Having comprehensive insights into your company’s performance is a basic necessity for any organization. However, gathering these “company insights” quickly can be quite the challenge. This is especially true if the organization doesn’t have the structures in place to collect quick insights and report them easily. What performance insights does your organization need? What are the challenges to gathering performance data? More importantly, how can you leverage performance insights to optimize your organization and build long-term success? What performance data should you monitor? When planning to gather quick insights into company performance, it’s important to establish what performance data you need to track first. Choosing the wrong metrics to track can end up wasting precious time and effort. However, different organizations and departments within an organization may need to track different things. So, when choosing the performance metrics you’ll use to garner company insights, it’s important to: Consider your organization’s primary goals. What is it that your organization most needs to do to meet its goals? Any key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with those goals should probably be the first ones you consider when looking to create performance insights. Be sure to periodically reevaluate which metrics you track. Because your organization’s priorities may change, it’s important to take some time to evaluate which metrics you’re using to generate quick insights and reevaluate them against the organization’s current needs. Make getting quick insights easier by limiting your KPI list. There comes a point where, in trying to track everything to get more comprehensive performance insights, an organization ends up tracking too much information. This data bloat can actually end up causing leaders to miss important insights into their company. To avoid data bloat and get fast insights into company performance, it’s important to prune the KPI list to a manageable level—such as what can fit onto a single screen of a data dashboard. Top challenges to consider when gathering quick insights There are a few obstacles that may prevent an organization from gathering performance insights in a timely fashion. Clearing these obstacles is a must for gathering actionable business intelligence that benefits the organization as a whole: A lack of data collection methods. To fill a data dashboard or other performance reporting tool, it’s necessary to have a data source that is accurate, reliable, and timely. Manual data collection is often inefficient and unreliable (though it may be your only option sometimes), so having a data source that you can pull performance data from whenever you need can be helpful. When such data sources are lacking, it can be hard to gather reliable information when you need it. An overload of information. As mentioned earlier, it’s possible to try to collect too much information all at once. Keeping track of too many data sources and performance metrics can lead to decision paralysis as people struggle to make sense of all the information presented. Knowing how to narrow down the data feeds and KPIs you track is crucial for gaining fast insights that are still useful. Turning data into reliable company insights. Simply having access to performance data doesn’t mean that you have reliable company insights. It takes some time and effort to translate raw data into actionable performance insights that can be used to improve business processes and employee performance. This often requires looking at multiple data sets and correlating events with specific causes or taking a look at patterns within data (such as historical drops or increases in certain metrics at specific times of the year). The ability to turn raw data into an accurate insight into the organization’s performance and needs is one that should come with practice. Creating quick insights. Timeliness is important for leveraging insights while they’re relevant. If collecting, organizing, and interpreting data takes too long, the insights generated from that data may not be as impactful. For example, say that an employee’s performance is lagging, but it takes a full financial quarter to address the issue with him or her. At this point, whatever was causing the performance drop may have become a bad habit that is hard to correct (or resolved itself without the employee receiving any support). This exposes the organization to more loss from reduced productivity—potentially creating excessive expenses due to lack of action. Data dashboards are one tool that can help organizations gather quick insights into employee, team, and company performance with ease. How can you use data dashboards to gather fast insights into performance? How to use data dashboards The basic idea behind a data dashboard is that it is a dedicated report that displays only the most crucial employee or company insights into a single overview. By distilling KPIs into a data dashboard view, it is easy to avoid data bloat and quickly check on company performance (or employee performance). There are a few ways that you can use data dashboards. One of the most important is as a live feed for monitoring employee and company performance. Using live data feeds, a data dashboard can display information in real time, helping provide early warnings of potential dips in key performance areas. Data dashboards can also prove to be a vital employee assessment tool, allowing managers to identify both high- and low-performing employees. This way, top performers can be rewarded for their achievements, while underperformers can be given the opportunity to improve with training that is geared towards their specific needs. Another use for data dashboards is to monitor the financial health of a company. By tracking important information such as past due receivables, earnings, and accounts payable, an organization’s leadership can verify whether they’re in the red or in the black, and make changes accordingly. How to use client reports to assess services Sometimes, it isn’t just the organization that needs insight into how it is performing—the organization’s customers/clients may also need some quick insights so they can understand the value that they get from being a customer/client. This is where client reports can be useful. A client report is a great opportunity to share important performance metrics with a client, showcasing how the organization is meeting or exceeding its service obligations and providing value. When creating a client report (or a report template in BrightGauge for automatic updates and sends), it’s important to consider: Who the report should be sent to; What the report should include to provide quick insight without wasting the client’s time; When the report should be sent to avoid inconvenience or delay; and Why the report should be sent. Need help with gathering quick insights into your company’s performance or setting up data dashboards and client reports? Reach out to the BrightGauge team to learn how you can gather fast insights into key areas of your business.
