiting to be worked on, in progress, or have been completed for a specific work period; and Displaying project details or requirements for an assignment to be considered complete. Project-oriented teams in an organization frequently use these features to review progress and identify issues on a daily or weekly basis. For example, if the time estimates for a given project aren’t matching actual time worked, that could be an indication that the project was under-scoped and needs to be adjusted. Data from these project and task management software solutions could potentially be fed into a key performance indicator (KPI) tracking dashboard for use during employee evaluations, as well. This would help you track employee performance and improve your human resources management. Speaking of which… 4: Human Resources Management Solutions HR is at the core of many modern organizations. Being able to effectively manage, train, and reward employees can mean the difference between having a strong, highly-engaged workforce and struggling with disengagement and poor-quality work. Human resources management solutions come all kinds of flavors, depending on the HR workflows you want to improve. Examples of HR solutions include: Employee training platforms; Benefits tracking solutions; and Employee assessment solutions. The specific benefits of human resources software can vary from one solution to the next depending on their features. However, common advantages of using HR solutions effectively include improving employee retention, productivity, and engagement throughout your organization. One type of business software that can be used for your HR processes—specifically to help track and improve employee performance—is KPI tracking software. Platforms such as BrightGauge make it easy to visualize and study your employee performance metrics so you can help your people realize their full potential. With employee data dashboards, you can easily identify opportunities for improvement and recognize/reward top performers in your organization. Want to get started on maximizing the potential of your people? Reach out to BrightGauge today!

Use the Right MSP Tool for the Right MSP Job

Question: How much time does your business lose every month on redundant tasks? The cost varies from business to business, but IT service providers know downtime translates to lost profits because it diverts resources away from revenue-generating tasks.    There are several ways companies can reduce the amount of lost time their teams experience on a weekly or monthly basis, such as tracking time to non-profitable tasks or time lost due to insufficient planning. However, one of the most simple changes a company can make is to use technology built for their needs.    For instance, MSPs and IT providers require software that can manage tickets, equipment requests, and various recurring or one-off bills. If a business is using software not designed with those features, then the tools limited functionality is going to impede teams and create time-sucking manual workarounds that eat into their revenue-driving activities.   Since decreasing the amount of time a business loses every month can impact their bottom line, here are a few things to do to limit the time spent on non-productive activities.   Find software that automates manual tasks   Time sunk on administrative tasks comes in several forms, from equipment breaking or failures in technology, but it can also include employees spending time and energy on internal tasks.    MSPs fall victim to manually completing tasks instead of working with software to automate repetitive processes for them. Many times they even hire interns or spend weekends on manual tasks, instead of using a tool to automate those tasks.   Why pay someone to do a task that could be automated? It saves time, and time is money, and $10/hour x 8 hours a day adds up quickly. Spending a little money every month to automate those pesky tasks that eat up one’s day is a great way to decrease costs as a business and will usually be cheaper in the long run.    Make sure tools integrate with one another  Business tools must be compatible and integrate to automate as much work as possible. Anytime tools do not integrate with each other; someone is going to have to have to bridge the gap and manually transfer the data; otherwise, there is a risk of something being missed.    For example, if a business is using a specific CRM or PSA tool to track work via service tickets, the details from that ticket must be carried over from CRM or PSA to the software used for billing clients. But if using a billing software designed for retail, or even a different service-based industry, details between the two systems may be lost if they can’t transfer data between one another.   Working with tools designed for IT professionals and MSPs means better integrations, which saves time and money by automating more data and requiring less hands-on management. Final thoughts on saving time   Several things cause businesses to lose time every month on non-profitable tasks, and some are unavoidable. But automations and integrations are big ones and relatively easy to fix. Everything that increases operations and internal management of a team translates to better customer service, better response times, and people being able to get their tasks done as much as possible.   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.

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 KPIs, we believe there are four 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.

