At Gauge we have access to a lot of data. It can feel like information overload at times; figuring out which numbers or trends to pay attention to and which ones to filter out can be challenging. We’ve started the journey of providing clarity about this data for ourselves and our clients, and we’ve decided to use Geckoboard dashboards to display the right information to the right people. Here’s why.
Data, Data, Everywhere
Magento, Shopify, Google Analytics, AdWords, Webmaster Tools, and the list goes on. Each of these platforms provides a myriad of data, and in some cases, there is overlap. It can be difficult to remember which source to go to and for what information.
Using a solution like Geckoboard allows us to pull data from multiple sources (anything with an open API) into one easy-to-understand display or dashboard. While the initial dashboard setup can take some time, in the long run it is more efficient to view your information from one source instead of logging into a dozen different systems.
Same Sheet of Music
Every day, we rely on information, usually gathered in reports or spreadsheets, to make business decisions. This can be difficult if different team members or departments rely on varied data sources to paint the picture. For example, sales data could come from your accounting software, eCommerce platform, or Google Analytics. Data variances can cause differences in perceived priorities.
Putting together a dashboard, shared by the entire team of decision makers, forces everyone to read off the same sheet of music. This can streamline communication of pertinent information, remove unnecessary questions and concerns, and improve the effectiveness of decision-making.
Water Fountain, Not a Fire Hose
Finally, dashboards allow us to turn data overload into digestible pieces available when you need it. Dashboarding is meant to provide a quick snapshot of the business or business area you oversee. It is not meant for deep dive analysis or data mining. Dashboards are typically displayed in-office on TVs, which means the information displayed has to be limited enough to fit on one screen. The benefit is that you only see what matters and won’t be distracted by anything else.
No, Dashboards aren’t Perfect
While creating some simple Dashboards are helpful, they are not perfect. Some limitations to be aware of include:
- No deep dive analysis available
- Custom widgets can require time and development to get set up
- The are limitations to the visual options available for displaying information
- There are currently a lot of companies going after the analytics/dashboarding space
While we may not recommend Geckoboard forever, we will continue to push forward in pursuit of getting the right information to the right people at the right time. As technologies continue to improve and advance, and as better solutions become available, we will pivot as necessary. For the time being, Geckoboard dashboards are a great place to start.