We talk to hundreds of MSPs each month and when we ask “What is your current organizational objective or focus?” one answer reigns supreme: Growth! Growth is obviously a great goal but how do you plan to achieve it? Are you tracking the right KPIs to ensure you hit your targets? Does your Sales team have easy access to the data they need to stay on top of opportunities and close more deals? The surprising answer in many of these conversations is “No”. This month’s Dashboard of the Month will help you change that. September's Dashboard was submitted by Jonathan Hollingshead, President of Business Communications Inc, an IT solutions provider serving Mississippi and Arkansas for over 25 years. BCI has been using BrightGauge since August of 2018 and Jonathan says access to real-time data & dashboards have changed how they’ve managed their entire operation. Perhaps no area of BCI’s business has benefited more from BrightGauge than their Sales arm. Screen Recording 2019-09-19 at 10.49 AM.mov Jonathan created this Dashboard for his two Sales VPs. Each account manager also has a very similar dashboard filtered for their personal accounts, opportunities, and territory. These dashboards were created “to provide a quick glimpse of their funnel and business – and was intended as an. entry point directly into the opportunities that they are working on now (or should be). It highlights what they are chasing and/or closing – and it highlights potential issues.” Metrics like “Opps Not Under a Sales Person” and “No Expected Close Date” quickly give management insight to holes into data entry, ensuring nothing invoice and/or commision related slips through the cracks. Jonathan goes on to say “Every single employee now has a customized dashboard to not only see Key Performance Indicators for their role but also for their group... and even for the company as a whole. It has allowed our employees to clearly see their contribution to the company’s success – which is leading to more success! We expected to get better insight into our business, but we did not anticipate the increase in productivity!” If growth is your goal we strongly encourage you to take a cue from BCI and leverage the Opportunity and Agreement Data datasets to build-out Sales-focused dashboards. Think this dashboard will be helpful for your team? See our Dashboard Recreation Key below or reach out to email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help. Thanks again to Jonathan and BCI for sharing your Sales Management Dashboard with the community. Keep up the amazing work! Link to Public Dashboard Link to Dashboard Recreation Key Video Overview
Employee assessments can be crucial for motivating workers and helping them realize their full potential. During these assessments, managers have an opportunity to point out an employee’s successes as well as potential areas for improvement—and then collaborate with the employee to create a performance improvement plan (PIP) to help the employee meet future goals. However, many managers struggle with these employee performance reviews. For some, they simply lack the appropriate assessment tools to accurately gauge employee performance. Without the right information at hand, an employee assessment can flounder—and even prove to be counterproductive. Employee dashboards can be an incredibly useful tool for these assessments. What’s an employee dashboard? How does it help during an employee assessment? Before explaining employee dashboards, let’s take a look at some reasons an organization might need to conduct employee assessments. Why employee assessments are necessary First things first—why do companies need to conduct employee assessments in the first place? Why not just terminate underperformers without spending time (for both employees and their managers) on performance reviews? There are several reasons to conduct employee assessments with both high- and low-performing workers instead of simply punishing or rewarding specific people: To provide visibility to employees. Employee assessments help to give employees some insight into the company’s decision-making processes. This helps to make staffing decisions seem less arbitrary so they know they’re being dealt with fairly. It also helps to show employees where they can make improvements so they can be more successful in the future. To increase employee engagement. Employees who understand what’s expected of them are more likely to be engaged with their work (assuming said expectations are reasonable, of course). By having employee performance assessment sessions, employers can lay out what their expectations are and how employees can meet them. When done well, this can increase employee engagement and performance. To help employees fix performance issues. If there is a specific metric or task in which the employee’s performance is lacking, the assessment can be a great opportunity to make him or her aware of it. By bringing this