4 Types of Data Dashboards You Need to Create

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial for a business to measure and enhance success. Data dashboards help to make tracking important performance metrics easier for leaders who want to improve their company’s competitiveness. What is a data dashboard? Which types of data dashboards should you use in your organization? Here’s a quick explanation, followed by some data dashboard examples you can use for your business: What is a data dashboard? A data dashboard is a collection of important KPI information that is assembled into one convenient display. The specific performance metrics will vary between different types of data dashboards and the goals of the organization—a data dashboard for a sales team will be very different than the one used by a service delivery team, after all. Data dashboards can double as a motivational tool for some organizations, especially when those dashboards are put up in a display that everyone can see. Dashboards can also be incredibly useful for managers in their one on one meetings with team members—providing easy access to important performance data for assessing employees. What types of data dashboards should I use? There are many different types of data dashboards that you could create for your organization. Naturally, not all data dashboards are going to be useful for all organizations. Your company may need a specific type of data dashboard to track information for a particular goal or initiative. So, when looking at the following list of data dashboard examples, keep in mind your own business’ goals and needs, then use that information to determine whether each of these dashboards can benefit you: Data dashboard example #1: Employee dashboards This is one of the most common types of data dashboards used by every business—employee performance dashboards. However, while virtually any business can use employee dashboards, the specific KPIs that they track may vary from one company to the next. Even employee dashboards within the same company might differ depending on the employee’s specific role in the company. Two examples of KPIs that you might track on an employee dashboard include: Ticket Close Rate. For a service team member or call center employee, you might track how many service tickets that employee closes in a given week to benchmark their performance compared to their peers. Billable Project Hours. For project team members, measuring how much time each team member spends on a project helps with accurately billing projects and estimating employee efficiency. Data dashboard example #2: Sales team dashboards The sales team plays a key role in your business’ success by closing sales deals and building relationships with customers/clients. Tracking sales team performance metrics helps you identify strengths and weaknesses so you can improve their skills as a team. However, instead of tracking an individual employee’s performance, sales team data dashboards provide a broader scope of information, focusing on the team as a whole with metrics such as: Overall Sales Funnel. This performance metric helps to visualize the count of opportunities created as well as closed/won deals. Looking at the last 30 days, you can see how your sales team is performing and compare it to their yearly averages and goals. Total Pipeline Dollars. How much money is sitting in your pipeline, waiting to close? Tracking your total pipeline dollars, as well as how far along each deal in your pipeline is, can help you predict how much revenue your business can expect in the next month. Tracking the rate at which you close deals on top of this metric can help to further refine your income estimates. Data dashboard example #3: Client services dashboards For B2B (business to business) service-oriented companies, being able to meet contractual service level agreements (SLAs) with clients can mean the difference between sustained success and losing market share. Tracking KPIs related to these SLAs is a must for B2B companies. While the specific KPIs you will track on your client services dashboard will vary depending on the nature of the services you provide, a couple of potential performance metrics you might use include: New Tickets. A measure of the number of unresolved tickets that have not been responded to yet. Can be combined with tickets currently open to showcase how much work is being generated, which helps to put response time and other metrics into perspective. Tickets Waiting on Customer. A measure of how many open tickets are waiting on input from the customer before they can be worked on. Putting this into a report for your clients helps encourage them to respond to inquiries more quickly, which allows your team to provide faster service. Data dashboard example #4: Financial performance dashboards Rather than measuring the performance of any one team or team member, financial performance data dashboards help you get a picture of your company’s financial health at a glance. This can be crucial for spotting issues that threaten the future viability of your company. A couple of financial performance metrics you might track for your company include: Past Due Receivables Amount. Accounts receivable is critical because it helps you set an expectation for your income from clients within a set period of time. Past due accounts receivable highlights which clients you need to increase your outreach with. Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. Abbreviated EBITDA, this metric helps establish your overall profitability and is often used to calculate things such as employee bonuses. Do you need help creating comprehensive and effective data dashboards to help your business achieve maximum performance? Reach out to the team at BrightGauge to learn more!

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