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Customer Interview: Xpenditure share their best practises on using data to manage a growing SaaS business.

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We’ve been speaking to Boris Bogaert, who is the co-founder and CEO of Xpenditure. Boris has a strong track record in running Internet businesses, having first indulged his passion for building tech businesses in the early 90’s.

boris

His most recent venture is Xpenditure, a cloud-based expense management solution, which automates the expense management process from your receipt to your accounting. Users simply take a photo of their receipt and the software does the rest, extracting the data so it can be used for a range of purposes (from accounting to tracking to reimbursement).

As well as saving a considerable amount of time, it also takes the headache out of managing receipts, letting you get back to doing the things you need to be doing.

Where and how do you display and share your dashboard to encourage the team to view and act-on the data?

We have several dashboards in place to get our most useful data in front of the right people in the team. The marketing team needs to view different data than the sales team who need different data to the customer support team. As a result we’ve multiple dashboards, all tailored to the specific requirements of the team member. As a Software as a Service (SaaS) business we are extremely data-driven and need to ensure we have access to the right data at the right time to help inform decision making.

How did you choose the KPIs to include on your dashboard?

We took a look at how the data could be used to motivate our staff, and hence chose KPIs that are very actionable. Ultimately we want to use the data we have in a manner that can help us to continuously improve our solution for our users. Data represents the best means by which we can achieve this, and in a fast growing tech company like Xpenditure, there’s data everywhere.

We use a lot of SaaS tools ourselves in house and struggled to get all the data that was hiding in different places together in one easy-to-digest dashboard. With the boards we’ve set up for our different teams we’re getting much more value out of data now.

Choosing the right KPI’s also means you’re aligning your team to work towards the same goal. You’re looking at the same numbers & figures, and you can see the evolution over time, instead of talking about metric A this week and metric B next week.

How did you decide the layout of your dashboard?

The layouts we use are based on the people using it. First of all we started with identifying the key metrics for each department.

For our sales team for example, we keep track of how many demo’s have been requested, scheduled, completed and the numbers converting to a sale. We represent this data in the form of a funnel, and compare it with previous time frames. As a result we can quickly target areas for improvement. The data is very actionable, and the visualisations make it more impactful and easily digestible for all.

Any other pro tips on how to use dashboards to drive a data-driven culture?

Yes! Dashboards are able to give you a lot of information in the blink of an eye. They can also help inform where you should take a ‘deep dive’, and where immediate action needs to be taken.

But dashboards can also serve another purpose. As mentioned above, we want them to be motivational, and besides motivational they can also be fun!

That’s why we also have a dashboard that shows the average age of our employees, the latest tweets from the @xpenditure account, how many days till the weekend, the uptime of our app, etc.

Facts & figures combined in one overview!

SaaS businesses produce a lot of data - the key is being able to interpret and act on the data. Geckoboard does a fantastic job of helping us curate and visualise so we are all united in driving progress. Our business is ultimately about saving time for busy people - removing the headache of managing expenses is our way of helping people get some time back.

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