This is the latest in our series of featured business dashboards, which highlights the interesting and different ways our customers are using Geckoboard. We hope that you will be inspired to try new ways of using your board, visualising your data and designing your dashboards.
We recently heard from Jon Norris, Crunch's Web Editor, a freelance writer and Editor of the community site Freelance Advisor. He gave us a great overview of how they're using Geckoboard to bring teams together.
How did you find out about Geckoboard?I'm an avid tech news junkie, so I think I first heard about the launch on TechCrunch - I signed up for a beta account which we used for a few months, then moved to a proper paid account when we had the need to display more information.
What was the initial reaction of your team after the status boards were placed in the office for everybody to see?Because our team is split over two floors there's a bit of dissonance between client-facing staff downstairs and development, sales, design and marketing upstairs. Having these dashboards on a rotation gives us a little glimpse into how things are going for everyone. It lets our account managers and accountants see how healthy the business is as a whole (in terms of website traffic, leads and new clients), and it lets us upstairs see how busy the operations team are. We never really had any idea how much they get done until we could see it on a big screen!
How did you choose your metrics?Every team set up their own dashboard and chose the metrics most important to them, focusing on one key data point. For example, marketing's most prominent metric is total traffic across all our domains, for sales it's new leads and conversion rate, and for tech support it's open tickets.
How do you think Geckoboard has helped you to improve decision-making throughout the business?It has made every department more aware of what other departments are up to. Internal communication has been streamlined greatly - our monthly catch-up meetings no longer need to start with a performance roundup from each Manager, as everybody already knows the key figures.
In that sense it has improved decision-making as decisions can now be made within the context of the entire company's performance, not just an individual department's metrics. To give you an example, we in the marketing team now have a better understanding of the ebb and flow of our account manager's caseloads, which are fairly predictable due to the tax calendar. This means we can plan big campaigns for times when their workload is low, giving them more time to bring new clients on board.
What would your advice be to other organizations that haven't started using this kind of technology, or that are interested in leveraging their current efforts more?Think carefully about what information to display, and try to avoid 'vanity' metrics. Sure, you may be recording 500,000 hits to your website every month, but all those visitors are meaningless if you're not tracking your conversion rate.
Graphs can be particularly useful for identifying sudden changes that other analytics packages may not pick up. We track response times to our app servers, and a sudden spike is a surefire indicator of a problem, which we can look into straight away rather than waiting to hear about it from customers on Twitter.
Thanks to Jon for sharing his experiences of Geckoboard.
Crunch is an online accountancy firm based in Brighton, England, for freelancers, contractors and small businesses. They provide real-time cloud accounting software and unlimited support from accredited accountants for a flat monthly fee.