issue up, and providing a plan for improvement, managers can help their teams to excel at their work. Alternatively, the manager can propose a change of job role to something that better matches the employee’s strengths—giving them a chance to exercise some lateral movement within the organization. To recognize top performers and show appreciation. Even the best employees can get burned out if their efforts go unrecognized. Holding employee assessments and congratulating top performers in them can help keep these high-value individuals motivated to keep working. Of course, other incentives are also important for keeping a high-performing employee motivated in the long term. To enable fair staffing decisions. There may be a time where the organization needs to scale back a team or department because of changes in demand for a product/service or a shift in company focus. Without detailed data on employee performance, it can be hard to make the best decision regarding who to keep and who to let go. However, with data from employee performance reviews on hand, it’s easier to identify top performers and those willing to make improvements. What’s an employee dashboard? An employee dashboard is a performance management tool that displays all of an employee’s most important performance metrics into a single, easy-to-read display. The specific key performance indicators (KPIs) that are tracked in an employee dashboard will vary from one organization (or department in an organization) to the next. For example, a sales team member’s employee dashboard might highlight the team member’s total number of closed deals, the average value of each deal processed, and other sales-oriented KPIs. Meanwhile, a service team member’s employee dashboard might display things like tickets opened/closed, average response time to a service request, and other service-focused employee performance metrics. By collecting this data and putting into a single-screen display, managers can review their team members’ most important performance metrics at-a-glance and provide live feedback when necessary. It’s a convenient performance management tool for any organization to use. What are the benefits of using employee dashboards for employee assessments? There are many benefits to using an employee dashboard during an assessment/performance review. Some examples include: Having important information at your fingertips. Having an employee dashboard on the computer or a large display puts important information front and center where the manager can see it. This avoids delays as managers sift through pages of notes or individual data feeds to find important information for the performance review—helping make the assessment process just a little bit faster and easier. Improving objectivity for the assessment. Employees are much more likely to accept feedback as being objective when there are clear performance metrics on display. Without relevant performance data to review, assessments can feel subjective to the employee—especially if they haven’t been able to track their progress towards goals prior to the meeting. Having clear metrics the employee can see can serve as a “wake-up” call to improve employee engagement. Creating a basis for better decisions in the performance review. Another benefit of having accurate data on hand is that it can be used to help the manager make better decisions regarding the employee’s performance. For example, the manager can see exactly which metrics the employee needs to improve, and focus on those specific items in their performance improvement plan. Helping highlight employee strengths. Aside from improving on weaknesses, another goal of employee assessments is to identify top performers. With an employee dashboard showcasing how well people are doing on certain metrics, it’s easy to provide praise for employees who are doing exceptionally well in one or more metrics. From there, managers can even ask top performers to share their strategies with others in the same department—which can help improve overall team performance. Overall, employee dashboards can be an easy-to-use and convenient tool for employee assessments. However, their utility goes beyond a quarterly or yearly assessment. By tracking performance metrics in real time, managers can identify trends outside of the company’s traditional assessment period and help their teams make course corrections as needed. By tracking historical data in an employee dashboard, managers can also identify patterns in employee performance. For example, is there a company-wide dip in sales the week after Thanksgiving? That could be because of consumer burnout from Black Friday. Keeping track of such patterns helps managers make fairer assessments of employee performance. Need help assembling an employee dashboard for your teams? Get started by contacting BrightGauge for tips on selecting data feeds and choosing metrics that matter to your teams!